Recent View Park graduate Tamir Washington played rugby, baseball, football, and track and field (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

During his sophomore year, Tamir Washington and his friend tried out for the boy’s rugby team at View Park high school on a whim.

“It turned out that we enjoyed playing it, so we just kept playing it,” Washington said. “We got better and better as we got on through the season and I had a lot of fun playing it so I decided to come back and continue winning.”

Washington, who recently graduated from View Park, became a focal member of the boy’s rugby team. Others even noticed his potential to be a good leader.

“I was told by multiple people that I had leadership qualities, I didn’t see them until later on,” he said. “I decided to use that and help my team get better in ways that they couldn’t see for themselves.”

Related Stories:

Student Athlete of the Week: Leah Hudson

Rams Provide Caps and Gowns to Inglewood Unified Graduating Seniors

Washington noticed with many aspects of his life, he can see situations from a different perspective. This is the inspiration behind his leadership skills.

“When we’re in practice, people usually play to improve themselves,” Washington said. “But, when I’m there, I look more at my teammates so I can see ways that I can tell them in a system in improving their own skills as well as mine.”

Along with rugby, Washington competed in football and in track and field; he competed in the 100m and shot put. These sports improved his gameplay in rugby.

“To me, it made me way faster and then the shot put made me stronger because of technique,” Washington said.

View Park Rugby is usually undersized when they battle opponents. However, Washington refused to back down from competition.

“Me being a forward, I got to play forwards that are huge, way bigger than me. I’m at a size disadvantage every single time,” he said. “When I’m on that field, I just tell myself that ain’t no escaping from this and I just go and do it.”

During the times he would beat players larger than him, it gave Washington a confidence boost and the skills to improve.

For Washington, being a student athlete means setting an example of how to be committed both to schoolwork and athletic obligations.

“I’m the leader in the school, I set standards for the rest of the people because I have so many things going on,” he said. “I’m multitasking and I’m able to stay on top of all of what I’m supposed to do.”

To balance all his responsibilities, Washington completes as much schoolwork as he can while at school.

“When I’m not at school, I’m in practice. [In] practice time, I grind hard and then when I go home, I finish up whatever work that I didn’t finish in school.”

His favorite class is government. During the class, he learned about Black history along with standard history lessons taught in school.