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Heart Of Illinois Challenge To Help Grow Game In Downstate

HS Boys

Heart Of Illinois Challenge To Help Grow Game In Downstate

On Saturday, 7 April, Rugby Illinois, University of Illinois RFC, Effingham RFC, and La Salette Rugby are partnering to host the Heart of Illinois Rugby Challenge. Aimed at growing the sport in the rural counties of Illinois, the HofI challenge will feature several matches culminating in a 12:30 cup draw between the Mustangs of Morton and the Notre Dame de La Salette Lions. The Lions have long been a national powerhouse and seek to build on their early season success. Morton have twice been Illinois State Champions in the last eight years. The winner will take home the North-South Illinois Challenge Cup.

During halftime of the main event, the young guns of the sport will take the field. Effingham RFC’s Rookie Rugby program will show their stuff in a brief exhibition. These guys will have gotten a good warm up during a come and play event, welcome to anyone age 6-12 interested in having a run.

With the invitation sent out to families and school administrators from all around the Central Illinois area, with news crews RSVPing to attend, the stage is set for an excellent opportunity for rugby to make inroads in new communities. The organizers are now reaching out to the Rugby Community as a whole to make the event as successful as possible.

La Salette Coach, Joseph Rasmus, remarked, “The more passionate fans of the sport we can get out to the UofI Complex fields this Saturday, the more excitement we will be able to inspire in newcomers to our game. If you are in the area and can make it on the day, we hope you will join us. Bring friends. If you are in NYC or Seattle or Houston but no someone in Central Illinois, please give them a shout.”

The Heart of Illinois Rugby Challenge will take place on Saturday, 7 April with a Come and Play event for ages 6-12 running from 11:30-12:15 and culminating in a top-notch schoolboy cup draw at 12:30. The match will be played at the Complex Fields on the campus of the University of Illinois. Parking is available in lot F23. Full event details can be found on the FB event (https://www.facebook.com/events/435478850241934/).