Monique Aleah Coffey: Rising Star in Rugby

We’re excited to continue our new series, “Pioneers of the Pitch,” where we celebrate the groundbreaking athletes, administrators, coaches, referees and fans who’ve left their mark on rugby in the USA. Each installment takes you on a journey through the inspiring stories of rising stars and seasoned legends, both on and off the field. Join us as we shine a light on these exceptional individuals and uncover their tales of dedication, passion, and triumph.

From a small town in Manitoba, Canada to the international rugby stage, Coffey’s journey as an athlete has been nothing short of remarkable. Growing up with a passion for sports, Coffey’s determination, and support from influential figures in her life have shaped her into the athlete she is today. As she continues to excel in the world of rugby, Coffey shares her experiences, challenges, and aspirations with us.

Coffey’s love for sports began at a tender age of around three years old when she took her first swing at T-ball. However, it was her time playing rugby that truly captured her heart. Despite participating in various sports throughout high school, it was the camaraderie and team spirit in rugby that left a lasting impact on her. Early on, she realized that her athletic journey was not just about winning but about giving her all, pushing her limits, and cherishing moments shared with teammates.

Her parents played a crucial role in nurturing her passion for sports. Supported and encouraged by her mother and cheered on by her father, who was also a volleyball coach, Coffey’s family made sports a central part of their lives. Her mother’s selflessness in shuttling her and her siblings to numerous practices and games allowed Coffey to pursue her athletic dreams fully.

Coffey’s upbringing instilled in her the value of hard work, teamwork, and a love for healthy competition. Armed with these qualities, she decided to pursue a career in rugby. Joining the Acadia University Axewoman, Coffey faced her fair share of challenges, but her commitment and dedication paid off. However, one of the most significant challenges she encountered was the unexpected disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Midway through her final year of eligibility with the team, she was unable to compete with them due to restrictions. Yet, Coffey refused to let that setback define her. Instead, she seized the opportunity to play rugby overseas and joined the Cheltenham Tigers in England, winning the National Championship with her new team.

Coffey is optimistic about the future of rugby, especially women’s rugby. She believes that the sport will continue to gain popularity, and more opportunities will open up for female athletes. As an advocate for the sport, she aims to expand the rugby community and promote the benefits of rugby to women and girls.
Coffey is currently training with Scion Sirens, the USA Rugby Club 7s National Championship defending champions. Her ambition is to become a national team athlete and reach her full potential as an elite rugby player. Beyond her rugby career, she is interested in sport psychology and hopes to pursue a career in helping athletes and teams improve their mental performance.

From a small-town athlete to a rising star in rugby, Coffey’s journey exemplifies the spirit of dedication, perseverance, and love for the game. With her sights set on greater heights, Coffey continues to inspire and blaze a trail for aspiring athletes around the world. The rugby world eagerly awaits the impact she will make on and off the field.

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