People of Georgian: Rugby teaches international student life lessons
September 16, 2022

What’s your story?

The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Rahal Delpachitra

I’ve been playing rugby since I was 11 years old.

My two brothers played rugby, too, and my whole family’s into rugby.

An action shot of five people playing rugby.
Rahal, far right, playing rugby with the Georgian Grizzlies.
Four people dressed formally stand next to each other and smile at the camera.
Rahal, right, and family.

‘Why not give it a try?’

It’s a popular sport back home in Sri Lanka. You can play semi-pro kind of level over there.

Before I came to Georgian, I sent a video clip of myself playing to John Daggett, Georgian’s varsity rugby head coach.

He’s a nice guy and responded, telling me to let him know when I landed in Canada.

But when I got here, I was not going to try out. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to balance my school stuff with rugby.

My brothers encouraged me to go and try out, along with John and others. I had read about rugby at Georgian and how they had a pretty good record, so I thought, “Why not give it a try?”

A group of muddy rugby players during a game, with one in the centre gripping the ball and running past players on the opposing team.
Two people wearing Georgian Grizzlies rugby sweaters and jacket, pose for a photo together while standing on a playing field.
Rahal with head coach John Daggett.
A person wearing glasses and a suit smiles and holds up a rugby trophy. The backdrop behind them reads Georgian Grizzlies.

Rugby instills life lessons on and off the field

I made the team, and since then, rugby has taught me most of my values, like how to play within a team sport, and how to work with people and understand them.

It instilled discipline. Being an athlete, you live a certain way. You can’t, like, party and stuff every day.

Rugby taught me how to be committed to achieving a goal.

Also, rugby has helped me have a positive attitude and be mentally strong.

Don’t just focus on studies. Do stuff that’s outside your comfort zone, too, so you can get the full Georgian student experience.

Rahal Delpachitra

If you’re starting at Georgian or any college, I would say don’t just focus on studies. Do stuff that outside your comfort zone, too, so you can get the full Georgian student experience.

Don’t be restricted to just living a normal life.

Rugby also taught me how to balance my school, work, sports and life. So if you know you’re good at something else outside of school, give it a try.

Rugby was – and still is – a big part of my life, and I have so many people to thank, like my coaches and teachers, who supported me every step of the way.

Rahal Delpachitra, student in Georgian’s Business Administration – Human Resources program and a member of the college’s varsity rugby team.

Join our cheering section! Georgian’s varsity rugby home opener is Friday, Sept. 16 at J.C. Massie Field, Barrie Campus. Tickets are $5, or free for students who show an active ONEcard. Let’s go, Grizzlies!