Full Name: Christina Louise Ramos
Hometown: Modesto, CA
Position played: Forward (prop, hooker, eight, flanker)
Christina started with the All Blues during last fall’s WPL season, where she played a pivotal role in our physical and mental game. Before coming to our team, she had experience playing internationally, most notably with the Portugal National Rugby Team. But, according to Theo Bennett, last fall’s WPL head coach, what was even more outstanding than her solid defense and attacking ability was her “team mentality.” Despite her achievements Christina remained humble and deeply committed to her teammates, open to learning new things, and “took her opportunities with a great deal of personal ownership.”
All Blues: When and how did you first start playing rugby? Did you play any sports prior to rugby?
Christina: I grew up playing different sports, always trying to follow my older brothers in their athletic endeavors. As a kid I ran track & field and played basketball, softball, soccer, and waterpolo. Although it wasn’t ‘kosher’ for me to play American football or wrestle for my high school (i.e. it was looked down upon for women to participate/play with the boys), I always teamed up with my Dad at home wrestling against my brothers in our family room. I was disappointed to find out that all UC Santa Barbara had to offer in the water was intertube waterpolo and surfing, but by chance someone handed me a flyer to try rugby. My freshman year I was lucky to be surrounded by an amazing squad of veteran players who took the team to the 2007 National Championship tornament at Penn State. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to travel and meet people from all over the world who share the same rugby passion.
AB: How did you first find out about the All Blues? What made you come out here and join us?
C: The All Blues name came to me through the grapevine of UCSB and SoCal alumni that kept with the sport. I knew it was the closest team to my hometown, but I never quite understood the legacy of the club until I moved back to the states last fall.
AB: Most memorable time with the All Blues?
C: This team is ridiculously easy to get along with; making it hard to chose just one ‘most memorable’ moment! This is the sixth team I’ve played for over the past 11 years, and I can honestly say that there is something really special about this team’s dynamic.
I’m a sucker for themed socials though, so this year’s Halloween weekend was one of the most entertaining of the season.
AB: What is the best advice you have ever received about playing rugby? C: Portuguese legend Carlos Nobre once told me that rugby has done more for us as players than we ever will for the sport… these words continue to inspire me to be humble about what I have accomplished, and a reminder that in the grand scheme of things I have so much more to learn from the Sport.
AB: It’s super cool to see your parents on the stands during our games, and even during practices! Can you tell us a little bit more about them? How do they feel about you playing rugby? Have they always been supportive of you playing this sport?
C: My family has always been very supportive of my and my brothers’ extracurricular endeavors. My parents weren’t much fans of traveling before I went abroad to Europe in 2010, but since then got their fair share of passport stamps; traveling as far as Dublin, Lisboa, Brive, and Moscow to see me boot up. Their support is fundamental to my success; I owe so much to their unconditional love.
AB: Do you have any other passions besides rugby? Do you find that these two passions intersect? If yes, how?
C: I love traveling and meeting new people, which made playing rugby overseas naturally easy for me. I love going to tournaments with international competition and finding common links between the cultures. The rugby community is a lot smaller than you would think. My host at Glendale this fall also played with my former Sport Lisboa e Benfica teammate in New Zealand last year. Talk about degrees of separation…!