For incoming psychology co-op student and women’s rugby team recruit, Kinzey Brosseau, rugby represents opportunity. The sport helped bring her into a positive headspace and gave her the strength to work through difficulties she was going through at the time. By being recruited, Brosseau has had the opportunity to meet other students and made friends ahead of classes starting, something she values since she will be moving from British Columbia to Ontario to pursue her post-secondary studies at the University of Waterloo.
Brosseau began playing rugby at age 14; she was introduced to rugby by her hairdresser. “She said, ‘You should play, you have the build for it’,” Brosseau said.
In Grade 9, Brosseau’s friend signed up to join the rugby team and signed Brosseau up as well. “I was too nervous to go up at anyone but I’m very grateful I had that friend or I probably would be way too afraid to even start,” Brosseau explained. She continued playing throughout her high school years. “I really fell in love [with rugby], and I knew I wanted to carry it out of high school into post-secondary. Getting the opportunity to play for Waterloo is absolutely amazing. [It’s] like a dream come true,” she said.
Brosseau had practices four times a week during high school and played two games per week during the season. Weekdays were busy for Brosseau between school, part-time work and rugby; however, she had the opportunity to recover on off days and relax on the weekends.
After her first high school rugby season, Brosseau began to take on leadership roles on the team supporting her captains. When she was 15, she began receiving training from her coaches to be team captain during her Grade 12 year. “I attended many lectures on how to talk, behave, how to present myself — [they were] basically molding me to what they want for a captain,” Brosseau said.
Brosseau worked hard for several years to become team captain. “Given the opportunity to be captain is a role I respect and I give great honour to, because you’re in a leadership position,” Brosseau said. She mentioned that an essential aspect of being captain is making sure there is support within the team and ensuring everyone is getting along. “We are all here for each other even if some of us might not even like each other off the field. But on the field, I don’t care. ‘You guys are supporting each other, loving each other, making sure we have a nice game’,” Brosseau said.
Brosseau has travelled to several cities within British Columbia to compete, including Kamloops and Vancouver Island. Due to the pandemic, she has not been able to compete internationally or play rugby on an all-Indigenous team and several other rugby teams she was set to be a part of.
Joining rugby in high school helped Brosseau cope with difficulties she was facing at that point in her life. “My confidence just soared, I really started expressing who I was as a person and not being ashamed of who I am. Then feeling that I don’t have to hide behind anything anymore.”
Brosseau explained that time management came down to finding a balance that worked best for her. “It gave me discipline, confidence and overall, many skills that I can apply into my real life situations and in my future,” Brosseau said. “Learning that discipline in rugby, it’s self-love, and that support is definitely huge in how we can apply that is — just making yourself do things when you don’t want to do.”
Brosseau hopes to become a clinical psychologist and to continue to play a role of support both on and off the field. “I am a huge support system for a lot of the girls I play with. We’re very, very close and look out for each other,” Brosseau said.