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Sunday, March 1, 2015

HARC's Carille Guthrie taking rugby to the world!

HARC's Carille Guthrie & Rob Rutherford with the Lanier MS boys team.
By Carille Guthrie
HARC SHARC & Bhubesi Pride Coach
I first discovered rugby my sophomore year of college when I saw a flyer for my university’s team in the cafeteria. I had a vague notion of what the sport entailed and at the time I was struggling on the track team, so I decided to give it a try. Fast forward 15 years later and I’ve shared the pitch playing with USAR Eagles, NZRU Black Ferns, and have even tossed the ball around with a top Kenyan team.

This past summer I had large breaks between work assignments and was able to spend an entire week coaching a rugby camp at Lanier Middle School in Houston. It was exhausting, 8 hours of rugby with 12 year olds is a LOT of rugby, but I loved it. The kids’ enthusiasm for the sport reignited my own! It was around this time that I saw a clip for Bhubesi Pride on the IRB website.

Bhubesi Pride is in its 4th year of spreading rugby throughout Africa. Through a series of clinics and coaching sessions, they unite children and their communities, empowering them and inspiring a new generation of rugby lovers! In their videos, I saw the same enthusiasm and drive in the Pride kids that I had witnessed during my summer coaching session. I knew I had to sign up.
Coach Guthrie with the Lamar HS boys at their 2015 Mud Bowl practice!
One application and 2 interviews later, I was selected as one of 25 coaches from around the world to help foster grassroots rugby in Africa. I’ve traveled all over Africa for work and vacation, so for my journey, I selected 5 countries that I had never been to. On April 4th I fly to Maputo, Mozambique to begin my adventure. Over the course of 2 months, I will travel from Mozambique to Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia teaching rugby basics, putting on tournaments for the kids and mixing and mingling with existing local clubs.

I can’t wait to begin my expedition. Rugby is a sport that’s brought me lifelong friends around the world, unforgettable memories and continues to test my athletic ability no matter how in shape I think I am! I’m more than excited to introduce it to hundreds of new kids. But I’m equally as excited for the kids to introduce me to some amazing new experiences.

For more information on the organization visit rugbyinafrica.org. To help donate to my Bhubesi Pride fund, which covers my program fees, please visit carilleguthrie.com/fundraising.html.
Coach Guthrie with Lamar HS Boys Rugby at the 2015 Ruggapalooza.
Their first day of competitive rugby.
Editor's Note: Carille Guthrie is a true globetrotter with purpose. Her "day job" is working as a Construction & Logistics Manager for Doctors Without Borders. Her most recent assignment was designing Ebola Care Management Centres in Liberia during the 2014 West Africa Epidemic. If you ever wonder what a non-military American Hero looks like, think of a young Chicagoan with a Fire-Engine Red streak in her hair!

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