Skip Navigation Links

Cadet Blogs

Rugby: An Incredible Sport

(Athletics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2021) Permanent link   All Posts
Malia Haskovec

Sports have always been an integral part of my life. They’ve been my outlet, my stress-relievers, my favorite pastimes, and I can confidently say that growing up playing multiple sports shaped who I am today. Part of the appeal of the Academy for me was its focus on athletics and the importance of being a part of a team. However, by coming here I actually had to sacrifice the sports that I grew up with and came to love, and soon found out that several of my shipmates experienced the same loss. This post aims to share my journey as an athlete and how I overcame my complicated relationship with sports at USCGA.

As soon as I took my first steps as a toddler, I had a tennis racket in my hand. Since then it was 30 hours of practice a week, countless tournaments, and eventually multiple competitions against top-tier high schools in the state, leading to my status as a D1 recruit for a few universities. As I’m sure you fellow athletes can relate, no matter the sport, the game becomes essential to your routine. It helps you think, make friends, communicate and interact with others, and contributes to overall development as both a teammate and a leader. Tennis taught me so much and, although it was difficult at times, I never wanted to stop playing. However, the path I chose for my life involved other plans.

The Academy offers several sports teams that mostly accommodate the interests of the corps. Unfortunately, women’s tennis is not one of them. Despite knowing this, I still chose to pursue a career in the Coast Guard through the Academy and am satisfied with that decision to this day. After acknowledging that I would not have an opportunity to play on a collegiate tennis team, and after several failed attempts to earn a spot on the men’s team, I realized that I was desperate to find a new sport to play for the USCGA. That is how I found the women’s rugby team, which is a club.

Don’t let the word “club” deceive you. The women’s rugby team is one of the most reputable athletic groups on campus, competing at the DII national level (yes, even though the CGA is in a DIII conference), with All-American players and athletic award recipients. However, despite this, the women were so humble, welcoming, and eager to have me join the team. I quickly fell in love with the sport, its ferocity, complexity, and extreme emphasis on communication, teamwork, and fitness. I also came to find out that several of the other women on the team experienced having to sacrifice the beloved sports that they grew up with when they came to the CGA. I was no longer upset by the fact that I could no longer play competitive tennis, but grateful for a team that I instantly bonded with and the opportunity to learn a new incredible sport.

From my experience, the afternoon sports practice period is a time to decompress, de-stress, and be around some of your closest friends here: your teammates. Even if sports aren’t your outlet, there are several other credited clubs that have the same impact. Regardless, know that trying something new, even joining an entirely new sports team can be the silver lining in an otherwise stressful environment. Coaches are understanding of the academic rigors of Academy life and acknowledge that school is the number one priority here. With all the help and support that sports teams and coaches provide for cadets, it becomes easier to find the appropriate balance between athletics and academics.

Additionally, if you think you would like to play a sport in the fall, women’s (and men’s) rugby would love to have you! Make sure to come out and join us during coach’s time over Swab Summer or feel free to contact me with any questions.

Go Sports

Go Books

Go Rugby

And, forever, Go Bears!

MORE ABOUT MALIA