The 2016 Play Rugby USA (PRUSA) Los Angeles Rugby Cup broke all previous records with well over 400 young boys and girls taking part in this magical event on Saturday May 7th!
The tournament saw students from afterschool providers Beyond the Bell, After-School All-Stars and EduCare compete in various divisions – divided into different age groups through Elementary, Middle and High School. The youngsters were able to see the pathway to High School flag rugby, which includes additional laws being added so it more resembles Rugby 7s, with the tackle version appearing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. For our High School students, uncontested line-outs, scrums and kicking is allowed in flag rugby – creating a real buzz for the Elementary and Middle School sensations.
A huge thank to our supporters – especially the Australian Consulate-General, who signed on as a Gold partner! We are so appreciative for this support which assist us in serving over 2,500 young boys and girls across the City of Angels!
Australian Consulate-General Chelsey Martin
New Zealand Consulate-General Leon Grice
BrightView (Joshua Drake)
British Consulate-General Bernadette Greene
The LA Rugby Cup was held yet again in conjunction with the fantastic BritWeek organization – which celebrates all things British in Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, Orange County and Los Angeles. BritWeek celebrated their 10th Year Anniversary in 2016, hosting several exciting events across Los Angeles from April 23 to May 8 and also featured PRUSA on their action packed calendar.
During the 2016 season (January to April) PRUSA sent Youth Development Mentors (YDM’s) to 75 schools to deliver the ‘Give Rugby A Try’ and ‘Team Rugby’ curriculums, which focus on teaching positive life skills through an array of active and fun games. All sessions are co-ed, which allows students to interact and work in teams with their fellow students. Schools that took part in the current season included:
Beyond the Bell – Elementary (31 Sites)
Aldama, Allesandro, Annandale, Beethoven, Buchanan, Bushnell Way, Cahuenga, Cesar Chavez, Clifford, Dahlia Heights, Dorris Place, Euclid, First Street, Franklin, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Ivanhoe, Kennedy, Logan, Los Angeles, Mayberry, Micheltorena, Monte Vista, Mount Washington, Norwood, Plasencia, Ramona, Second Street, Sierra Park, Toland Way, Yorkdale.
Beyond the Bell – Middle (19 Sites)
Burbank, Burroughs, Byrd, Columbus, Dana, Elizabeth, Emerson, Harry Bridges, Hollenbeck, Irving, King, Maclay, Nava, Nightingale, Pacoima, Portola, Reed, Sepulveda, YOKA.
After-School All-Stars – Elementary (5 Sites)
Cesar Chavez, Downtown Value School, Los Angeles Leadership Academy, Short, Synergy Charter.
After-School All-Stars – Middle (15 Sites)
ALMA, Bell Gardens Intermediate, Belvedere, CRMA #4, Griffith, Harte Prep, Los Angeles Leadership Academy, O’Donovan, Richard Merkin, Stella 5/6, SUVA, Synergy Kinetic, TEACH Academy, Valor Academy, Vista.
EduCare Foundation – High (5)
Diego Rivera Learning Complex High School, Esteban E. Torres High School, Health Services Academy High School, Washington Preparatory High School, West Adams Preparatory High School.
The tournament format is based on the HSBC Sevens World Series – seeing round robin matches in various pools with all teams making various finals depending on their rankings. Teams played 7-minute matches, with an estimated five fixtures, totaling 45-minutes of action per player.
In partnership with Santa Monica RFC and their home pitch – the fantastic Webster Middle school – we were able to use 3 large fields for the 65 teams. The theme for this year was The Olympic Games – with each squad assigned a country to represent at the LA Rugby Cup.
