CWU rugby player overcomes adversity to advance playing career

  • November 13, 2023
  • David Leder

Central Washington University rugby player Jessica Postle was recently featured by a British Columbia news organization after she overcame an extraordinary hardship last summer to earn a spot on the under-20 Canadian National Team.

While the CWU sophomore has already enjoyed tremendous success in her young rugby career, the story focuses more on her ability to persevere over the past eight months.

Last June, Postle—a native of Comox, B.C.—was selected to play for the U-20 national team, just one month after her father, Geoff, suddenly passed away.

“A week before he passed, he said, ‘I know you can make Team Canada,’” Postle said in the article published in the Terrace Standard. “I knew I should do it, because it’s what he’d want me to do.”

jessica-postle-main-2.jpegPostle and her father had bonded over the sport of rugby since she was a young child, so when the time came for her to start playing in eighth grade, Geoff Postle stepped in to coach her.

That tutelage helped Postle excel during her high school playing days, which eventually landed her a scholarship to play for CWU.

“The first practice, they were like, ‘Dad, can you be a bit nicer?,’ and he was like, ‘Nope,’” said Postle’s mom, Erin. “He was a tough coach with a soft heart.”

After a successful first season with the Wildcats, Postle was invited to try out for Team Canada last summer. But just as she was winding down her freshman year and preparing for tryouts, Geoff Postle suffered a heart attack and died in late May.

Postle considered foregoing the national team invitation in light of the tragic event that had befallen her family. But, after about a week of mourning, she decided that her dad wouldn’t want her to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“My dad is the reason I started playing rugby. I knew I should do it, because it’s what he’d want me to do,” she said.

Postle is now back on campus in Ellensburg, helping lead the Wildcats to a 3-2 start. She’s also studying to become a high school teacher, but no matter which career path she chooses, rugby will always be a part of her life.

“I’d love to come back here (to Comox) and coach rugby like my dad did,” she said.

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David Leder