In Russian rugby, Arina Chistyakova is known as one of the best photographers. She mainly worked for Lokomotiv Moscow, in recent months also for Slava, but she was also busy at other matches of the Russian championship, filmed the final of the Russian Cup, took an international award for the best shot in her category.
Together with her acquaintance with rugby as a photographer, she got into the sport so much that she trained and played a little as part of the same Loko.
At the end of 2022, she moved to live in Italy. And there she found herself a new team – Bishelie. This is an amateur club playing in Serie A, the country’s second most powerful women’s tournament. Now she is still training and taking pictures for him at the same time. Will be playing soon.
Iron Rugby asked Arina to tell us what amateur women’s rugby is like in Italy, how it works and, of course, how her new teammates met her. Below is her monologue.
“Iron Rugby” in Telegram
“The team greeted me in Russian: “Welcome”
Received well, kindly. Attitude towards Russians? I didn’t feel anything at all, they are very loyal. There was no concern for me. I can talk with everyone, hug and no one rejects me. Everything is fine, everything is good. It seems to me that the guys are well aware that a person should be judged by his actions and actions, and not by nationality.
In general, it became clear about the attitude towards me after I was added to the team chat. The next morning I went into it and see that everyone greeted me: some in English, some in Italian, some even in Russian! It was great to see not only “Welcome” but also “Welcome”. The girls were not too lazy, used a translator and greeted me in my language. It was just wow for me. Somehow everything is amazing and unusually cool.
The coaching staff was also kind, I talked with the team captain before the first training session, told me that I tried to play in Russia, that I had an injury. The coach asked me about the position on the field, but I honestly said that I trained more than I played – more often I took pictures. They found out everything about me, accepted me, and I ran with him. No problem.
“Up to 37 people and three coaches”
The team is somewhere from 34 to 37 people. The girls say that many left the team last season. The reasons are different: one got pregnant, the other went to another country, and so on. That is why the results began to sag. Now the formation is taking place again, because a lot of new players have come, for example, like me.
At least 13-15 people come to training. Attendance depends on where the training will be on a given day, because the team, let’s say, lives in two cities: Bisceglie is the main city, where it is based, and in Capurso, 20 minutes by car from Bisceglie. Logistically, this is inconvenient, so some skip training. Well, everyone has their own business, they all work, study. But there are times when it comes and under 20 girls. We trained well: we could play touch rugby both for half and for the whole field.
About the coaches. We generally have three main coaches: head coach Sean, a New Zealander, trains defense and shows some technical points. There is Vincenzo, he is Sean’s assistant, and he works on the attack: how to stand in a fight, how to lift, and so on. There is an assistant to the head coach of Luke – a physical training coach. He just loads us so that we gain our muscle mass.
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