Brooke Shumate’s time off from soccer during her sophomore year was difficult.   

It started with hip issues at the beginning of her freshman year, and she ended up getting surgery at the beginning of her second semester. Her hip injury was caused by the wear and tear of playing soccer her whole life. 

Although she spent time in physical therapy after surgery, Shumate couldn’t handle the physical demands of being part of the Regis University women’s soccer team and had to step away from the sport.

But it was tough. Shumate struggled to find meaning and purpose during her time away from soccer. 

Halfway through her sophomore year, a friend told her about Regis’ Women’s Rugby Club. 

“I initially wanted to continue with my break from playing sports,” she said. “But I was convinced rugby would be worth it.” 

Rugby is less demanding on the hips, and it's a non-competitive, club sport without as many practices and games. 

Shumate immediately fell in love with rugby. She soaked up as much as she could about the sport, watched training videos and practiced moves on her own. 

“I had this innate desire to be the best I could be at rugby,” she said. “I found my passion again.” 

Her drive helped her get elected to club president for the 2016-17 school year. 

The coaches, previous executive board and Shumate’s teammates saw that she was dedicated to the team and had a drive to learn. 

“It was impressive to watch her eagerness to learn and put in time outside the scheduled practices and games to hone her skills,” said Megan Clarke, women’s rugby forwards coach. 

Shumate, a health and exercise science major, has also improved her grades and expanded her social circle because of the rugby club. 

Anytime there’s a school event, the group gathers together to socialize with other students — which helped them get nominated for club of the year for the 2015-16 academic year. 

“I do better in school when I have the motivation from being part of a team that works together toward a common goal,” she said. 

Find your passion outside the classroom with the Regis Women's Rugby Club or another club sport.