Through out the years, Play Rugby USA’s events and programs were able to be possible and successful because of the funding from all of its dedicated supporters. With their help, we were able to deliver the value of rugby to children around the country.
Today, we would like to recognize the US Women’s Rugby Foundation (USWRF) for their generous support that enabled Play Rugby USA to engage three of its Senior Academy girls from the Bronx, New York to participate in an internship program and attend the Junior All American Regional Camp in Atlanta, Georgia last March!
High School juniors Denisse Zambon and Shamira Robles, and senior Gioanna Cruz have been playing rugby for less than two years, ever since their high school, Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists in Bronx, NY formed a team in spring 2012. Each has excelled as a player in the short time they have been playing. Gioanna was named as a High School All-American and earned a scholarship to attend American International College in the Fall, Denisse was tournament MVP at a Regional All-Star Tournament in Pittsburg, PA. Despite only having played 7-a-side rugby, all three girls along with 6 of their PRUSA-Academy team-mates made the Empire City 15 a side all star team. They all look forward to continuing their 15-a-side rugby experience, in college.
The USWRF funding helped us to have Denisse, Gioanna, and Shamira in our internship program as Youth Development Mentors at Play Rugby USA program sites in New York City. They learned how to teach young children life lessons through non-contact rugby games and coaching methods that build self-esteem and teamwork. We applied their internship ‘pay’ towards them attending the Women’s Junior All-American Camp with team head coach Danielle Miller in Atlanta. While none of the girls were selected to U20’s squad that competed in the Nations Cup this summer, they showed a lot of promise and hope they might be selected in 2014!
We learned about the PRUSA Academy Girls team last week. This week, we shift our attention to our Boys team coached by coach Brian Wolf and coach Adam Barnard.
It has been a tough year for the Academy Boys team, playing the full sevens season with a very small squad. This did not stop those involved committing and working hard for the team. The fact that the boys improved tremendously throughout the season and even won games with only six players on the field is a testament to their determination and drive to Go Forward, a value Play Rugby tries to inspire. Added to this, the selflessness of the team was remarkable, some boys refused to come off the field even with slight injuries so not to let the team struggle a man down. Highlighting Try Makers Not Just Try Scorers, another value of Play Rugby.
Off the field, leadership sessions led by Coach Brian Wolf have aided in the boys setting goals for themselves and realizing what is needed to Go Forward on and off the field.
Highlights of the season have been winning two games with 6 players in Danbury, again showing the great character and spirit the boys had. We also came very close to winning some silverware in New Haven, losing controversially in overtime in the bowl final to Connecticut Yankees. Two other results underlined the improvement of the team- in the final tournament of the season coming close to beating Princeton, narrowly losing 17-12 to a team who beat us by over 30 points the previous week. The second result was against New York Rugby Club in the semi- final of the plate, unfortunately we just missed out again losing by one score to a team who had beaten us in all previous encounters.
From the coaches Brian Wolf and Adam Barnard, they would like to say well done to all the boys who were involved and thank you for the terrific effort and determination showed week in week out. It is pleasing to say they have watched the players in the team advance as rugby players and also young men.
Summer 2013 Tournament Results:
Monmouth- Won- 0 Lost- 3
Danbury- Won- 2 Lost- 2 (6 player squad)
New Haven- Won- 2 Lost- 3 (One in the Bowl Final)
Princeton- Won- 1 Lost- 2 (One in the Cup Quarter Final)
Hell Gate- Won- 1 Lost- 2 (One in the Plate Semi- Final)