Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life
Rosemary A. Schmidt
Gainline Press (2003)
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (6/2022)
“Go Forward, Support!” looks, at first glance, like its purpose is to inform, educate, and possibly gather new fans who will “support” the game of rugby. That’s when you keep reading and notice the tagalong, “the Rugby of Life,” which might confuse you as you wonder how your life can be compared to a sport that you might have never heard of before, let alone know anything about. After reading Rosemary A. Schmidt’s words, however, it’s clear how rugby and the game of life have many similarities. Schmidt is a seasoned veteran of the sport with an evident passion for its past, present, and future.
The history of the game in general is interspersed throughout, but it’s entertaining and light, not feeling like it’s forced on you or drawls on and on. The chapters are short, sweet, and to the point of their title, with minimal straying from the topic. Schmidt covers many aspects of rugby; unfortunately, the sport is more complex and foreign to us Americans than our favorite pastimes of football, baseball, and for some, soccer, which historically shares aspects of the game as rugby was around before the creation of American football and soccer.
The information presented is fascinating, it’s a compilation of history, personal stories, and knowledge of the game and its players related to politics and entertainment that were hot and heavy back in the 1980s and 90s. Possibly not surprising, but the topic of homosexuality/lesbians has an intimate relationship with the game and is discussed in a very nonchalant manner due to the nonchalant type of sexuality this was back then, much like it seems in today’s society. “Go Forward, Support! The Rugby of Life” contains many relevant and practical life lessons for both rugby players and players participating in life.
At the beginning of the book, Schmidt lists possible reasons why the reader may have her book, ranging from current rugby players to those who received her book as a gift. I will report that I fall in between categories as someone who is always interested in learning about new sports and how to incorporate new lessons into my life. I appreciate the time and details that the author included in her work. These made everything tie together and seem more personal/relatable. The book isn’t lengthy, just under two hundred pages, and if the information presented is retained, the reader will walk away with a wealth of knowledge of a new sport, and with it politics, feminism, and a lot of self-confidence in doing what makes you happy regardless of how others view you.