Elona Williams on Rugby: “It’s full of passion and heart. You have to be really dedicated to play.”
The international trip included a tour from Beijing to Shanghai to Hong Kong.
Williams is a senior at View Park Prep High School and on the Rugby Team that recently went to Shanghai, China
People are doing great things everyday around the world and some are doing it right here in Los Angeles. Elona Williams is a senior at View Park Prep High School and on the Rugby Team. Williams recently returned from the Inaugural ICEF/Shanghai Sport for All Exchange, where she led the girls’ team and was featured as a part of the Pan African Film Festival recently. She spoke about how she got engaged with the sport.
“It took my friends two years to convince me to play from sixth grade to eighth grade,” said Williams. “ I finally joined and I’ve been playing ever since.”
For those who don’t know, Rugby is a full-on tackle, full contact sport with no pads or protection. You can’t pass the ball forward as you would in football. There are a lot of rules for safety reasons. “It’s full of passion and heart.
“You have to be really dedicated to play.”
Last year, Williams participated in the Shanghai, China program for 10 days. She taught and coached rugby to local students, playing rugby, taking part in local cuisine and cooking, and staying with a local coach, all culminating at the Shanghai International Rugby 7's event.
“Every year, we go on a national and international trip. Last year we went to Las Vegas and then from Beijing to Shanghai to Hong Kong for a tour. The program is all about preparing us for college. We basically play seven tournaments…we’re ambassadors so we network, socialize with the natives and we stay locally—we stay in a hostel, we stay with a host family.”
The girls team also had a cooking lesson on dumplings, pretty detailed, where they made a bunch of them. The girls played two games of 7's first. They defeated the Beijing She Devils, a women's team, 37-5, then they defeated International School of Beijing 15-5.
The View Park Team also had the privilege of appearing in a film that documented their trip. “Lost & Found,” directed by James Brown and a New Zealand –based production company, premiered at the Pan African Film Festival. The View Park Rugby boys’ and girls’ team along with friends, family and local officials showed up for the premiere. The Director of ICEF Rugby, Stuart Krohn spoke about the program and trip to China.
“The rugby program started 12 years ago with View Park Middle school and now it’s grown to 12 ICEF schools,” said Krohn. “Over 200 hundred kids playing tackle and we introduce [Flag] rugby to about 4,000 kids a year, K-12.”
Krohn continued, “The trip to China was our ninth international trip. It was a program we started in 2006 to open our students’ eyes up to the rest of the world and it opens the rest of the world to our students.”
As a part of Woman’s Month, we salute Elona Williams for representing our community and being a positive role model for young women everywhere.