New York, NY- June 11, 2012- Over 1500 people made the trip to Randall’s Island on Saturday June 9th for the Fifth Annual NYC Rugby Cup – Presented by HSBC. Play Rugby USA; the largest rugby based youth development organization in the nation, hosted the event on Randall’s Island Fields 70-75. 72 teams and nearly 900 players competed in almost 200 matches across three divisions (Middle School Co-Ed, Middle School All-Girls, and Elementary School) for the City Cup titles. Despite some light rain early on, the skies cleared up and it turned into a beautiful day for rugby.
The fifth edition of the event saw a change of theme, as Premiership Rugby was chosen as this year’s theme-partner. Each team adopted a Premiership Rugby club, the world’s foremost domestic rugby competition based in England. The teams were asked to also create a banner commemorating their club’s culture, history and accomplishments. The Middle School winner of the banner competition was PS218, representing the Worcester Warriors. The Elementary School winner of the banner competition was CS242, representing Bath. This cultural project was made all the more relevant by the Premiership Rugby Roadshow running the previous week which saw Premiership Rugby Community Coaches working alongside Play Rugby USA coaches in multiple schools.
Wayne Morris, Head of Community at Premiership Rugby, said “This trip to the USA has been a great success. Our programmes prove that Premiership Rugby is a world leader when it comes to our community initiatives and I’m delighted that we were given the chance to help promote and grow the game in the USA following our equally successful visit to Brazil in March. I would like to thank Play Rugby USA, USA Sevens Rugby, and the British Consulate General in New York for making us feel welcome and British Airways for providing flights from their Olympic Flight Bursary Programme.”
The NYC Rugby Cup Ambassador John Layfield, former world champion wrestler and current financial analyst for Fox News kicked off the event. British Consul General Danny Lopez, another event Ambassador, arrived in the afternoon to attend the closing ceremonies and award presentations. Both Ambassadors visited the Hope For The Warriors® tent, where all attendees were encouraged to write letters to our troops serving overseas. Hope For The Warriors® collected a few hundred letters over the course of the day from kids and adults alike to send to our troops. This service day component was coordinated by Anthony Lenos, a Coach Across America mentor in Play Rugby USA’s New York program.
The morning of the tournament saw all 72 teams in pool play to determine the playoff seedings for the afternoon. In the Middle School division, Cup, Plate, Bowl, and Shield trophies were awarded. In the Elementary School division, Cup, Plate, and Bowl trophies were awarded. In the inaugural All-Girls competition, Cup, Plate, and Bowl trophies were awarded. The following teams won silverware at the NYC Rugby Cup:
Middle School Competition
Cup Champions- PS279, representing London Wasps
Plate Champions- MS 336, representing Gloucester
Bowl Champions- IS 77, representing Worcester Warriors
Shield Champions- MS 331, representing Sale Sharks
Elementary School Competition
Cup Champions- Lycee Francais, representing London Wasps
Plate Champions- Elysian Charter School, representing Newcastle Falcons
Bowl Champions- Boys’ Club of NY- Gerry Clubhouse, representing Harlequins
All Girls Competition
Cup Champions- IS392, representing Harlequins
Plate Champions- PS202, representing London Irish
Bowl Champions- 167, representing Saracens
All told, the standard of rugby was much improved in comparison to previous years as more teams and coaches were given greater opportunities to learn and play over the course of the season. This was evidenced by the record number of matches, and especially finals, decided by one try or in sudden death. This included the All-Girl Cup Final which was decided on the final play of normal time and the Elementary School Cup Final which was decided in sudden death. The NYC Rugby Cup featured champions representing 8 of the 12 Premiership Rugby teams, including current champions Harlequins.
This NYC Rugby Cup marks the first championship for the PS279 team. The team was recently featured in an article in the Wall Street Journal, and is one of the oldest Play Rugby USA partners. They lost the Cup Final in the first three NYC Rugby Cups, and were eliminated in the Cup playoffs last year. They were supported on Saturday by past captains and players, who witnessed Coach Mike Rosario and his team finally reach the pinnacle of a Cup Championship. Congratulations to Mike and all the PS279 players, past and present!
“Everyone that was involved in this Fifth Annual NYC Rugby Cup should be very proud for doing their part to make this Cup far and away our most successful yet. From our staff being on top of every logistical possibility to our partners, donors and over 80 volunteers working diligently throughout the day, there was no stone left unturned. The result was a fantastic display of rugby and sportsmanship which sets the benchmark even higher for every event going forward.” Mark Griffin, President of Play Rugby USA commented.
The Cups and Individual player awards were presented by Ashley Parker, EVP HSBC; Danny Lopez, British Consul General; Gareth Jones and Connor Kinnear, Serverside Group; Chris Venn representing Old Blue RFC; Dr. Gregory DiFelice, Hospital for Special Surgery and NY Presbyterian Hospital; Lindsay Harr and Elizabeth McSpedon, NYC Department of Education’s Office of Wellness; Olly Dennison representing RBS; Robyn Griffin representing Toku Rugby; Bob Karetsky (volunteer and supporter); Principal James Waslawski, Play Rugby USA – NYC Advisor.
We would also like to remind everyone there are still tickets available to the NYC Rugby Cup Cocktail Benefit on June 14th. This event is Play Rugby USA’s primary fundraiser, and the funds raised help support the cost of the NYC Rugby Cup. Tickets can be purchased at http://2012nycrugbycup.charityhappenings.org/.
The NYC Rugby Cup is also being supported by these major partners:
Gold Donors: Old Blue RFC, West Point Rugby, Serverside Group, Toku Rugby
Silver Donors: Perseus Telecom, GSM Systems, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, East Coast Orthotic and Prosthetic Corp.
Bronze Donors: Star Physical Therapy, Dr. John Kennedy, The Sigrist Family, The Barrow Family, Kiwi Physical Therapy, and Royal Bank of Scotland
Who we are
Play Rugby USA is the premier Rugby Based Youth Development program in the US. Founded in 2003, the organization has grown to coaching over 4,000 children per year in structured weekly programs
between New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and over 12,000 students in aggregate since inception. The program most recently received the Rugby Expo Community Programme of the Year award in 2011.
HSBC Bank USA, National Association, with total assets of $206.8 billion as of 31 March 2012 (US GAAP), serves 3.8 million customers through its personal financial services, commercial banking, private banking, asset management, and global banking and markets segments. It operates more than 465 bank
branches throughout the United States. There are over 370 in New York state as well as branches in Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, California, Delaware, Illinois, Oregon and Washington State. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., one of the nation’s largest bank holding companies by assets. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a member of the FDIC.
The mission of Hope For The Warriors® is to enhance quality of life for U.S. service members and their families nationwide who have been adversely affected by injuries or death in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® actively seeks to ensure that the sacrifices of wounded and fallen warriors and their families are never forgotten nor their needs unmet.