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ARPTC About To Kick Off Fall Residency

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ARPTC About To Kick Off Fall Residency

Summer Jones all smiles during the ARPTC Summer 2020 residency program.

This coming week sees the beginning of the American Rugby Pro Training Center’s fall residency program, with at least 20 high-level women rugby players living and training together in Little Rock, Ark.

There are still one or two places open for deserving candidates (you have to apply) – go here to apply and learn more>>

Players will go through stringent COVID-19 mitigation protocols, as they did in the ARPTC summer residency. They are tested before arriving, and then go through a limited-contact bubble before entering the residency proper. Coaches also observe protocols, which include daily temperature and Pulse-Ox checks and constant cleaning of equipment, rugby balls, and hands.

Longtime elite coach Julie McCoy, who is a medical doctor as well as a top rugby coach, will oversee the program. Along with the result ARPTC staff (see here for the list), there will be some guest coaches, including former USA star Jill Potter. Heather Fisher will work as a mentor and counselor with the players, but she will do so virtually.

ARPTC Residency Shows It Can Be Done

About a dozen of the players in the residency are returning from earlier ARPTC programs, with the rest being new. Most of the newbies are young, with six being only 17 or 18. These players are on the USA radar in one way or another.

At least one players —Richmond RFC back-rower Hallie Taufoou—will be attending the recently-announced USA assembly before joining the ARPTC program.

Other players involved are taking advantage of work or school being handled remotely to find an activity where they can interact with like-minded athletes and accomplish something with their rugby, as well.

Intense But Fun

It will be an intense program, but it will have its lighter moments. The players will do non-rugby activities such as hiking and fishing and camping — and discovering that fall in Arkansas is quite lovely. The other difference between the summer program and the fall program, said McCoy, is the state of Arkansas. The state has opened up activities a little bit more and players will be able to tackle and take part in contact drills and activities.

“That’s a big thing for us and we’re about about that,” said McCoy. 

Barbados On The Horizon

This will make things a little bit easier in preparing for the Barbados World 7s in December. While that tournament is not necessarily confirmed (thanks to us being “in times like these”), ARPTC is planning to be there if it’s at all possible.

The players in the fall residency will be, in part, trying to make that team, but places are open to any ARPTC veteran. Those not in the residency have a deadline to declare (and show) that they are ready.

“We are trying to make the beast team we can and that’s what we’ve always done,” said McCoy. “The model is: be ready.”

Taking Control

And be resilient; be self-reliant. Over and above learning how to be better rugby players and trying to make an international touring roster, the players will learn something about themselves.

“We are working to build self reliance and resilience in our players,” said McCoy. “Whatever’s going on in the world, we’re going to make the best of it. We’re going to get players not only ready, but to know how to be ready. We want our athletes to know how to be that person, that self-reliant, ready person.”

For more on the ARPTC programs, go here >>