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The Daily Tar Heel

Lemonade and cookies are not enough for the Women's Rugby team

The Women's Rugby team is going to the national championship game but has to raise the money to get there. 

Kenya Hairston(left), a Psychology major from Class of 2017, Bridget Sheridan(middle), a freshman majors in Biology, and Amy Alam(left), double major in Psychology and Biology from Class of 2018, are raising the money for their team on campus on Apr.5.
The Women's Rugby team is going to the national championship game but has to raise the money to get there. Kenya Hairston(left), a Psychology major from Class of 2017, Bridget Sheridan(middle), a freshman majors in Biology, and Amy Alam(left), double major in Psychology and Biology from Class of 2018, are raising the money for their team on campus on Apr.5.

The club rugby team will compete in the Round of 8 in Atlanta this weekend. If the team wins, they will play in the championship in California.

“Both of those things cost money,” said Katie Lutton, the team’s treasurer.

The team receives money from Campus Recreation’s Sport Clubs program and Student Congress for expenses during the season. Postseason tournaments cost more money, which is why the team has to find other ways to pay for travel costs.

To cover costs, the team sells lemonade on the quad, holds bake sales and reaches out to parents and alumni, Lutton said.

The women’s club rugby team also has company sponsors to help their team, including Hickory Tavern in Carrboro.

Brent Wall, general manager at Hickory Tavern, said the restaurant became a sponsor after employing members of the team.

“They work hard and they need our support,” Wall said. “We’re here for the community and part of the community is the University.”

Hickory Tavern hosts dine-out nights three times a year — including during the team’s family weekend — where 10 percent of food sales are donated to the team.

“Through that, we’re able to raise some money, give back and then we chip in a little extra and then we got our logos on their jerseys and things,” Wall said.

Lindsey Oliver, president of the Women’s Rugby Football Club team, uses social media to reach more people and even started a YouCaring fundraising page to reach the team’s financial goals. The page has raised $1,620 as of Tuesday night.

Oliver said although they play varsity teams, being a club team disqualifies them from benefits such as scholarships, early registration times and not having to work while playing.

“I wish that we were a varsity team a lot of the time in games because we’re just not athletically matched, not necessarily in the athletes themselves, but we just don’t have the time to invest in the training or the money to invest in the training,” Oliver said.

Lutton said being a club team is good because they can gain new players of all experience levels.

“In the short term, I wish we were still a club team, but better funded,” Lutton said.

The rugby team is nearing their goal to pay for their trip to Georgia, but Oliver said if they advance to California, they will have a short period of time to find the money to pay for the trip.

Lutton said if the team’s fundraising strategies don’t raise enough money, the team will have to take out a loan from Campus Recreation’s Sport Clubs.

“It’s great because it means that we are nationally competitive and that we are a really, really good team, especially because we’re a club team often playing varsity teams that have better funding,” Lutton said.

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