Submitted by Ed Mateo
The Simsbury High School Rugby Team (Girls and Boys) are putting plans in place for their 7th season at the high school. The 2013 season will be a milestone for the sport at Simsbury High School as Rugby has officially achieved a Varsity status for both the girls and boys teams.
Simsbury Rugby, with over 50 boys and 25 girls participating, has been a club sport at the high school for the past 6 years and will now join Greenwich, Fairfield Prep, Darien, Staples and Stamford Academy with a varsity status for 2013. Currently there are over 20 High School boys and girls clubs participating at the high school level in the state of Connecticut governed by the Rugby Connecticut Organization and directly aligned with USA Rugby.
The vision for a rugby club started with Dr. Dan Spada more than 15 years ago and through his persistence, the Simsbury High School Rugby Club was finally founded in 2007 with the support of the athletic department, the high school administration, as well as the dedication of the coaches and parents. Numerous graduates of the team play at the college level and many of our first players continue to play for men’s clubs as far away as Australia.
The coaches are excited and expect little to change with their team philosophy for 2013.
“The club will continue to stress the ideals that the club was founded on: respect, responsibility, team work, and sportsmanship” said coach John Mudano.
Coach Howie Rosenberg said “I know the coaching staff is looking forward to another great year and building on the foundation that we have built over the last six years. I expect the kids to be excited as well due to this being the first year as a varsity program and the fact that we have an experienced and deep senior class."
With the emergence of Rugby as an Olympic sport in 2016, the game has exploded across the youth population. There has been a large growth in the non-contact Rookie Rugby programs across the country in school districts , summer leagues and after school programs. Many colleges are seeing the sport in a different light and are starting to offer scholarships and financial aid to build their programs. In the Northeast, Quinnipiac and Harvard University have recently adopted Rugby as a varsity sport. AIC, University of Connecticut , St. Bonaventure ,New England College and Stony Brook are providing some form of scholarships and financial aid for Rugby.
The Simsbury Rugby Team has built a program that has competed with some of the top ranked High School programs in the Country and looks forward to offering the game and core values to even more girls and boys this spring. Information on the team can be found at www.simsburyrugby.com .