ARLINGTON, Texas – Members of the men’s and women’s Texas Christian University rugby teams cut their winter break short to participate in the Jan. 10 Jiggle Butt Run. The five-kilometer race in Arlington, Texas, is organized for the purpose of spreading awareness of the horrors of domestic violence, while raising money for SafeHaven – an organization that provides housing, food, legal assistance, and youth programs for victims of domestic violence in Tarrant County.
TeShay Flowers, who is Head Coach of both the men’s and women’s teams at TCU, was also in attendance at the race.
“We’re always hearing about the negative effects of domestic violence in the news, and we felt like we wanted to make a positive impact on the issue,” Flowers said.
While the lady Horned Frogs were the only members of the rugby program logging the miles – race registration for the Jiggle Butt Run is limited to women – eight members of the TCU men’s team returned to the Fort Worth area prior to the end of their holiday leave to support their female counterparts.
“Coach Shay [Flowers] has always taught us that both programs are part of one family, and we need to build each other up,” said captain and eight man Scott Hamilton. “Our team will always be there to support the women’s team, and we know that we have their support, as well.”
The members of the TCU men’s rugby team were not only in attendance to encourage the participants through the course, but were event volunteers. Their race-day duties included handing out water and picking up trash at the conclusion of the race.
“It was great to witness the race, and every single participant finished the race,” recalled Hamilton. “Some of these women have dealt with domestic violence first hand, so to see them have the courage to take part in the event was truly inspiring.”
The Jiggle Butt Run was not the first time the TCU Rugby family has given back to its community, and it surely won’t be the last. Members of the TCU Rugby program commonly volunteer their time to coach local high school rugby teams, and Flowers and his players delivered food to the less fortunate Thanksgiving evening this past November.
“One thing I always teach my players is that it’s just as important to represent ourselves proudly off the field as it is on the field,” Flowers said. “If we want to be part of a more productive society we have to do our part. Playing the game is great, but we’d like to make an impact in the community as much as possible.”
On the pitch, TCU has struggled in its first season playing in D1A. The Horned Frogs finished 0-3 in the fall portion of their Red River schedule, and are dealing with the growing pains of playing a side made up mostly of underclassmen. Hamilton, who is the team’s president and only graduating senior on the roster, foresees a bright future for his teammates and the program.
“There is a lot of optimism circulating through the team,” said Hamilton. “We have a young and motivated squad, and have been fortunate enough to have a terrific freshman class, including Grayson Andrews and Sam Chevalier, who have contributed right away.”
TCU returns to the pitch Jan. 17 for a match against the Dallas Reds’ second side.
For more information on the wonderful things SafeHaven is doing to support domestic violence victims in Tarrant County, or to donate to their heroic cause, visit SafeHaven.org.