The Madison Minotaurs began on a ridiculously cold Spring morning back in 2007. In those days, we were just a handful of guys who were passionate about challenging ourselves to learn how to play rugby and curious to see if we had what it takes to bring a completely new type of sports club to Madison. With only a small starting roster and the barest minimum of rugby knowledge, the few of us who were at those first few practices weren’t sure what we were getting ourselves into.
I was there somewhat hesitantly at the request of a friend. He promised that I would have a lot of fun, meet some good guys, and maybe even get a little exercise. His promise, while basically true, didn’t quite tell the whole story and I was in for a few surprises – those first few practices were a little rough and definitely a shock to my system! As someone who’s previous avocations included singing in the opera chorus and playing video games, the physicality of rugby took me right out of my comfort zone. Aside from the minor aches and bruises that came with getting myself into rugby shape, the novelty of a game that most Americans know nothing about challenged my ability to learn something totally new.
In high school I was a complete and unapologetic geek who never felt much at ease with other people… least of all the types of guys who usually play a serious contact sport like rugby. It wasn’t easy at first, but before too long I realized that for the first time I found myself in situations where I could put my trust in others and work as a group to achieve something really amazing. This was something that I did not have until I started playing rugby with the Minotaurs.
Beyond the positive physical changes I was experiencing from practice, and the new friends I had made, I started to get the feeling that my self-image was improving. This new hobby which required real dedication and the ability to take a few hard knocks was the perfect antidote for my usual workaday malaise. After playing in my first game I was completely hooked! Everything about rugby; the camaraderie, the party culture, the competitive nature of the game and the discipline required to play it, filled me with a sense of accomplishment and belonging. That may sound a little cheesy, but it’s completely true, and you can experience it too!
This is what I hope for everyone who plays with our club – that they come to know what it feels like when their contribution is vital to the success of the whole and there is no limit to what they can achieve… both on the pitch and off. In the four years since that first training session the Madison Minotaurs participated in our first Bingham Cup (named after 911 United Flight 93 hero and fellow gay rugger Mark Bingham) and have gone on to win regional tournaments like the Toronto Beaver Bowl and the Midwest IGRAB Invitational in Chicago.
Join us on the pitch and be a part of our vision!
Madison Minotaurs Rugby Club