The Play Rugby USA Under 19 NY Academy is a high performance select side. The Academy’s purpose is to not only develop players on the field and provide pathways to the top levels of rugby, but most importantly to help them develop excellence off the field. We achieve this through holistic coaching techniques focused on social and emotional skills development as well as athletic progress.

Here’s a look ahead at the 2015/16 season!

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Off the Pitch

The Academy’s Fall season is underway and Academy Manager, Rys Chadwick, says his goal is to keep building their culture of “Developing Excellence, Inspiring Success” and to create positive student experiences that they will remember for a lifetime.

There are several fantastic individuals helping to guide these student athletes toward success. Returning this season are Coaches Derika Legg and Sam McCarthy, who each have several years of both playing and coaching experience. Supporting them are Academy alumni Amanda and Kevin, both of whom are working on college degrees. The Academy is looking to bring an additional mentor on board to help with the boys squad – please email our Academy Manager, Ryszard.Chadwick@playrugbyusa.com to learn more.

This year NY Academy will also continue to build on the College Mentor program established in the Spring of 2014 with the help of Matt Ford, a passionate member of the NYC rugby community. This College Mentorship Program pairs each HS Junior with a volunteer professional who works with that student for the next two years, meeting monthly to assist with college applications, entrance essays, internships and resumes, and SAT prep. This program was wildly successful last year, resulting in 100% high school graduation rate and 100% college enrollment rate, and the Academy will look to maintain this fantastic outcome through the upcoming season.

On the Pitch

Both the boys and girls squads have doubled their numbers in the last year and plan to continue recruitment from wider Play Rugby USA programs. The girls squad currently has 30 players, and looks to grow to 45 for the ability to field 2 full 15s Squads by next Spring, while they boys, 15 players strong now, look to build up depth to 25. Students are selected based on the 4 A’s: Academics, Attendance, Attitude and Athletics, and player nominations can be sent to our Academy Manager, Ryszard.Chadwick@playrugbyusa.com.

The Academy squads look to build on their success from the Spring season, where both boys and girls advanced to their respective divisional State Finals. The boys walked away with a victory, and the girls narrowly lost to a strong Orchard Park side. This season the focus is on developing individual skill levels, game understanding and contact skills and the Boys team is hopefully that they will advance Division I competition for the first time ever next Spring, and have their sights set on Division leaders Xavier High School.

We’re excited to announce that helping the Academy on their way to achieving these athletic goals is a new supporting partner, Gatorade, who are supplying water bottles, ice tubs, and nutritional education workshops, as well as discounts on drinks and supplements to keep player fueled for game day.

The Academy continues their training sessions twice weekly, and will next compete in this weekend’s Morristown Tournament on the 18th, followed by State Finals on Oct 25th and NY Thanksgiving 7s on Nov 28th. Watch this space for updates throughout the season!

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