Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Coaching Stars: Rhiannon and the Developing Youth Rugby in New York

One of the things I love about our Stars Rugby 7s team is that so many of our players are involved in further developing the game of rugby at the youth and collegiate levels. We have Stars across the globe involved in impacting the game as coaches, referees, administrators, and rugby ambassadors giving back to the sport we love.

This past weekend Stars Vegas player Rhiannon, who is an assistant to the Youth Development Officer for the state of New York, spent 2 days helping run a player development camp. Here's her recap and photos of the event (we spy some Stars wear in the photos!):

Over 100 high school students from across Western and Central New York participated in the 13th annual Rugby NY player development camp at Ralph Wilson Field House, home to the NFL's Buffalo Bills, in Orchard Park, NY this past weekend. Boys and girls of varied experience level came together under the leadership of Bridgend (Wales) Director of Rugby Gareth Nicholas, USA Stars Boys High School All American/University at Buffalo coach Mike Hodgins, assisted by numerous area high school and college coaches. The players, almost half of whom had played rugby for one year or less, worked on handling and continuity, as well as individual and unit skills. The camp finished with controlled scrimmages between mixed teams.

Personally, I had a fantastic time meeting and getting to work with the players and coaches from the other area teams, as well as seeing the girls I coach regularly in 15s and 7s make progress throughout the camp. It is so exciting to see the growth of the game, from attending this camp myself almost ten years ago to now coaching, the skill level and game recognition of the players is far beyond what it had been previously. It was truly a great way to kick off Spring season High School rugby in the area and I can't wait to see all these kids (and amazing coaches) on the pitch!

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