The Memphis Flamingo Women's Rugby Football Club was founded May 11, 2004. We are a Division II Club team located in Memphis, TN. We are members of the Mid-South Local Area Union, USA Rugby True South Territorial Union, and USA Rugby.
How it all began.
Kathleen Babilon moved to Memphis having played rugby for several years in Albequerque. She quickly made contact with the men of the Memphis Blues and began efforts to start a women’s team. While there was some interest, the idea just didn’t seem to gel. She met Jessica Magro and the two of them started traveling and picking up games wherever they could. They would practice with the men’s club to keep sharp.
In the spring of 2004, Nancy Campbell learned she would be relocating to Memphis. Having been in the rugby world, in one way or another, for 20 years she was not yet ready to give up rugby just yet. Just because Memphis didn’t have a women’s team didn’t mean there couldn’t be one. She contacted Arlene Kray (MidSouth LAU Women’s Director). Arlene put Nancy in touch with Kathleen.
Believing that two heads were better than one, they decided to give women’s rugby in Memphis another try. They agreed to start practices on May 11, 2004, and that if rugby ‘practice’ only consisted of the two of them, so be it. They would practice every Tuesday until a team formed.
Slowly but surely it did. Kathleen contacted the people she had talked to before and they both started distributing fliers everywhere they went. People started to show up and practices became more useful. Nancy’s husband found a former Eagle, Sheri Hunt, working in his company. The Lady Blues had a coach!
Ready for some real rugby, the four Lady Blues set out for Magic City 7’s in Birmingham in June 2004. Although they played for Nashville that day, this was the first appearance of the new Memphis Women’s RFC on the scene. Next, they went to Pitch A Tent 7’s rounding out the team with players from Arkansas State and New Orleans.
By the time Elvis 7’s rolled around, there were enough ladies to have a team made up of only Memphis players. A good time was had by all. They finished their first 7’s season with a trip to New Orleans for Twilight 7’s with a full team of enthusiastic rugger. Besides a good time had on Bourbon Street, the team was able to debut their first set of uniforms.
Momentum was built through some good press and word of mouth. Enough so that the team was able to field a full team in time for the 2004 Fall season. Winter workouts brought more new players so that by the Spring of 2005 the Lady Blues felt like a real rugby team. The Spring also brought the debut of new coach Dre Cerbin. Dre eventually gave up the reigns to Tim Brennan who in turn brought on Ralph Parks and they are still coaching the team today.
The team continues to grow and learn.