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Spring 2004 Issue
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Alumni Athletes
By Erica Krug

Alison Price
U.S. National Rugby Player

NOLS grad Alison Price, 26, lets out a big laugh and pauses for a moment before answering, “I’m a hooker.” She’s laughing because she knows that the person asking the question will not understand what that means in the rugby world. “It’s a forward position,” she says. “My job is to hook the ball back to the scrum half when a dead ball is put back into play.”

Explaining the game of rugby is something that Price, a 1999 graduate of the NOLS Waddington Range Mountaineering course in British Columbia, is good at — especially since she was recently named a member of the U.S. National Women’s Rugby team. Price is one of 10 people who made the team that will play in the internationally renowned Rugby 7’s Tournament in Hong Kong beginning March 26.

In order to make the U.S. National team, Price had to beat out 40-50 other women who were hand-picked to try out in January in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Price credits her NOLS course with helping her to become a better athlete, especially when it comes to training. “One of the things I learned on my NOLS course is that you can always take one more step. If you take one more step it leads to another step, until you have reached your destination,” Price says. “On a NOLS course you really do learn you can push yourself a lot harder than you realize.”

Price works and plays in Kansas City, Missouri where she is a chemist for American Ingredients, a food and plastics additives company, and a member of the Kansas City Jazz Women’s Rugby Club. She grew up in Lander, Wyoming, and attended St. Mary College in Leavenworth, Kansas where she played soccer. She has been playing rugby for five years. “The great thing about rugby is the camaraderie,” she says. “You know players from all over the country and you play against them and you beat them up, and later you have a beer with them and you are friends again. I’ve never experienced that with any other sport that I have played.”

Price also experienced team camaraderie on her NOLS course. She remembers days when her course mates were struggling to reach their destination for the day and the concept emerging that “whatever we do, we’re going to do it as a group.”

Price says that the upcoming tournament in Hong Kong is an exciting one because, while there are normally 15 people to a side in a rugby game, in Hong Kong there will only be seven players to a side playing on the same-sized field. “There is a lot of space to cover and it makes it a high-paced, high-scoring game,” she says.
But Price is looking forward to the challenge. “Another thing you learn on your NOLS course is knowing your boundaries, or almost realizing you don’t have any boundaries,” she says.

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