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Administrator, organizer Natalie Bulger going into the P.E.I. Rugby Hall of Fame

Natalie Bulger, third from right, is the centrepiece to the Hunter’s Ale House P.E.I. Mudmen rugby club. Bulger is going into the P.E.I. Rugby Union Hall of Fame for her work as an administrator, player and coach. Also pictured are, from left, Mudmen members Jason Martell and Cory Bearisto (holding his daughter Griffen), Shaun Younker and Phil Gallant.
Natalie Bulger, third from right, is the centrepiece to the Hunter’s Ale House P.E.I. Mudmen rugby club. Bulger is going into the P.E.I. Rugby Union Hall of Fame for her work as an administrator, player and coach. Also pictured are, from left, Mudmen members Jason Martell and Cory Bearisto (holding his daughter Griffen), Shaun Younker and Phil Gallant. - Submitted

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The P.E.I. Rugby Union (PEIRU) wants to create a lasting legacy to Island rugby and to that end it’s inducting six members into its new Hall of Fame.

The ceremony is part of the PEIRU’s annual awards, which go Saturday, 5-9 p.m., at the Charlottetown Fire Hall.

The inaugural class includes Shannon Atkins, Darryl Boudreau, Natalie Bulger, Mike Lloyd, Ray Moore and George Woodhead (posthumously).

This is the fourth of six profiles on the inductees.

Natalie Bulger

Bulger is a fixture on the P.E.I. rugby scene.

During the last 27 years since first stepping on the pitch, she has become synonymous with the game on the Island.

As a Grade 12 student at Westisle High School in 1991, she was the instigator to create the first women’s rugby team at the school. The next year, she was a player on the first UPEI women’s team – where she continued to play until graduation, and stayed involved as manager until 1999.

Bulger was one of the first people on the Island to get certified as a coach and a referee in the 1990s.

Her managerial efforts have been continuous, both officially and unofficially with the provincial program where she was part of the 1998 senior women’s leadership team that took the program to the national championship (the first and only time an Island women’s team has accomplished that) and with club programs.

She is a stalwart with the Hunter’s Ale House Mudmen men’s club program where she does everything and anything she can to ensure the game experience goes smoothly and the club thrives.

There has likely not been a club event she has not had a hand in during the years. And, in the last year she was a key part of the advisory team that supported the new Charlottetown RFC women’s club, fulfilling a longtime goal of the Island rugby community.

As an administrator, Bulger has been part of the P.E.I. Rugby Union in almost every capacity at one time or another for the last 25 years. She is often the first person new players from off Island contact when getting introduced to P.E.I. rugby and if you ask anyone in the rugby community across the country about Island rugby, Bulger’s name is usually the first they mention.

In many ways Natalie Bulger is rugby on P.E.I.

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