Erin Norton (Nortie)

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Age: 28

Profession: Graduate Student

Playing Rugby Since: 2004

Positions Played: Flanker, 8 Man, Scrumhalf, Flyhalf

Other Rugby Clubs: UIC

What do you love about rugby?

In my opinion, Rugby is one of the fiercest sports an individual can play. Not only is rugby physically demanding but the mental and emotional intelligence that comes with this sport is tenfold. Physically, one has to be able to sprint, kick, pass, get tackled, and tackle others. Mentally, players need to know the rules of the game, they need to know their teammates strengths and weaknesses in and out, as well as their own. Rugby players have to play with strategy, no one player is calling the shots, communication is ongoing in the game of rugby, not only do teammates need to verbally communicate to one another but rugby players need to be able to read body language, both of the opposition and their own teammates. Emotionally, rugby players need to be able to endure loss and maintain humility when they experience wins. Becoming too emotional within the game can cloud judgement and influence decision making. Rugby players need to be emotional equip to handle the small losses (e.g., turn overs, points scored) during the game in order to see the larger picture and make proper decisions at the next kick off. What I love about rugby is the physical, mental, and emotional intensity that each player must hold and carry with them into each practice and game. Knowing your teammates are there for you and you for them is essential in this game and can make or break a team. Rugby is one of the best sports I have ever had the privilege of playing.

What does the Kenya tour mean to you?

A chance to fulfill my dream of playing at a national or international level. The tour is the closest I will ever come to playing at a professional level. It is the opportunity of a lifetime!! This truly will be a remarkable experience. Not only have I never gone overseas but I have never had a chance to play this game as if I were a star. Everyone deserves their "15 minutes of fame," I couldn't imagine spending mine any other way. I cannot wait to be on the pitch, it truly is a dream come true..

What about the tour do you most look forward to?

Reconnecting with my teammates. The Sirens are not only friends and comrades on and off the field they are another family. I also look forward to meeting athletes from different parts of the world and watching and learning the way they play the game in hopes of taking some good playing tips home to the states. Also, I cannot wait to make Ron (our coach) so proud.