Honoured to be featured by @western women's rugby. So great to see there are some enterprising individuals on the current squad looking to reach out and strengthen connections with alumni. It's a reminder for me how big our little network or western women's rugby players is getting, and the power in a shared and common experience to form trusted powerful connections beyond the application of rugby!
Always great hearing from our alumni! This week's scrum down features past player Melissa Baer
Name: Melissa Baer
Hometown: Baden, Ontario (Home club: Waterloo County Rugby Club)
Position: 10/ 13, mostly 10.
What program were you in?
BMOS (Bachelor of management and Organizational studies), Social science degree. Specialization in Human Resources
When and why did you start playing rugby?
14 yrs old. Grade 9. I started because I played Field hockey in the fall of my highschool freshman year, and one of my idols/captain of that team pulled me aside, singled me out and told me she thinks I might do pretty well at rugby. I was sold.
Favourite Western Rugby memory?
Favourite Western Memory, gosh thats a hard one. Beyond the rugby memories, mud rugby, snow rugby, national championships in Halifax in the snow where we won for the first time, after we’d been put through some serious rigorous training with Rick (Kiwi guest coach). The night before we left for nationals we had an emergency practice called, it was raining, it was the end of October and dark, and we had a full out tackle training. He said he wanted to Harden us up for what we were about to face. Guess it worked. I was a rookie that year, so I don’t know how much I contributed but know how hard all the girls worked, and to get that win in the snow covered field, with our hands almost falling off is something I’ll never forget. We had plenty of great nights at the Ceeps as a team. Karaoke on Sundays was always fun. JuneBridals items to wear of the party online
I think though by far the one that stands out the most is our “paint night”. In the dead of winter we dressed up in crop tops and pants (or varying degrees of that), bingo dabbed each other and did a pub crawl. I believe it was February and we started at the bus station downtown and worked out way north. Outrageous
What was your favourite thing about Western?
I loved the exposure to things you may not normally be exposed to. Due to the size and the variety of its students, faculty, and programs it had a lot to offer.
What advice would you give to any incoming or current athletes on the team?
It’s about the team, it’s not about you. If you aren’t playing then consider it might be your job to push your team mates. You’ll get your time. This was something my coach really impressed upon me. Fight for your spot by pushing your teammates. In the end, everyone will be better.
Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now?
I have been an entrepreneur straight out of school. It’s not the easiest path to take thats for sure. I continue to do my part to make the world a better place by building the businesses that can make maximum impact in food, agriculture/agritech, and health. Recently one of my clients has me working back in the women’s rugby space a little bit. Love to be back and able to hopefully engage more young women in the game that I so love.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you want to have with you?
Definitely my journal - assuming I can’t have friends, otherwise I’d take a sister. Assuming there is no wifi (aka no access to audible or e books). Then I’d pick Atlas shrugged as my book to take with me
and... Peanut butter.
(I’ve thought far too long about this when I wrote this.. it’s mildly embarrassing)