I started playing Rugby in 2007 and I will never forget getting tackled the first time. It was the first practice and I managed my first break through and before I knew it was laying on the floor, weezing, snot came out my face and I thought what the hell am I doing here? I got back up and finished practice, but I didn't come back for about a week. However, I decided to give it another go and keep at it despite the initial difficulties. Eventually I got accustomed to the hardships involved in playing Rugby and I soon fell in love with the sport. Now I have played almost every position and I have had the honor to play for 5 different teams throughout my 8 year career, including the German U 18 selection, competing at 2 European Championships.
Unfortunately, I dislocated my shoulder in 2012 in a swimming accident. I was able to play for another full season, but eventually my shoulder started deteriorating. I had surgery in 2014, but unfortunately kept dislocating it on my comeback season. That's when I knew I had to end my Rugby playing career.
But I never quit competing!
I have had the honor to play for the selections of the U16 and U18 SRC Teams, RBW Teams and DRV Teams
SRC - STUTTGARTER RUGBY CLUB
The SRC is where it all began. I started in their U16 team and quickly found a passion for Rugby. In fact it was my first love! I constantly wanted to play and score and while I had some talent due to my size, I needed to work on my technical skills. However, I learned a lot from the trainers here and I met a lot of great people starting out in this Club!
RBW - RUGBY VERBAND BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG
Within one season of playing at the SRC I was selected to play for the U16 state selection of Baden Württemberg, the RBW. With it's headquarters in Heidelberg I had to make the hour-long drive every Monday to make it to practice. However, I enjoyed playing for the RBW teams the most. Not only because we were the best state selection in Germany, but I really enjoyed playing and spending time with the players and trainers of the RBW. It was definitely and unforgettable time.
I especially enjoyed travelling with the team all over Germany and training camps in Scotland. It was my first real exposure to what it was like to be an athlete!
DRV - DEUTSCHER RUGBY VERBAND
I will never forget my first try out for the U16 national team. I did not make and I was almost offended that they wouldn't select me. However, I set my sights on being selected on the second tryout and I did everything I could to make sure of it! Needless to say the hard work paid off and I made the selection. Shortly after I found myself to be a starting player in a friendly U16 game against Poland that started my career at the DRV. During my time with the DRV I had the honor of playing against big Rugby Nations such as Scotland and Ireland. Some of highlights of my DRV playing career were definitely the European Championships 2011 in France, where we placed fourth and 2012 in Spain, where we placed second.
I have had the honor to play for the mens selections of the SRC and the DBRC
SRC - STUTTGARTER RUGBY CLUB
As I grew more skilled as a player, I began playing for the SRC means side, even though I was only 17 and technically not eligible yet. However, with my advanced training through the DRV and the size I had accumulated through strength training, I was more than just competitive at the men's regional club level.
I still have fond memories of playing with my youth coach. It was kind of a 'student becomes the teacher' moments, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I'm not sure I can say the same for him.
DBRC - DAYTONA BEACH RUGBY CLUB
With studying in Florida my times of playing in Germany where over. I had to find a new club to play for and since I was studying in Daytona Beach, the Daytona Beach Rugby Club seemed like the obvious choice. Unfortunately, I had dislocated my shoulder by then and while I played the first season without injury, it wasn't long until I started getting issues.
Despite having surgery and vast amounts of rehab and strength training, my shoulder would simply not stay in place during games. After my 8th dislocation I realized that I had to quit the sport that I had grown to love so much. It was tough, because my competitive drive never dies, but I found a new challenge in bobsledding!