The Academy sports their new red & black Canterbury kit!

The 2013/14 Senior Rugby Academy season was one of our most successful yet. Typically focused around 7s programming, the Academy girls squad made waves when they won the NY State Championship in their first ever season of 15s. However, Academy participants are proving that they’re not just talented athletes – they’re ambitious students with their sights set high. As the new school year begins we’re proud to report that 100% of the Academy students in their Senior year of high school graduated on time, and 80% are now enrolled in college. 11 of our 16 college bound Academy graduates are enrolled in colleges outside of NYC, a first for many of their families.

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The academy is traditionally a U19 team with a high turnover rate of players as they graduate from High School and move on. This Summer the academy lost a large group to graduation, opening up spots on the squad for players from other PRUSA programs including our Junior Academy and Manhattan RFC. Those players that did not graduate truly stepped up over the summer to fill leadership roles both on and off the field.

The boys Academy squad has shown real promise in training and in matches, finishing up 3rd in the Empire Summer 7s Series and consistently having good numbers and putting out two teams to compete. They’ve even joined forces with NYRC to train with them once a week to improve their 15s game and compete against a few teams from overseas. The girls have shown their class once again in their ability to commit and train well together. They came out winning the Empire Summer 7s Series for the second year running.

Ashley and Ileane graduated and continue to play rugby in college.

Even more impressive than their results on the field is the growth in maturity and responsibility shown by the Academy teams off the field. One of the goals of the Academy is to mentor students in a holistic way to help them recognize and build on their strengths outside of rugby. This summer players participated in a series of sports theory workshops including sessions on team cohesion, personal strengths and self awareness, emotional intelligence and goal setting.

These young men and women are driven to achieve greatness both on and off the pitch. One player wants to study architecture so that she can go on to ‘design buildings that have sustainable features environmentally’. Another player dreams of going to college to study sports medicine, and another yet strives to make the high school all American team and become a Osteopathic Physician. What makes this all the more inspiring is that the average age of the Academy players is 17 years old.

This year’s graduates!

  • Travis – Paul Smith College

    Laurent – BCC

    John -BMCC

    Jessica – St. Bonaventure

    Yulemny – St. Bonaventure

    Jamal – Wheeling Jesuit

    Ashley – Notre Dame College

    Brenda – Notre Dame College

    Academy graduates Shamel, Ashely, Najya and Brenda all attend Notre Dame College.

    Academy graduates Shamel, Ashely, Najya and Brenda all attend Notre Dame College.

  • Academy graduate Denisse is attending Norwich University.

    Academy graduate Denisse is attending Norwich University.

    Denisse – Norwich University

    Lekia – SUNY Brockport

    Jefersson – New England College

    Amber – American International College

    Ileane – American International College

    Shamira – Life University

    Kevin – New York City Tech

    Joel – New York City Tech

Congratulations to all of our Academy graduates! We wish them continued success and we’ll be sure to share any updates from them. This fall the Academy will continue to train twice weekly and compete in 5 tournaments including NY Thanksgiving 7s. And, we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Lennox Hill Hospital to provide Academy students with workshops around fitness and injury prevention as well as career guidance and work study opportunities – stay tuned for more on this exciting new collaboration!

Make sure you don’t miss updates from our recent grads or the Academy.

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One Comment

  1. Love reading about these stories! Congrats to all, the results you are seeing now are only equal to all the hard work & effort you have put in since the first day you picked up a rugby ball!

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