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.
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
Jessica – St. Bonaventure
Yulemny – St. Bonaventure
Jamal – Wheeling Jesuit
Ashley – Notre Dame College
Brenda – Notre Dame College
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!