Connecting with a college team’s current players can be a great way to get a feel for a program, so we interviewed Central Washington University’s Alexander Tada Mackenzie to learn more about what life is like as a varsity student athlete at CWU.
Alexander Tada Mackenzie, Junior Year
Major: Computer Science
Primary Position – 8-Man
Why did you choose your school? I chose to go to CWU because they have a great rugby program and they are close to home.
What are your favorite parts about being a member of the rugby program? We are a very close-knit team that play a sport with extreme passion. It becomes more than a game to us, it’s a lifestyle. Not only do I get to play for a great Rugby program, I also develop this close bond with amazing teammates from all over.
What are your favorite parts about being a student at your school? CWU has great academic programs with caring professors that want to see you succeed. It is a very diverse school with tons of clubs and events throughout the year that bring students together.
How do you balance schoolwork and rugby? It is hard but most of it is time management. You have enough time to do all the schoolwork outside of Rugby, it all comes down to whether an individual wants to or not. We do have study hall for some student-athletes which insures that they get their work done, and tutors there to help students that need it.
What does a typical day and/or week look like for you? Usual week day I would wake up early for 6am lifts, go back home to eat and shower. After that go to class from 9am-1pm, then eat after that. Then we usually have practice from 3:30pm-6:00pm. Then go home relax and do some school work. Saturdays if we are not in season we usually practice or have a conditioning session in the morning.
What’s the biggest challenge about playing rugby at your school? I would say the commitment that comes with it. We have a lot of things to do as a student-athlete besides school work and athletics. We do a lot of community service like helping with events, planting trees, building houses, and much more. We believe that it is important to give back to the community.
Besides rugby, what else are you involved in on campus? Besides all the community service that we do I was part of Poly Central club for a bit. There are tons of clubs that students can become a part of and they are not strict on attendance, so it is very easy for student-athlete to get involved.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with a high school player who is interested in your school? I would like to say that CWU is great school that has a competitive Rugby team. The people here are very friendly and easy to bond with. It’s a beautiful campus with lots of outdoor activities to do. The team is like a family, we look out for each other on and off the field.
Central Washington University
Men’s Team Website: http://www.wildcatsports.com/schedule.aspx?path=mrugby Head Coach Todd Thornley: Todd.Thornley@cwu.edu