A degree in rugby and a minor in kinesiology
Stephen Webb (BSc ’79) shares how rugby influenced his time at Waterloo and beyond
Coming out of high school and considering a choice for university, Waterloo came up on my radar for two reasons: a couple of high school friends were going there, and Waterloo had the best Kinesiology program. Kinesiology was a great fit as it brought together my two major interests, sports and science.
Playing varsity rugby and working towards a degree in Kinesiology, I soon realized that I had to be disciplined and organized to get through. Although, the occasional kick in the butt from my professor, Pat Bishop, didn’t hurt either. In my third year we won the Men’s Rugby OUAA championship, and I graduated after four years with my degree along with an award for an Outstanding Athletic Career. During my four years at Waterloo I served as Social Chairman, President, and Past President to the rugby team and was the Intercollegiate Athletic President.
My first job was a Director of a YMCA in Toronto, a job which I enjoyed and was in my field. I was also back playing rugby for the Irish Canadian Rugby Club. In the summer of 1980 I was offered the opportunity to play in Ireland for Lansdowne FC—one of Ireland’s premier rugby clubs. This worked out brilliantly as I was already headed there with my club on tour. The tour ended and I stayed.
Back in Canada I found that there were not many jobs for someone with a degree in Kinesiology, so I went to Lakehead University and got my degree in education. I found a rugby club to join where I was a player coach, touring Northwest Ontario and the Northern United States.
While teaching science I coached rugby and other sports until I left for the private sector. Then came senior positions in event production, planning and marketing, golf marketing, and finally insurance. I now work for myself as a Group Benefit Specialist which keeps me occupied.
Rugby has always been a big part of my life—playing, coaching, watching and travelling to World Cups. The experiences rugby have provided me with have assisted me in everything I have done. And now, 41 years after graduating, I am back at the University of Waterloo as the Men’s Rugby Alumni and Supporters Chairman for the newly formed Alumni and Supporters Committee.
Rugby at the university level is some of the best rugby in the country. It’s also changing, and we encourage you—rugby player, fan or friend, to sign up for our newsletter and stay in touch. Rugby is all-inclusive and we want to see you involved at our upcoming events, post-COVID, staying in touch with teammates and supporting today’s athletes on the field.
I would like to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.