Niamh Fitzpatrick '20 at the National Small College Rugby Organization tournament in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Niamh Fitzpatrick ’20 spent the end of Hamilton’s winter break participating in the National Small College Rugby Organization tournament in St. Petersburg, Fla. Here she talks about her life on and off the pitch.

Do you play rugby at Hamilton?
Yes, I’ve played rugby here since my sophomore fall, and I’ll be one of the co-captains this spring. I also played on the University of Edinburgh women’s rugby team when I studied abroad there last spring. 

Tell me about the National Small College Rugby Organization Tournament.
This tournament was created to bring together talented players from various colleges in each region to promote sportsmanship across teams and the sport at the collegiate level. I played at the tournament with the Upstate NY team the first year the tournament was held, my sophomore year. I was lucky enough to play with the team again this year. I had so much fun working with different coaches and playing alongside incredibly talented rugby players. Having exposure to different drills and techniques is a great learning experience and, as an upperclassman on the Hamilton team, something I can bring back to share with my teammates so we can all grow to be more well-rounded players.

What was the process for qualifying for the tournament?
There were two rounds of tryouts to qualify for the Upstate New York Select Side All-Star 7s Team. About 40 women from eight colleges in the region tried out for the 12 spots on the final team. The UNY team was one of 12 competing in the NSCRO All Star Tournament, each team representing a region.

What is your major?
Economics. I’m minoring in computer science.

What are you involved with on campus?
I’m a COOP [Community Outreach and Opportunity Project] senior fellow and, I’m involved in a few other programs affiliated with the COOP such as being an Outreach Adventure leader, an AXB [Alternative Break] leader, and the social media coordinator for AXB. Last semester, as the president of Newman Council, I organized Trust Treat, and I also work as a student assistant at the Dean of Students Office.

What are your post-graduation plans?
I’d like to work in a position similar to the role that I hold as the senior fellow for [COOP’s] Community Service Internship Program. I really enjoy connecting our interns to their community partners and fostering relationships between community partners and the College community. I am looking for roles that manage community relations for the company that I work for, and host and plan community events and fundraisers. 

Anything else you’d like to say?
I’d like to thank the Renyi Endowment Leadership Endowment fund for the financial support to attend this tournament! By alleviating the tournament fees and the cost of travel, I was able to have this amazing opportunity and bring everything I learned back to Hamilton to share with our rugby program in an effort to grow and improve our team and the sport. 

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