“The strength of purpose and the clarity of your vision, along with the tenacity to pursue it, is your underlying driver of success” – Ragy Thomas.
Success comes in many different shapes and sizes. It can be loud and obnoxious. It can be here one minute gone the next. It can also be quiet perseverance, that eventually leaves you with longevity and respect where you now stand. Or in my case, sit. I met Christian Day, a rugby union player for Northampton Saints at Brunswick House in Vauxhall. A coffee shop full of noisy looking art work and mismatched recycled furniture, beautiful chaos, and then I meet Christian. Creating an unexpected juxtaposition.
Christian is calm and unassuming. Reserved and modest. All things you don’t expect from someone who has a long standing successful rugby career.
Christian has been playing rugby from the age of seven, turning professional in 2002. Day has represented England Saxon, Captained England Under 21s, and has since played over three hundred professional rugby games, the teams contributing to this success are Sale Sharks for four years, a short term contract for Stade Francais and now Northampton Saint since 2008. “Your sport is your life” Christian explained, you make sacrifices for your sport. In Fact, last Christmas is his first Christmas in a very long time where he had three days off, something he described as simply “amazing”. In today’s modern, fast-paced and single minded world, Day is some what refreshing. “I like to give up my time, I like to help people” when talking about his work as chairman of the RPA. Day is an advocate supporter of the salary cap, he also helped fight for a clear ‘off-season’ to get players five weeks off at the end of the season and wants to see younger players educated within the sport more. “It’s different now from when I first started, we went to school until we were 18″..” Now at 15 years old alongside 30 or 40 hopefuls all playing at academies everything happens too soon and too quick” it “needs to be explained how hard it is”. Day also wants to see more help with preparing players for a successful career after rugby, again all this comes down to education from the very beginning.
We are “The Uninsurable’s” Day explained when talking about the difficulties with players getting insurance, especially career ending insurance. Day explained how some players can reach their peak by thirty yet any kind of career ending insurance at that age is “practically non existent, must be horrible to go onto the pitch and worry about that”. With such injuries one of Days plights with the RPA is to also see more being done to look at the effects of concussion. Perhaps we need to see “a reduction in the physical side of things”, it’s good the authorities are taking this seriously to take “the right steps to look after us”. All this shows the importance for player welfare within rugby, a sport that’s been professional since 2000, and a sport that’s holding onto its integrity with players like Day.
I asked Day how he would like to be remembered in rugby. He replied simply, “to just be remembered would be nice”. “I appreciate people who go out to help others, I like to be seen as some one who helped a little bit on the way. Who stood up for what was right. I didn’t get to play for England, never been that star, but I’d like to give back in other ways”.
Christian Day represents rugby beautifully, someone who puts their job before their own wants and needs. Someone who is actively working at giving back after all these years and is making a difference.
I think christian never needs to worry about not being remembered.
Read more about Christian here –
or tweet him @christianday