Meet our 2017 NYC Marathon Team!

We are so lucky to have five amazing supporters running the 2017 NYC Marathon on November 5th to help raise money for Play Rugby USA: Rose Ellen, Jason, Ed, Jonah, and Matt! Read more about our incredible Team below and make a gift to help support them on their journey.

JonahJonah, Denver, CO

Jonah became a part of the Play Rugby USA family back in 2009 when he was living in NYC and his then 4-year-old son began playing in our Manhattan RFC flag rugby program. He and his wife, Shannon, have been involved with many education-targeted organizations supporting underserved youth. They found that Play Rugby was fully aligned with their personal mission: changing lives one at a time. He said, “Play Rugby USA utilizes what we feel is the very best team sport on the planet to achieve its goals.”

No stranger to the marathon scene (or even races that go beyond 26.2 miles), when we asked him why he chose to run this year and raise funds for Play Rugby USA he said, “What better race? What better organization?” He’s been enjoying training out in Colorado with Shannon by his side as his training partner.

Jonah encourages everyone to come out and spend some time with the kids in Play Rugby USA programs, because it allows you to really see first hand the impact that we’re having on young people. “Rugby changed my life. It is such a pleasure watching this sport, through this organization, change the course of so many other lives.”

You can support Jonah and the Play Rugby USA NYC Marathon Team by making a gift today! 


Rose Ellen, Brooklyn, NY

Rose Ellen has been a dedicated Play Rugby USA volunteer for the past three years. She supports our program team at weekend tournaments and our NYC Rugby Cup and supports our development team at our Spring Gala and other smaller fundraisers.

This will be Rose Ellen’s first marathon, though she’s run three half marathons in the past two years. When we asked why she wanted to run in support of Play Rugby USA she said, “My good friend that I’ve run the 3 half marathons with encouraged me to run the marathon, and I thought to look to see if I could run by raising money for Play Rugby because I would love to further support the organization.”

Rose Ellen has always been a fan of sports and what we can all learn by being part of a team…it’s what’s inspired her to stay involved with Play Rugby USA! “It’s great to see kids so enthusiastic about rugby (even in torrential downpours) and gaining key skills that will help them off the pitch as well,” she said.

Want to help support Rose Ellen and the Play Rugby USA NYC Marathon Team? Make a gift today!

(Fun fact: Rose Ellen played wing on her college team, primarily because she was track athlete prior to playing rugby- she’s hopeful all of that running will help her cross this try line successfully on November 5th!)


Jason,  New York, NY

Meet Jason Keighery!

Jason is relatively new to the Play Rugby USA family! Our Founder & CEO, Mark Griffin, introduced him to the organization about a year ago and he has since joined our Board of Directors. As a fan of rugby throughout his life, Jason found it compelling to see how the sport can help support the young people in the communities we serve.

Though he may be a Play Rugby USA rookie, he is certainly a marathon veteran! Jason has already run 16 marathons. When we asked him why he chose to run this year’s NYC Marathon in support of Play Rugby USA, he said, “Play Rugby USA is a great organization run by great people, and I want to help support the young kids that are in our programs!”

Want to help support Jason and the Play Rugby USA NYC Marathon Team? Make a gift today!


Check back for updates from our other Team members!

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