The Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) at Play Rugby USA had its 2017 tournament debut at the Las Vegas Invitational March 2-4.
The CODP is a high performance 7’s side where we work with players year-round. Our primary concern is not whether the team wins or loses. Our primary concern is developing players for success at the next level. We’re giving these players the experiences, opportunities and education to help them be successful as they continue to pursue elite-level rugby.
We have a very unique model, allowing us to develop our athletes from a very young age through the Play Rugby USA program. We can begin working with kids as young as three, playing flag rugby, all the way up to the Community Olympic Development program and beyond to the Northeast Academy (an Olympic Development Academy) and then to National teams. This pathway not only allows participants to develop their skills on the field, but it exposes them to a high level of competition early on in their rugby careers. Players learn how to manage rejection and failure, how to handle being on tour and how to be successful when surrounded by other elite level athletes that challenge them.
None of this is to mean that we are not competitive – we take competition very seriously, but we only focus on our team and our individual performance. At the end of the day, that is all we can control, so that is how we set our standards.
The competition at the LVI was at a very high standard and we were very appreciative of being able to compete at this level. Though we were unable to field our strongest sides for the event, we were able to bring in new players into the pathway. Players like Rocky, who at this time last year was playing in the NYC Public School Athletic League, and scored in her first game with her first touch of the ball. Players like Damion, who is only 14 years-old and already showing real promise and potential.
Both the Boys and the Girls sides faced really tough, top quality teams, one to note was the NZ side the Boys faced at the end of day one. Although the CODP lost 47-7 against an incredibly gifted side, the boys came off the field, feeling accomplished and proud of their performance because of the way they played and competed. Likewise, the Girls team showed incredible growth within just 12 hours. That is something we are all proud of.
On the surface, the results of this event seem disappointing, but the LVI was full of learning opportunities and small successes, which will spark continued development for all of our athletes. That is our ultimate goal.
The focus now is to allow players to play with their club sides and compete in 15s. We will be looking to put together a residency camp before the summer to get players ready for the 7s season and also to start preparing for the North American Invitational in Utah in August.
A big thank you goes out to all of the coaches and staff that came out to Vegas on the tour! The help you put in is priceless and without it the players wouldn’t be able to have these amazing experiences or development in these young years.
|Fri, Mar 3||Utah Cannibals||17||Play Rugby||12|
|Fri, Mar 3||Upright Rugby||36||Play Rugby||0|
|Fri, Mar 3||NZ Taniwha||47||Play Rugby||7|
|Sat, Mar 4||QF Bowl||EIRA 2||34||Play Rugby||19|
|Sat, Mar 4||SF Shield||Play Rugby||27||State of Mexico||7|
|Thu, Mar 2||Play Rugby||33||Glendale||0|
|Thu, Mar 2||BCEY||14||Play Rugby||7|
|Thu, Mar 2||Atlantis||43||Play Rugby||0|
|Fri, Mar 3||QF Cup||Atlantis||45||Play Rugby||0|
|Fri, Mar 3||SF Plate||Play Rugby||0||Utah Cannibals||33|