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GSU lecturer finds his 'village' within the game of rugby
Social nature of the game draws him in, keeps him committed to the sport
W rugby closeup dude
Christopher M. Brown

When one thinks of a sport that calls for bonding and unity the first thing that comes to mind would probably be football or soccer — but  there is another sports pastime that is taking root here in the South: Rugby.

    “There’s a bigger rugby culture in the northern states but that is balancing out here. The South is really coming on in turns of rugby,” said Christopher M. Brown, lecturer of international studies.

    Originally from Pennsylvania, Brown first found his way to the South when he went to the University of Florida to receive his degree in political science and later received a Ph.D. in International and Public Affairs from Florida International University.

    Brown has an extensive history as a rugby player and played as a student at his alma mater Florida International University.  Some of his mother’s friends first exposed Brown to rugby during his childhood in Pennsylvania.

    Although Brown credits this initial exposure with introducing him to the sport which some Americans may overlook, he was still drawn to other organized sports like football, and did not begin to play rugby until he went to college.

    Brown was drawn to rugby due to the social nature of the game and said that rugby provided more “stabilization” than football did. Brown found that playing football in college was not the same as playing in high school, especially since he was so far away from home and people he knew.

    “Rugby provided a ‘these are my people’ type thing. The fact that it’s all inclusive made it even better,” Brown said.

    After finishing his undergraduate degree, Brown relocated back to Pennsylvania and did a few odd jobs, including working in insurance for a time. He later found a niche in local politics and was appointed the political director of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

    Brown became involved in the Master Gators, the University of Florida’s alumni rugby club, which he is still active in today. The group accepts UF alumni from all over the world and tours the U.S., competing in matches and tournaments.

    Realizing that he was not quite ready to jump into politics full-time, Brown decided to apply to a Ph.D. program at Florida International University, where he joined and helped recruit and train new players for the men’s rugby team, and decided to focus his studies onLatin America and the Caribbean.

 

    Brown became a lecturer at Georgia Southern University three years ago and has brought his passion for the sport with him. 

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