TESTIMONIALS - PLAYERS
Olive Onelani Kilifi, Player, Team USA, Seattle Saracens, and Seattle Seawolves:
"I grew up playing and participating in Rugby here in the Seattle area my whole life. Rugby has blessed me with many great opportunities to see the world, chase my dreams, and create friendships and bonds that I’ll have for the rest of my life. The one thing that many may not know about the sport of Rugby is it not only gives you opportunities to do the things I’ve just mentioned, but it opens the doors to learning and obtaining skills that you will need to be competitive in the work field once your rugby career is over. I worked for Raymark Plumbing and Sewer for 6 years. In my time there, I learned valuable skills like customer service, hard work, interpersonal relationship skills, as well as plumbing, utility, and general construction skills. Seattle Saracens Rugby Club provides those opportunities, not just for construction, but many other employment fields through connections within the club. If it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t have been able to not just support my family financially, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in 2 Rugby World Cups, win 2 Major League Rugby Championships with the Seattle Seawolves, and be able to represent the national team for 30 test caps. Reality is that most of the players won’t make the professional stage in this sport. It’s just the way it is. You can, however, gain the skills to make a great living and play rugby at the same time through the Seattle Saracens Rugby Club."
Sequoyah Burke-Combs, Player, Seattle Saracens, and Seattle Seawolves:
As someone who came to Seattle four years ago, with my only solid plan in place being to play rugby, I was quite taken aback when I realized how competitive the job market was. Luckily, I came here to play with the Seattle Saracens and was immediately given various opportunities of employment through teammates, many of whom hardly knew me personally but only know that I was a teammate who needed help and that they’d help however they could. I quickly found work with a great group of guys who’d also been helped through rugby and from there I found another job connection through rugby and all the while I was still able to play. Rugby is built on a community of people willing to give and help all those involved inside and outside of its community. Whether it's doing a local charity, picking up trash after a game, letting someone stay at their house who’s down on their luck or finding work for someone who desperately needs it rugby is a place where the desire to help and grow is always there. I can confidently say I wouldn’t have been able to succeed and improve myself if it wasn’t for the helping hand of the rugby community in Seattle and the lessons that have been instilled on me through them.