Phillip Vinson – Why Do I Turoy

Why do I Turoy? I Turoy because the Minotaurs made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse.

In exchange for my time, effort and play time I got more self-esteem through accomplishment & competition, friends that are great on and off the pitch, fun travel and a place where I feel like I am one of the “Cool Kids”.

Why the Minotaurs? The short answer is: The Minotaurs taught and continue to teach me how to play and be a better rugby player and athlete.

The long answer: I saw a Facebook event for rugby 101 and it piqued my interest. Not knowing much about the sport, I had a lengthy conversation with two of my friends in Charlotte who play rugby and play on IGR teams. They spoke highly of the sport and they also spoke highly of the Minotaurs since they both have had previous contact with the Minotaurs That was the green light for me to proceed even though l had concerns.

Though I played tennis (and yes I had beads in my hair at one time) I didn’t feel confident with my fitness or knowledge of the sport to be productive. Nobody wants to be made a fool of; especially not in front of jocks. Add to that my less than stellar views on team sports and there you have a recipe for major doubt.

I told myself that I would give it one season and if I didn’t like it, I would simply l and walk away.

I went to Rugby 101 and was surprised at how earnest they were in teaching me how to play instead of conducting meaningless drills.

In my experience, when a sports team says that you don’t need experience to play, it is heavily implied that you had better be a natural athlete or they won’t give you the time of day. And if you aren’t the best of the best, don’t even think about play time. You will warm the bench. My experience with the Minotaurs was the opposite of that.

Not only did they teach me how to play the sport, I got play time as well. My last match of my first season, I was a starter! Going into my second season, I was a starter every match that I played. Whenever I have had a rugby related question, I have always received guidance and it was in a way that I could understand. Once I got the fundamentals, I found myself wanting to improve to play better. That meant that I would have to focus on fitness.

I wanted to go to the gym to get stronger. However, I didn’t know anything about weight lifting. I once again called upon the help of my rugby brothers. Not only did I receive some encouragement, Eric, one of the other props, gave me a 101 on weight lifting– stuff that I would have never considered doing on my own. To this day, we workout together.

I still get a kick out of when we first started working out. He was obviously much stronger than me and when we used the same station it was one plate for me, 3 plates for him.


Almost a year later, I am 30lbs lighter, more confident and eager to resume the fall season. I would have never seen myself as a rugby player, lifting weights at the gym, doing cardio and liking it. (Well… almost liking the cardio)

Rugby and the Minotaurs have given me so much already and they keep giving. For that I am grateful.

That is why I Turoy.