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Beethoven Elementary School in Mar Vista, California, hosted another fun Flag Rugby season this fall as part of their many enrichment activities. We kicked off the 11-week season in early September with Rugby taking place every Thursday from 2.45-3.45pm for the K-2 group, followed by the grade 3-5’s from 3.45-4.45pm.

We had a record 25 young Los Angeles sensations take part – with each practice starting with everyone’s favorite game of Sharks & Minnows. The various rugby-specific games were then adjusted for the two different c0-ed age groups. Each session would end with a full field flag rugby game – with coaches joining in to even out the teams.

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The fantastic aspect of an active sport like rugby is that there are often water breaks, which allow for many teachable moments and bringing in Play Rugby USA’s values in action. This provided the coaches value moments with the students to encourage open conversations about many aspects of the sport – both on and off the field.

After each practice there would be a small presentation rewarding a player that showed great character that afternoon – with all students giving input on what they enjoyed and would like to work on the following week.

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The end-of-season mini rugby celebration took place on Saturday November 19th at Beethoven Elementary – with all players receiving their new Canterbury of North America jersey. We had a massive turn-out and decided to combine all ages together in one large fun game. The skill level on display was fantastic – and the most impressive elements were the confidence of all players plus the leadership so many of them showed throughout the afternoon.

It was superb to see so many parents in support of the young rugby sensations.

Special thanks to coaches Patrick Guthrie, Morgan Saout and Dallen Stanford for a wonderful fall season.

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Play Rugby USA would like to acknowledge the wonderful work of the LA84 Foundation – which was setup as the legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games – and is the reason we were able to expand our program in Los Angeles from 6 to 135 Elementary, Middle and High Schools over the past 5 years!

The LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development. The foundation, with 30 years of on-the-ground experience, has supported thousands of Southern California youth sports organizations through grant making, while also training coaches, commissioning research, convening conferences and acting as a national thought leader on important youth sports issues. LA84 levels the playing field so that sport is accessible to all children, while elevating the field of youth sports as an integral part of American life.

Visit the LA84 Foundation website – or their social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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