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TRB Fundraising Week: 5 Days & 5 Reasons Why

  • 12 Jun 2024
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The Rugby Breakdown fundraiser

I created The Rugby Breakdown (TRB) in 2016 after more than 10 years of being a professional rugby writer for entities like Rugby Magazine and Goff Rugby Report (read more). I was ready to branch out, and I really just wanted to write about the girls and women’s side of the game. But being your own boss means creating your own income, and that’s why TRB employs a subscription model. That’s also why fundraising week is here!

I’m able to interview, write, photograph, discover, collate, create, share rugby content full-time, because your $5/month and $60/year subscriptions allow that concentration of activity. I’m eternally grateful for that financial backing, but the subscriber pool does shrink over time. So I’m here to remind you that if you do value TRB’s work, the visibility it gives to the sport, and the way it honors the people driving the girls and women’s game, then please consider a subscription. As satisfying as the work is, I can’t do it for free.

Subscriptions aren’t a gift, per se. You’re paying for a service, and I’ll spend the next five days showing you why TRB is worth $5/month. [This post will update through Friday and will mimic TRB Instagram updates.]

DAY 1 – WORDS

The crux of the operation is verbal interviews, and then turning subjects’ words into feature-length articles. In 2023, I talked to close to 200 people for stories, and the graphic below reflects conversations I’ve had in 2024 so far. Those names, however, exclude the people who consistently send me information without prompting — the Angela Smartos, John Waliszewskis, JJ Fagans, David Milewskis, even photographer Alex Ho, who corrects me when I get something wrong on the international 7s stage (and I appreciate it!). With their insight, combined with my almost 20 years of rugby-reporting experience, TRB articles have context, not just quotes.

 

 

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I’m drawn to those storylines that need more light — the tucked-away high school 7s champion, the DIII senior club making moves — but also strive to highlight everyone winning a championship, because that’s no small feat. But most of all, I want interview subjects’ voices to sing, and so TRB articles heavily feature their words, not mine.

DAY 2 – PHOTOS

Photos are easy in that they’re fun. I don’t need much motivation to shoot rugby. But I’m an amateur, and I value rugby photography because it is the easiest way to demonstrate the diversity of our sport. Scroll through TRB’s Instagram and understand in no uncertain terms that rugby is for everyone. That’s important to know and continually celebrate.

 

 

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DAY 3 – RESOURCES

Interviewing, writing, taking photos — that’s the fun stuff — but I’d argue that The Rugby Breakdown’s greatest asset is its resource material. A few examples of the public resources:

  • Calendar — Only events with girls & women’s rugby events. This list is not submission-based. It comes together from constant scrolling and check-ins with admin.
  • Games & Scores — This seems very simple, but these weekly posts start with a listing of to-be-played games, then fill in with results. Do you know where to go for all of these HS, college, club and USA schedules before they come together in one TRB post? It’s a lot of up-front work to produce a list of scores.
  • College Recruits — This one is also not submission based, although I do get a handful of very happy players and coaches asking to be added. This one is special, seeing how many high schoolers are proactively seeking out college rugby opportunities.
  • U23 All-Star Depot — This is just an example of a post that *needed* to come together, because there was no one place to find all the info for all eight programs and their championship.

Aside from providing contact info or helping build a summer 7s schedule, these resources are important because they provide shape to an amorphous rugby space. You see the sport beyond your league, and once you realize you’re part of this huge community, you want to explore it more.

Currently, these resources are free and accessible to everyone, but I’m going to re-evaluate that set-up after fundraising week because they are so labor intensive.

 

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Article Categories:
COLLEGE · HIGH SCHOOL · SR CLUB · USA

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