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The Bruges Rugby Family

by Youssef Abdelaziz Balti (European Economic Integration and Business (EEIB) – Manuel Marín Promotion)

It has been now three months since I joined the Brugsche Rugby Club playing in the 3rd division of the Belgian League, and I can definitely say that it was worth it.

Before joining the club, I had mixed feelings… I was looking forward to playing rugby in Belgium, but at the same time worried that I would not fit in, as I do not speak Flemish and do not know anyone at the club. After the first training, all my worries faded away. My teammates and the club staff were all very welcoming and doing their best to translate the instructions to me (sometimes even in French). Most of them come from different neighborhoods around Bruges, some from other cities and a few from other countries around the world, but they are all bonded by the love of rugby. Indeed, the whole club feels like a big family and they quickly adopted me.

Apart from playing rugby at a competitive level with amazing people, I had the chance to travel across Belgium and visit other beautiful cities in both Wallonia and Flanders. The games are always fought until the end with great passion, fairness and humility. Even if at the end there is a looser and a winner, both teams join to celebrate the game together: “La Toisième Mi-temps”. We drink beers and have fun in a friendly (sometimes crazy) atmosphere. Every team has different rituals and traditions when it comes to electing the man of the match and the less pleasant “Dick of the Game” that gets to drink the craziest things I have ever witnessed in my life…

Needless to say that I am enjoying the Belgian rugby experience to the fullest and that I am excited for the next half of the season after the Christmas break. I am playing the sport I love, I am travelling around Belgium and I am making amazing friends, all that while studying abroad at the College of Europe. (Que demander de plus au bon dieu?!)

All I want for Christmas is EU - Issue n. 3, 24 December 2018


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