Kevin Kujawa’s daughters signed up to play girls rugby when he was out of town.
“So, I pretend I didn’t influence them,” said Kujawa, a former Northern Illinois University rugby player.
Kujawa and Greg Stewart are co-coaches for Westfield Middle School’s seventh- and eighth- grade team, which won the state title three years ago. There are 10 girls on the seventh- and eighth-grade team, which plays 7-on-7. The season opens April 15.
“It’s the fastest growing team sport for women,” said Kujawa, who in his fourth year working with the team. “Girls’ confidence level explodes after they play a season of rugby. It’s amazing.”
Kujawa’s oldest daughter, Kate, a WMS eighth-grader, has been playing on the seventh- and eighth-grade team since she was a fifth-grader. His younger daughter, Kira, a fifth-grader, is on the Westfield Intermediate School’s fifth- and sixth-grade co-ed team for the second consecutive season.
“It such a nice community and you get to meet so many different types of people,” Kate said. “The sport is perfect for me because I like to tackle people. It’s an exciting sport because it’s constantly changing things up.”
Kate plans to play rugby for the Westfield High School team.
“I played soccer and softball,” Kate said. “I tried tennis and basketball. I played a lot of sports but this is the one that I stuck with.”
In addition, Kate played volleyball for WMS and plans to continue in that sport as well.
“I think (rugby) keeps getting more popular as the years go on,” she said.
Kujawa said the girls high school league plays 15 on a side. WHS senior Megan Reed, an All-American rugby player, will play at Queens College of Charlotte next year.
Kujawa said those interested in playing should register at rugbyindiana.com.