Harlem Rugby Cup a Huge Success!
On February 3, Super Bowl Sunday, 231 rugby enthusiasts braved the cold weather to travel to the Harlem Children Zone Harlem Armory to participate in the 2nd Annual Harlem Rugby Cup. This tournament featured 5 schools, an increase from last year.
The five schools competing were:
-PS20 (Henry Street Settlement program)
-Boys’ and Girls’ Republic (BGR, Henry Street Settlement Program)
-PS75 (Play Rugby USA Sports Leadership Academy, pictured above)
-PS208 (Play Rugby USA Sports Leadership Academy)
At the tournament, each school competed in 3 pool matches, and was guaranteed one playoff match. The support of friends and family was clearly apparent through the enthusiasm coming from the packed bleachers. During a brief intermission, groups from the Sports Leadership Academies (PS 208 and Edward A. Reynolds) gave Beyoncé a run for her money with brilliantly choreographed dance routines (pictured at right). Following this demonstration of some of the other activities offered at the SLAs, the Plate and Cup finals were played. The Plate final featured PS20 against PS208 with PS20 emerging victorious. The Cup Final proved to be the highlight of the day, featuring a thrilling match between BGR and PS75 which resulted in a sudden death overtime match. BGR won the coin toss and scored a breakaway try through the middle of the pitch to win the game and thus the tournament!
PS20 and BGR were not the only teams to take home hardware however. For the first time ever, we presented Go Forward Awards to one player on each team. This award was given to a player who exemplified the four A’s (Attendance, Attitude, Academics, Athletics) that are the foundation of our selection process. Exhibiting the spirit of this award, the sportsmanship and camaraderie between all the teams was amazing. To see players high five their teammates as well as their competitors is truly a testament to all of our participants’ strong characters. The experience of the program was said best by a parent from PS208 and a parent from Pelham RFC at the event:
“Through the rugby tournament my daughter has learned to appreciate team work and eating and staying healthy”
“He loves playing rugby with Play Rugby USA. It is the only sport he has played consistently for 3 years"
The Harlem Rugby Cup marks the first of Play Rugby USA’s many tournaments this year. Coming up in March, the CHAMPs program championships will be played, with over 20 teams competing for the crown. Following that, the spring schedule begins with over 30 tournaments planned between April and the NYC Rugby Cup in June. Thank you to the Harlem Children's Zone for hosting us, and all of our volunteers, staff and participants for making this such an awesome event!
Full winner's list:
Cup Winner- BGR
Cup Runner Up-PS 75
Plate Winner- PS20
Our Founder, Mark Griffin, has started a blog sharing his experiences in the Rugby For Good space.
Please click here to view his first entry, discussing the power of Go Forward in Rugby For Good programs!
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