LIFE OFF THE PITCH WITH MALCOLM MAY
In a series of features, Major League Rugby is taking a look at the work players do outside of rugby.
MALCOLM MAY, NOLA GOLD, BACKROW
Majoring in Rehabilitation and Human Services, Malcolm May captained Penn State’s rugby side. A collegiate All-American whilst at college, after May left full-time education, he returned to work in New Hampshire.
With a clear sporting pedigree, when May got the call from Nate Osbourne and Ryan Fitzgerald, he wanted to carry on using his degree in Louisiana. Starting work as a mentor at Waldo Burton Memorial Home, May has continued in that role throughout his time with the Gold.
One of the oldest boy’s homes in the south, May primarily works during the offseason so he’s still able to commit as much time to rugby during the season.
“It is definitely a large workload,” May said. “At first it was a lot. For rugby, you are in from 8am to 1pm most days, an hour break for lunch and then I am at the boy’s home from 3pm to 11pm. I schedule my workdays around when we have our off days with rugby, so I get to catch up on sleep.
“At first it was definitely a lot, but I have been here for two years at this point, so I am used to the flow of things now.”
Still just 24 years of age, it wasn’t that long ago that some would have thought that May would be following in the footsteps of his uncle, Mark May, and playing football. An All-American running back and defensive end whilst attending Saint Ignatius Preparatory School in Chicago, he now uses the values of both rugby and football to help the children he mentors.
“One of the biggest things with the kids at the boy’s home, they all come from rough backgrounds,” May said. “They have a huge sports complex at the home. They play sport all the time, they play basketball and I try to teach them the value of teamwork.
“They have trouble relying on one another and I try to tell them that it is actually a really nice place to be if they could all learn to work together and live together. They have a lot of resources and I’m just trying to teach them to work better with other people.”
A standout player for NOLA in the five games that were played in 2020, May has no intention currently of stopping the work that he does off the field. Still in his formative years as a professional player, May wants to commit as much of his time as possible to rugby, whilst continuing to develop his career.
“It’s definitely something that I would like to continue doing,” May said. “I like to focus on that more during the offseason and once the season comes around, I like to dial it back so I make sure that I am giving the time to rugby that I need to give to it.
“Because it is definitely a long and grueling season and you need to make sure that you don’t burnout.”
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