Virden’s Brittany Pearn played a role last season for the first Brandon University women’s rugby club.
The daughter of Rodney and Jennifer Pearn helped her school squad compile a 2-2 record last fall in its debut season while playing rugby 15s. In the spring, the team had planned to host a seven-aside tournament, however it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, there were some memorable moments during that first season for Pearn and the team, which included Virden’s Taya Hayward and Elkhorn’s Mikayla Frattinger.
“I think what I’ll remember most is the experience,” Pearn said. “Everyone on the team grew as a player last season whether they had rugby experience, or they were just a beginner. Even though we played only a handful of games, the experience gained from those games was huge. Our two games down in Wayne, Nebraska were a real eye opener on what we could be capable of on the rugby field.”
Pearn played second row and back row for Brandon University. BU head coach Brian Yon praised her for improving as the season went on. Pearn said that she enjoys the team aspect of rugby among other parts of the game.
“It’s really fun for me to be able to run through drills and plays in practice and then watch them be executed on the field,” she said. “I also enjoy the physical aspect and the adrenaline rush that comes with stepping on the rugby field.”
Pearn played high school rugby for Souris. She was a Westman High School Rugby All-Star game selection. Her parents have backed her passion for the game.
“I remember them being a little skeptical the first season I wanted to play rugby in high school, but after that they couldn’t have been more supportive,” Pearn said. “They attend almost all of our games no matter how cold or rainy, and I know they’re just happy seeing me be able to play a sport I love.”
During the last school year, Pearn juggled her first-year academics with playing rugby. She also served as a game day and marketing assistant for her hometown Virden Oil Capitals of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. She said it was a great experience.
“I learned so much with them, from learning how to use Adobe, to editing on the website, to just something as small as learning how to manage my time better,” Pearn said. “I love getting to show up at every home game and being able to feel the buzz around the arena. A big part for me was the public. Growing up in Virden and getting to chat with everyone at the games and watching everybody come together to support the team is something I’m very proud to part of.”