Off The Bench: Daniella Grant


By Daniella Grant, Humber College Rugby Team

It all started when I was in grade nine, just minding my own business in the hallway when a girl came up to me and said I should try out for the rugby team. I had no idea what rugby was all about, so I went home that night and looked up the sport online.

Photo courtesy of the OCAA

I watched a game between New Zealand and England for about five minutes and I was set on trying out.

There was just one thing left to do. I had to convince my parents.  When I mentioned it to them, they thought I was too small to play and were worried that I would get hurt. After trying to convince them throughout the weekend, they finally said yes.

After I played my first game of rugby, I fell in love with the sport. I told my parents that I didn’t want to play soccer anymore. I loved the atmosphere, the varying pace of the game, the teamwork, the big hits and there was just something about rugby that was unlike any other sport.

Although people try to compare rugby to football, they’re not similar at all. There is a saying within the rugby community, “Rugby is a game for barbarians, played by gentleman and football is a game for gentlemen, played by barbarians.” 

It means that although rugby is a tough sport, respect plays a huge role in the game.

 In rugby, once the game is done, any negative feelings are left on the field. I have played soccer, basketball, volleyball, wrestled, and I have never found that same level of respect within any other sport. If you ask anyone who plays rugby, they will agree that it’s a sport for players with high levels of passion and respect.

Playing rugby while going to school and working is definitely busy, but it’s doable. I have a few tips to help you manage this type of schedule.

 First, you have to be organized, to track and regulate your time. Use a calendar to record test and assignment due dates, your work schedule and all games and practices. Make sure to schedule time for rest and relaxation with family and friends.

 Second, you have to be good at problem-solving to resolve any schedule conflicts or to adjust to changing situations.  If a conflict or new situation arises, don’t put it on the back shelf.  

Deal with it right away so the issue doesn’t become more complicated over time.  To manage conflicts or changes, maintain a positive attitude and focus on what you can do to adapt.

 Third you must be good at communicating information to professors, classmates, coaches, teammates and your boss. Be honest with yourself and with others, admit if you made a mistake and ask for help when you need it.

So, regardless of what you are studying, where you work, or what extra-curricular activities you do, life is busy.  In keeping with my rugby roots, my last piece of advice is to share a quote that I live by: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”