Love, Rugby Style
What is it about chiropractic and rugby? How did rugby come to be the sport of choice for chiropractic colleges?
Like all things chiropractic, there is a Palmer connection and our profession’s zeal for rugby is no exception. After all, Palmer is the college founded by D.D. Palmer, the discoverer of chiropractic. D.D., and his son B.J. Palmer, not surprisingly, were strong individualists, a theme that continues to run through our profession today. So, as it happens, some of the first countries outside the U.S. to embrace chiropractic were also home to strong (and, yes, rugged) individualists. In the case of rugby’s origin as “the” chiropractic sport, South Africa and New Zealand teamed up to make that magic happen, starting in the late 1950’s.
Chiropractic also attracts its fair share of students with fondness for sports, fitness and high physical performance. Palmer lore has it that it was a student from South Africa who showed up with a rugby ball as part of his fitness regimen and a student from New Zealand who got things organized to form a team. The rest is history and rugby is now an inseparable part of the chiropractic education landscape.
Today, the Life University Running Eagles dominate the field of chiropractic college teams, with multiple national men’s and women’s championships in both collegiate and club rugby to their credit.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn more about the depth of chiropractic alumni involvement in men’s club rugby, from players to coaches to managers to volunteer “moms and dads.”