2016 Los Angeles Rugby Cup Results
1st: DVS (Zimbabwe)
2nd: Cesar Chavez (Portugal)
3rd: LALA (Ukraine)
Middle Schools (Co-Ed)
1st: Dana (Norway)
2nd: Griffith (Australia)
3rd: Belvedere (Thailand)
4th: King (Morocco)
Middle Schools (Boys)
1st: Pacoima (Canada)
2nd: Nightingale (Finland)
3rd: Pacoima (Botswana)
4th: Nightingale (Germany)
Middle Schools (Girls)
1st: Nightingale (Hong Kong)
2nd: Nightingale (Austria)
3rd: Columbus (Japan)
4th: Burroughs (Italy)
High Schools (Boys)
1st: Diego Rivera (Cook Islands)
2nd: Esteban E. Torres (New Zealand)
3rd: Diego Rivera (Serbia)
4th: West Adams (Chile)
High Schools (Girls)
1st: Esteban E. Torres (Aruba)
2nd: Washington (Namibia)
The action on the field was superb to watch, with such amazing skill level on display. Of the 400 students, at least 100 were taking part in their first ever tournament! Many of the matches went into sudden death extra time, with the first team scoring in overtime claiming the various finals.
A total of 784 tries were scored by the 65 teams, which is almost 2 tries per player. The most impressive aspect, however, was how teams worked together to ensure all their team mates were able to get a try or two during the fantastic tournament.
Rugby’s values and ethos sets it apart from many other sports. These values in action are showcased at the various tournaments, with teams thanking the opposition after every single match. This respect is carried off the field as well, and we had coaches and mentors look for these individuals that stood out – rewarding them with various items from our apparel partner Canterbury of North America, and donated prizes from Royal Rugby Boots and MOBOT foam rolling water bottles!
MVP & Spirit of Rugby Awards: Andreas Leyva (Cesar Chavez), Elijah Ramos (DVS), Samantha Beaupre (Short), Robert Valdez, Jocelyn Sandobal and Alex Platez (Pacoima), Corbin Hernandez, Jesus Aquino and Lindsay Butler (Nightingale), Leslie Sagastume and Lenor Diaz (Columbus), Fabian Munoz (Griffith), Brandon Reveles (Belvedere), Manuel Penetha (O’Donovan), Heaven Parker (ALMA), Michelle Felix, Joyce Perez, Joshua Gomez and Nathan Preciedo (Esteban E. Torres), Eva Harviega, Decy Ventura, Kevin Miles and Devin Robinson (Washington), Jesse Calderon and Ismael Lopez (Diego Rivera), Omar Olivero and Jeffery Ramirez (West Adams).
Massive thanks to the PRUSA staff who helped during this busy event: Casey Bollinger, Julia Notar (Santa Monica Women’s RFC), Matt Raba (Pasadena Men’s RFC), Monica Au-Yeng (Pasadena Women’s RFC), Will Ayres, Ronald Chan, Thomas Egan, Oscar Flores, Philip Grove, Fernando Zepeda (Occidental Men’s RFC), Gabriel del Campo, Nick Freitas, Harrison Herndon, Emilio Torres (Los Angeles RFC), Shane Kenny and Kyle Sullivan. Also a massive thanks to legends Anthony Lenos, our brilliant San Francisco Program Manager, and Dom Wareing – our New York Culture Keeper extraordinaire – that flew in to ensure the Cup was a huge success!
For more information visit Play Rugby USA (www.playrugbyusa.com).
We would like to Thank the amazing LA84 Foundation (www.la84foundation.org) for all their support in expanding rugby to Elementary, Middle and High School boys and girls across Los Angeles.
Play Rugby USA (PRUSA) was founded by Mark Griffin in New York City in 2003, and with it’s mission of ‘Developing Youth Through Rugby’ the program has spread to Los Angeles in 2010 and San Francisco in 2012.
The LA program has grown from 6 to 135 schools over the past five years, serving an estimated 2,500 students annually.
PRUSA works with after school programs After-School All-Stars (ASAS), the Sheriff Youth Academies League (YAL), Police Academies League (PAL), Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), Summer Night Lights (SNL), LA’s Best, Beyond the Bell (BTB) and the EduCare Foundation.
PRO Rugby North America‘s Director of Rugby, Steve Lewis, was present at our LA Rugby Cup (pictured above on right on a hover board). Lewis was extremely impressed with the level of skill on display – and how many youngsters are taking part in the Play Rugby USA program in the City of Angels!