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Rugby Festival Power by Serevi in NYC

irish rugby tours

Rugby Festival Power by Serevi in NYC

Why are more than a thousand school kids from New York picking up a rugby ball for the first time in their lives next week? The HSBC Rugby Festivals powered by Serevi are making its first North American stop in New York on Monday September 29th and Tuesday the 30th to introduce local youth to one of America’s fastest growing sports. As rugby sevens is set to debut as an Olympic sport in 2016, one of the greatest ever players Waisale Serevi along with “The Fastest Man in Rugby” – current USA Rugby speedster Carlin Isles, current USA Rugby Head Coach Mike Tolkin, former USA Rugby player Phaidra Knight, and former USA Rugby captain and coach Matt Hawkins will provide hands-on demonstrations and coaching to middle and high school students in Queens and Harlem.

As parents look for alternatives to football and a sport that can offer a position for young male and female athletes of every size, rugby has emerged as a fun, safe, and rewarding option for a growing number of kids. Requiring every player to have a diversity of skills – passing, jumping, kicking, running, tackling – rugby is one of the fastest growing team sports in America, an increasing number of major universities now offer rugby scholarships to boys and girls, and rugby sevens will debut at the 2016 Olympic Games, opening the opportunity for many new athletes to play for their country.

By its free flowing nature, rugby is an offseason complement for players of all sports to develop as total athletes, requiring all positions to run, catch, pass, and kick. It has some contact like football and lacrosse; the individual flair and constant action of basketball; the skills and spacing of soccer. Rugby develops key decision-making skills by forcing all positions to think on the fly, whether on offense or defense. Additionally, through the practice and development of other skills, rugby can keep young athletes’ attitude about and motivation for sports fresh – providing a break from “sport specialization” burnout that many youngsters are facing. Schools are also taking note of the benefits that accrue to their students from rugby: leadership, confidence, decision-making, team play, and perseverance.