Rugby Ethos as Guiding Principles

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By Chris Roehm

Chris Roehm is a Financial Adviser, Tight Five, LLC a Lion Street Firm, Penn Mutual Strategic Partner

Everybody who starts playing rugby has a unique story about how they fell in love with the game. I was driving by a park with my friend one day and we saw a bunch of guys playing a sport I had never seen before. We went to watch on the sideline and saw a guy with blistering speed run with the ball and score. I turned to my friend and said “I am faster than that guy.”

Chris Roehm playing touch rugby

One of the guys on the sideline heard my comment and said, “If that’s the case, we want you here at 6:00.p.m. on Tuesday for practice.”

I have been hooked ever since and have been involved in rugby for nearly 30 years as a player, coach, administrator and referee. Along with some other rugby enthusiasts, we started Florida Youth rugby and have grown it to include 20 schools. I have been actively involved in the Boynton Beach rugby club and have worked to start a touch beach rugby league. I even named a financial services company Tight Five, which is an ode to the five non loose forwards in the pack!

I have guided much of my life and career on the values instilled in me by rugby, in particular, the World Rugby Playing Charter, which covers the basic principles of rugby as they relate to playing and coaching, and to the creation and application of the laws.

One passage that has stood out to me:

“Rugby embraces a number of social and emotional concepts such as courage, loyalty, sportsmanship, discipline and teamwork… The objective is to ensure that Rugby maintains its unique character both on and off the field.”

It is these values that epitomize what I live and believe and the reason I started my financial services company. We have instilled these values at the company and now I am fortunate enough to have my rugby playing son (he won a DIAA national championship at Central Florida) working at the company. It is no surprise he fits right in.

For years I have thought that the values within rugby are ones to emulate. With Penn Mutual coming on board as a sponsor of rugby in 2015, my hunch was right. The values of Tight Five and Penn Mutual directly mirror those of the rugby community and I think it is for that reason, just like the sport, we impact so many lives in a positive way.

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