Football player makes transition to rugby
author: konstantin kharitonov | sports editor
Former member of the Rams goes from Thunder to Cougars
Throughout each of our lives, there will always be a time of transition. It is always a process filled with challenges, uncomfortable moments, and an abundance of excitement. For an athlete, there are few bigger transitional periods than the ones faced in university, where individuals not only are trying to identify who they are as an athlete, but who they are as a person.
In particular, the process of changing sports can be a significant hurdle to overcome, as the athlete must adapt to the new playing style while integrating into a new team. One athlete that is going through this transition right now is the University of Regina Cougars’ very own Marcus Kuling, of the university’s rugby team.
Kuling recently transferred over to the Cougars from the Regina Thunder, the city’s Canadian Junior Football League team. In an interview with Kuling, it was a transition that was best for his development and for his future.
“I was at a phase where I felt like I wasn’t making a lot of forward progress with football. I felt that moving was for the best.”
It definitely was not an easy decision to make, but it is one that is paying off for Kuling as he trains with the rugby team, getting ready for the upcoming season.
“I’ve always been interested in rugby. It is played at a really fast pace, with a lot of running around and speed, and I love it.“
Kuling says when asked about the reason behind his decision, “It’s played at 110 miles per hour and can switch from offence and defence very quickly.”
Though Kuling does not shy away from the fact that he is new to the sport, he takes pride with how much there is to learn about the sport.
“To be an athlete and stepping into something that you have never done, you have to swallow a big pill, start at the bottom, and work your way up. The whole process is quite humbling.”
While the transition has been living up to the excitement so far, moving on from the Thunder was a process that Kuling was grateful that both the team and the player were able to agree that this decision was best for both parties.
“It was a mutual agreement. It was seen coming, as I was starting to love the game I once had with football and that spark that I had was now with rugby.”
Now with the focus being solely on the rugby team, it is now all about being in perfect shape for the start of the season.
“The rugby team had finished fifth last year in nationals, so the team is looking to podium this year. This is a very talented group of athletes and I am really excited for all the events coming up. I’m looking forward to everything to do with this team.”
The rugby season promises to be a tough one on the newest rugby recruit, but Kuling is not one to shy away from a challenge, even one with 6:30 a.m. practices every Wednesday.