PEOPLE RAINER HANSEN
OCCUPATION: Junior Engineer and Site Manager at HOCHTIEF Infrastructure in Trier
MISSION: To gather experience and pass it on to others
Rainer Hansen has been a big rugby fan for a long time. He began to play after he got an egg-shaped ball for his seventh birthday. The game is quite common in South Africa, where the 25-year-old junior engineer hails from. Down there, rugby is about as popular as soccer is in Germany. Hansen stayed with rugby for a long time and played throughout his time at the university. Back then, he couldn’t imagine how rugby would one day help him—he simply loved this rough and tumble game. What he likes most about it is the great camaraderie among the players and the respectful way everyone treats one another, even though the game often doesn’t look very friendly. “Unlike in soccer, nobody here screams at the referee when he is shown the yellow card,” says Hansen, who then goes on to quote a well-known saying: “Rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen; soccer is a game for gentlemen played by hooligans.”
When Hansen came to Germany in 2016, he experienced for himself how far the camaraderie goes. Germany is the country in which his grandparents were born and where he wanted to get his first professional experience. However, he initially had trouble putting down roots in Germany. Rugby changed all of that. Hansen found a club near his workplace in Essen, where he trained twice a week. He was warmly welcomed into the team and made good friends. “They helped me get settled,” says Hansen. He is now giving back to his team. Hansen no longer works in Essen, but is instead employed by HOCHTIEF in Trier. Although this means that he can no longer take part in training sessions, he still supports his second-league team by playing for them on weekends. For this, he regularly drives 250 kilometers to Essen and back. That’s what a true gentleman does.
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