Start Them Young…

…then see what happens. This applies to all sports, but for Rugby in SoCal this formula has shown amazing results. In 29 youth clubs located between San Diego and San Luis Obispo more than 2,000 players aged between 5 and 18 are active. They love the sport, the camaraderie, the ability to get involved in a game which is very physical and at the same time based on respect for the rules and the opponent.

One opportunity to see the results of the careful nurturing of young players is the FYR High School Rugby International Invitational in Fullerton. This year the tournament was held during the Easter weekend and it was truly an international event:

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Teams from California, Utah, Oregon, Wisconsin, Australia and Canada took part in two days of exceptionally good rugby. More than 700 young players were present to play and to pit their strength against each other.

Quite remarkable was the fact that so many girls teams took part in the tournament; even more so, that five female teams from Canada were present. Apparently this was a first in the history of High School Rugby tournaments in all of the US.

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In the finals the Boys Cup went to the LA Cougars, the Girls Cup to the Columneetza Team from British Columbia.

They all started young and now they are the new breed helping to build the presence of Rugby in the US.

3 Replies to “Start Them Young…”

  1. I’m glad to see sports other than football, baseball, and basketball becoming popular with our youth. Hopefully, these kids will carry that love for sports such as rugby and soccer into adulthood, and there will be world-class US professional teams in both sports.

  2. But, but . . .

    WHAT ABOUT THE BEER?????

    I’ll admit, I came to love rugby rather late in life, but all of my rugby experience has involved players and fans drinking Guinness and Bass Ale and Bitter after the match.

    Isn’t that like a rule or something?

    Seriously, that’s way cool.

  3. Yes, Rugby is on the rise, thanks to many, many people who give their time to coach youth teams. Plus – it’s the girls! Womens and girls teams are growing at a faster rate than mens and boys teams; a similar development could be seen in soccer. Mia Hamm did a lot for women in soccer – now we need a Mia in rugby.

    As to the 3. half (that’s where the beer comes in), yes, drinking a lot of beer after the game and singing (moderately to extremely dirty) rugger songs is the rule, a rather strict one at that. But not after a high school tournament, at least not in the US. However, once the guys are 21, yes, yes, yes.

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