Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

Knight to Appear on MTV’s “Made”

Phaidra Knight is tough,  she is going to play in her third Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC) for the Women Eagles this month and has been hailed as one of the best female rugby players on the planet. 

At 5’4’’ and 187 pounds, she is a tough player to bring down. 

But this elite athlete and fierce competitor had her work cut out for her when she met Sharon Pendleton, a 15-year-old Wisconsinite who wanted to be “made” into a rugby player. 

An episode of MTV’s “Made” will air on Tuesday August 17, that will document Knight’s mission to turn Pendleton into a bona fide rugby athlete.

The show’s premise is this: A person (usually a teenager) has a dream.  The dream could be anything; to become a wrestler, an outstanding debater, a motocross racer, whatever the person wants to be.  MTV then finds a qualified coach to make the dream come true.  Sometimes the dream comes true and sometimes it doesn’t.  Though we aren’t permitted to know how the episode ends, we do know this: MTV hit it out of the park when they chose Phaidra Knight to be Pendleton’s mentor and coach.
Knight has been a standout on the Women Eagles for ten years playing flanker and prop, positions that require an extraordinary amount of physical and mental tenacity.  She graduated magna cum laude from Alabama State University and has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. She is not only an outstanding athlete, but a person with remarkable character and gumption.  That said, her will was certainly tested by the teenage wannabe rugby player.
Throughout the six-weeks of filming Knight experienced a series of perpetual highs and lows, as dealing with temperamental teens invariably results in an emotional rollercoaster for the adult trying to control them.  In addition to the challenge of teenage hormonal impulsivity, Pendleton had never played a sport before.  Pendleton doesn’t exactly have Knight’s kind of physical stature as she’s “about 100 pounds soaking wet,” according to Knight. 
Making the teen see herself as an athlete was not easy.  But, with the help of USA Rugby’s sponsors, Emirates Airline and Canterbury of New Zealand, Knight was able to get Pendleton kitted-out to make her look and feel like a rugby player. 
Knight said that the experience was a “successful venture…a life-changing experience.”  She is unable to reveal more details about the show until the episode airs on August 17.
After working with Pendleton, Knight found that the rewards of helping a young person become successful far outweighed the drawbacks.  When she returns from the WRWC, Knight will pursue coaching and a career in television broadcasting. 
To learn more about Phaidra, visit her website.


3 comments on “Knight to Appear on MTV’s “Made”

  1. DeBarr
    August 9, 2010

    Its interesting that MTV is doing this again. They’ve actually already “MADE” a female rugby player. They used a Columbus (Westerville) girl a few years ago. Scioto Valley’s team was so bad that they brought in some guy from the Cincinnati Wolfhounds… it was an interesting show, maybe that’s why they did the same thing again.

  2. rugbyamerica1
    August 9, 2010

    I was thinking that MTV had done a “Made” using rugby once before. I guess you can’t get enough of a good thing though. It’s a great tie-in with the Women’s World Cup right around the corner. Hopefully MTV timed the release of the episode so that they can take advantage of that.

  3. Robin
    August 11, 2010

    Great article. Nice to see Phaidra receiving this much-deserved recognition. Looking forward to the show!

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This entry was posted on August 9, 2010 by in Rugby World Cup.

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