Winger Brandon Shiramizu’s story
By: Brandon Shiramizu
My rugby career here at CSUMB will always have a place in my heart. To be a part of a family where you can lean on in college was a huge impact on me in my sophomore year of college. Growing up in LA, I always struggled with what I really wanted to do with my life. I felt small and unsure of myself in the city where people had so many dreams, opportunities, and successes. I went to CSUMB because of my financial status. Growing up, I didn’t see myself going to college, but this school has given me an opportunity for an higher education. During Freshman year, I, unfortunately, fell to depression and anxiety due to a lack of passion and the feeling of being nothing had brought me to a point where no matter how great I did in school, I felt no joy or happiness because of my low self-esteem.
I decided to join rugby because I honestly needed something to do. The competitive level that rugby has just made me want to start playing the sport. Joining the rugby team I honestly wasn’t prepared. I was about 160lbs and looked like the stick bug from “A Bug’s Life.” I remember the first time I stepping onto the rec field I was welcomed, welcomed with a brotherhood and something that I would eventually throw my body for. Being able to create friends who were “real” from both the women’s and men’s team had made me learn about what was right for me. I am blessed to have a family where I have not only learned about myself but the ways to treat people who you really care about and how impactful your peers can be.
The rugby team gave me opportunities that I would have never thought of doing in college such as working for the Community Service Officer program under the University’s Police Program on campus. Becoming close friends on the men’s and women’s team, opened a path for me to learn more about the Asian Pacific Islander culture through the APIA Club. I have had the Privilege to become the CO-President of APIA club during the 2016-2017 year and become the Sports Council Club Representative in the Spring of 2018. Lastly, I was scouted by the Northern California Pelicans All-Star Rugby Team and had the opportunity to play high-level rugby with the enemies that I now call amazing teammates. The abilities and the skills that every individual has on the team was mind-blowing, and the chemistry just clicked because of the skill level of the team. These opportunities and experiences would have never been possible for me if I never joined rugby. Rugby has given me a place to call home away from home. The culture that this club has is unreplicable and will always have a special place in my heart.
Rugby has taught me how to be respectful and to be humble. This sport can be very competitive but at the end of the day, the ability to come together, even with your opponents, was a life lesson not everyone can say they have experienced. I owe a lot to rugby because this sport has given me way too much to even explain in words.
By: Brandon Shiramizu