Eastern Connecticut State Rugby Recognized for Community Service

Eastern Connecticut State Rugby Recognized for Community Service

October 04, 2013

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The members of the Eastern Connecticut State Men's Rugby Club were highlighted recently in the Hartford Courant:

When Community Needs Help, Eastern's Rugby Club Is There

Lori Riley
6:41 p.m. EDT, September 21, 2013

WILLIMANTIC — The leaks in the parish hall started off small. But eventually, they had to use kiddy pools to catch water inside St. Paul's Episcopal Church whenever it rained. Time for a new roof.

The money was available. But the church needed help ripping the ceiling down. It was a suspended ceiling, and 10 years of water had been dripping through it.

"It got wet, then dried out and molded," said Paul Doyle, the director of the Covenant Soup Kitchen housed below the church. "There was insulation underneath there stuck together. It was nasty."

Doyle knew exactly who to call. The Eastern Connecticut State University rugby club.

"These guys demo-ed that room upstairs without thinking twice about it," he said. "And they did it in about 20 minutes. Filled the dumpster. These guys will do anything."

Help someone move out of a flea- and cockroach-infested apartment into senior housing? The cockroaches were just about carrying off the microwave and the fridge. The rugby guys didn't blink. Clean out years of accumulated stuff in the attic and basement of the old parish house? Let them at it.

"These guys went to town," Doyle said. "Opened the attic windows, they were throwing things down to one another, into the dumpsters … and they did it all in about 30 minutes.

"It would have taken the rest of us hours to do this and we would have been beside ourselves with spider webs and dirt and they thought nothing of it."

No job is too big, too messy, too taxing. They're a rugby team. An elderly couple needed to be shoveled out of their house last winter during the big snowstorm. Assistant coach Ray Aramini, who is on the board of directors at the soup kitchen, sent out a few rugby guys. Thirty inches of snow was cleared in a few hours.

Click here to finish reading the whole article and to watch a video of the club volunteering.

Photo credit: Brad Horrigan, Hartford Courant / September 13, 2013