Thursday, September 28, 2017

Q&A With NOLA Gold's Sebastian Kalm

The NOLA Gold made news recently when they announced the signing of Sebastian Kalm. We were lucky enough to speak to Kalm who opened up about his reasons for joining the team and more.

TIAR: What made you want to sign with the NOLA Gold?

Sebastian Kalm: ​NOLA Gold are serious about how far they want​ ​to go this upcoming season to be honest. It also helped that they had a ​clear​ vision as of why I would be a good fit for them.

TIAR: You were one of the standouts during PRO Rugby's inaugural season. What have you been doing since?

SK: After the Pro season, I went back and finished my Finance degree for the Fall 16. Since, I've kept working hard to ​get as much exposure ​to high level rugby ​as possible​e. I​'​ve​ been fortunate enough to play ​two seasons with Old Blue from NY. Also, a couple big 7s tournaments here and there with 1823 Tiger Rugby.

TIAR: You've now played at the top college, club, and pro level in the States. How would you compare those levels to their equivalent in Chile?

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SK: It is very hard to compare the​ ​because of the different environments and conditions for rugby in both countries. Chile​an​ rugby has a ​more​ limited budget​t to work with  at all levels. High school rugby, I would say is still bigger back home, but once you step into collegiate, club, and pro level, there is ​the US overtakes Chile in terms of structure. Here we are able to allocate​ more resources that​, directly or indirectly​, ​ increase and better performance. I still do believe that the top rugby clubs at home could compete in club rugby here and do well.

TIAR: For those who aren't aware can you share your background in rugby?

SK: I was born and raised in Santiago, Chile. I w​ent to British school named The Grange School, which got me involved into rugby at a really young age (5 years old). I got to play two years for Chile U20 (2012 Utah, 2013 Chile) and from there​ I had the opportunity pursue a scholarship at Lindenwood University. ​That is were I got the most exposure; without a doubt one of the top collegiate programs in the country. From there, I managed to get a spot to participate in Pro Rugby North America and take another step towards becoming an Eagle.

TIAR: MLR is going to be different from what we've seen in America. What do you think will be its strengths?

SK: To me the biggest hope and what I'm most confident of, is that this is another season of profesional rugby in the US. By this I mean that hopefully we have learned, both the good and the bad from what PRNA brought to us. Leading into this next chapter, we have awareness of what is required in order for pro rugby to become not only successful, but sustainable.

I think the biggest strengths right now, are how excited and eager the community is about professional rugby in the States, from players, to coaches, to fans, and even more​,​ those who haven't even experienced it yet.

Another big positive will be the collective participation of the member teams under one umbrella, yet managed independently, this will allow stability through the season. Moreover, sharing the one rugby vision, by MLR​, its member teams​ and ​the American rugby community ​is massive.

TIAR: What are your goals for the upcoming season?

SK: I want to be the best at what I do and help my team ​to do the same. My goal is to play my best and show what I have to offer in order to make it into the next step. Hard work is what I have the most of.

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