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TESTIMONIALS - PLAYERS
Olive Onelani Kilifi, Player, Team USA & Asst Coach, Seattle Saracens
"I grew up playing and participating in Rugby here in the Seattle area my whole life. Rugby has blessed me with many great opportunities to see the world, chase my dreams, and create friendships and bonds that I’ll have for the rest of my life. The one thing that many may not know about the sport of Rugby is it not only gives you opportunities to do the things I’ve just mentioned, but it opens the doors to learning and obtaining skills that you will need to be competitive in the work field once your rugby career is over. I worked for Raymark Plumbing and Sewer for 6 years. In my time there, I learned valuable skills like customer service, hard work, interpersonal relationship skills, as well as plumbing, utility, and general construction skills. Seattle Saracens Rugby Club provides those opportunities, not just for construction, but many other employment fields through connections within the club. If it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t have been able to not just support my family financially, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in 2 Rugby World Cups, win 2 Major League Rugby Championships with the Seattle Seawolves, and be able to represent the national team for 30 test caps. Reality is that most of the players won’t make the professional stage in this sport. It’s just the way it is. You can, however, gain the skills to make a great living and play rugby at the same time through the Seattle Saracens Rugby Club."
Sequoyah Burke-Combs, Player, Seattle Saracens, and Seattle Seawolves:
As someone who came to Seattle four years ago, with my only solid plan in place being to play rugby, I was quite taken aback when I realized how competitive the job market was. Luckily, I came here to play with the Seattle Saracens and was immediately given various opportunities of employment through teammates, many of whom hardly knew me personally but only know that I was a teammate who needed help and that they’d help however they could. I quickly found work with a great group of guys who’d also been helped through rugby and from there I found another job connection through rugby and all the while I was still able to play. Rugby is built on a community of people willing to give and help all those involved inside and outside of its community. Whether it's doing a local charity, picking up trash after a game, letting someone stay at their house who’s down on their luck or finding work for someone who desperately needs it rugby is a place where the desire to help and grow is always there. I can confidently say I wouldn’t have been able to succeed and improve myself if it wasn’t for the helping hand of the rugby community in Seattle and the lessons that have been instilled on me through them.
Matt Trouville, Former Player, Seattle Saracens:
When it comes to finding employment and being connected to the right people, I don’t believe there is a better community to belong to than the Rugby community. No matter where you go, you’ll have opportunities that most won’t just because you’re a Rugby player. I moved to Seattle from Australia without knowing anyone and within months, because of teammates, the boosters network (actively engaged former players), and the support of the surrounding community, I had a career. Ever since my Rugby connections have been helping me and are a big part of any success I’ve had along the way.
Eric Soto, Player, Seattle Saracens
Six years ago, I learned about the Seattle Saracens Rugby Club from a coach at the Serevi Rugby overnight camp. Little did I know that my life would be forever changed at that moment. The head coach explained how the club would help to find housing and job opportunities along with playing the best rugby in North America. I moved out to Seattle in the summer of 2014, and to start, I did not utilize the team’s network. Instead, I sought out opportunities on my own in careers close to my degree in Athletic Training.
After struggling to find a career role that resonated with me and coming upon some hard times, I came to understand how the Saracens would always be there for me. Teammates opened their doors to share a home and Seattle Rugby alumni provided me with opportunities working for their businesses. I grew from one role to the next, which paved the road to clear passions in technology, business, and web development.
Seattle Saracens made it possible for me to become a developer at Logic20/20, a company owned by a Seattle Rugby alumni. Logic20/20 offers me all the tools I need to be successful as a software engineer and develop my career into what I am most passionate about. I’ve since been able to set down roots here in the Pacific Northwest, and began giving back to the team and community that made all this possible for me and many others."
Pierre-Mike Le Meliner Wood, Player, Seatle Saracens
I came to the USA to improve my English, but I ended up finding much more. Freshly graduated as a developer, I didn't think I would be able to work in my field in the USA.
I moved to Seattle and had the opportunity to play division 1 rugby in the NW USA and Canadian leagues. I’ve now been playing with the Seattle Saracens for 2 years. They welcomed me with open arms, job opportunities, and the occasional beer.
I met one of the executives of Logic20/20 during a pick-up game of touch rugby who is also a former President of the Seattle Saracens. I ended up getting hired as a developer with Logic20/20. All of this became possible thanks to the rugby family!