September 27, 2020

By ANDREW OMRAN

Most of Danielle Pauze’s life has been dedicated to sports and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
The second-year Conestoga College student has played hockey, fastball and volleyball but that isn’t enough for her as she is now dominating varsity rugby.
“I’ve been playing fastball my entire life and when I heard there’s a rugby team, I thought it’d be really good to stay in shape … it’d be a new sport for me to try,” Pauze said.
She finds baseball much easier thanks to years of experience in the sport. In fact, it is one sport where she can relax and enjoy the game.
“I’ve played my whole life, I was just kinda doing my own thing, not trying to impress anybody. It was just like, hit the ball, catch the ball, not trying to do anything amazing,” she said.
In her short time thus far at Conestoga, Pauze has been connected with just about every sports team offered and she shows no signs of slowing down.
The recreation and leisure services program student says she finds it easy to stay in shape.
“I just make sure that I eat well … Subway, no McDons and I play a lot of sports and that’s all I do … I don’t work out unless it’s in the summer.”
As for any challenges that stood in her way, Pauze was prepared for anything that arose.
“There wasn’t really a challenge for the physical part (of rugby) because I’ve played hockey but it was just hard because I didn’t know the rules. I just pretty much told the coach give me a position and I’ll learn the position, and I’ll just get the ball and run,” she said.
The transition to rugby was much easier than Pauze thought and it resulted in success in her first couple of games.
“I started off my first game and I was really nervous. I had no idea what I was doing. The coach told me ‘tackle the girl with the ball and if you get the ball, just run.’ That’s what I did and I actually scored the winning try of that game … I got another try in my second game. I was really excited.”
The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association rewarded Pauze for her strong play to start the season.
“I actually got athlete of the week for OCAA and I thought that was really exciting because I never played rugby before and I was really happy,” she said.
But it would turn out to be the physical aspect of the sport that would set her up for her worst experience yet.
“I got a black eye and a concussion so I was out for a week. It scared me a lot because I’d never had one before  and then two weeks later I got another so I was out for three weeks.
“I was forgetting things, I was really dizzy, I couldn’t drive because I was out of it so it made me nervous.”
Good times and bad, there are certain things that rugby gives Pauze that she says are invaluable.
“The thing I like the best about rugby is just staying in shape and meeting new friends; the girls on the team are awesome.”