NEW GLASGOW – Darcy McSorley didn’t know a lick about rugby when he started volunteering with the North Nova rugby program – but that is what drew him to the sport.
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Darcy McSorley, centre, has become a part of the rugby “team” at North Nova after initially just looking to complete hours for his physiotherapy degree. McSorley started with the program last year as their sports physiotherapist, but came back for a second season because he enjoyed it so much. He hopes to continue with the program as long as possible.
A physiotherapist, he started working at Lifemark Physiotherapy three years ago and was looking to get involved with a local sports team. His boss Rosanna Kelly-Amirault had helped with the teams before, so she recommended he call coach Joe MacDonald.
“Joe and Scotty (Taylor) let me join the program with them and have been nothing but great to me since,” he said. “Initially I was doing it to bank hours, but to be honest I didn’t really track and bank my hours. Now I look forward to rugby season just as if I was coaching or playing. I learned the sport over the past two years and working with such great people it makes you want to be involved as much as you can.”
A native of Amherst, the 27-year-old said there was no rugby in the community when he grew up, so he knew little about it when he joined North Nova in the spring of 2013. He was always focused on hockey, baseball and golf as a kid, sports he continues to play today.
“To be honest I knew very little about it when I started,” said McSorley. “I had watched it a little on TV, but growing up in Amherst there was no rugby at all, so I was never exposed to it. That’s part of what drew me in. I hadn’t experienced it before, so I was interested in something new.”
The large number of injuries in rugby compared to other sports was also part of the initial draw according to McSorley. Thinking about work he wanted a sport that would allow him to get on-field experience. Although injuries don’t necessarily happen every game he said he has had the opportunity to help the players out on a regular basis.
“I knew I wanted to get involved in the community somehow when I moved here and had done some minor hockey coaching in the past,” he said. “I made the decision that I wanted to move more towards the sports physiotherapy aspect of my job, so that’s when I wanted to get involved in sideline coverage and Rosanna mentioned North Nova.”
He hopes he’s able to continue to donate time to the teams as long as possible into the future. This season, his second with the rugby program, he was at all but one game. He travelled with the team to both the SMU and P.E.I. tournaments, as well as their road games.
“The reason I enjoy it so much is how fantastic a group of people they are,” said McSorley. “Joe, Scott, Dougal and Darcy are topnotch people and I’ve become close friends with them outside of rugby. Every single one of the kids also deserve a lot of credit because they’re the ones that are so great to work with plus the group of kids are great to work with and make it enjoyable to be there.
“This year, very fortunate for me, my employer allowed me to have the time off so I travelled with the team to all the games. When I commit to something I’ve always given it my all, so that’s why there was little that I missed.”
Not only is he a regular face on the sideline, but he also earned himself his own nickname from the team.
“It was funny when it first happened,” he said. “I’m not sure if they came up with it themselves or heard me say it before. I’m not a whole lot older than these kids so it’s easy to joke around and become one of them, while working at the same time. They’ve got their personalities, but have taken me on as one of their own.
“They’re all a fantastic group of kids and if it wasn’t for that I don’t know if I’d be doing it as long as I have.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris