This Spring, Washington University student Hank Michalski interned with the Saracens, a London-based Rugby team. During the team’s biggest game of the year, Hank was able to have the unique and memorable experience of serving as the team’s mascot.
This Spring, I have been interning in the finance department at Saracens Rugby Club and was their mascot at the biggest match of the year. Their usual mascot guy was out of town for their game against the Harlequins at London Olympic Stadium, which was completely sold out at around 55,000 attendees, and televised across the UK.
This all came to be as a result of my internship supervisor jokingly telling me I was going to be Sarrie the Camel at the London Stadium game during the first week of my internship, which was a few weeks beforehand. I just assumed this was a rite of passage at Saracens HQ, since he told me that everyone had been in the costume, and— being from a sports background where this sort of thing is normal— I just accepted my fate. Many others asked if I was actually going to be Sarrie and were quite surprised when I told them I was.
Before the match, I walked around outside the stadium in my Sarrie costume and took pictures with fans, gave high-fives, and just tried to be a ball of energy for them. There was an incredible age-range of fans who wanted a picture – from 2 – 82. The little kids were ruthless; they never wanted to stop high-fiving me and would punch my hump, teeth, and eyes and pull my tail and shorts down. I also walked around the stadium before the match and during halftime, giving high-fives and taking more pictures.
Overall, it was an incredibly hot and sweaty experience, but I am very glad that I was able to do it. It will be a great story to tell in the future; how many other people can say they were a sports mascot in front of 55,000+ people and a national television audience?
~Hank Michalski, Washington University in St. Louis
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