Over 100 youth participants and 100 family and community members convened at the Harlem Armory on December 14th for the 4th Annual Harlem Rugby Cup!
The inaugural Harlem Rugby Cup was hosted at Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School in 2011 and was immediately a winter classic for elementary schools throughout Play Rugby USA’s programs. The tournament has varied in size from 4 to 5 teams, but this year we were able to invite 8 teams to compete for the Cup. This year we are happy to celebrate two themes:
Contribution and Community & Health and Wellness
The Play Rugby USA’s Academy showed their commitment to contribution & community by volunteering to leading a group warm-up with all teams to help them prepare for the tournament. The group warm up was designed by the Academy to share what they’ve learned after completing 2 of 3 Sport Science modules with our health partner Lenox Hill Hospital. The most recent module focused on strength & conditioning and injury prevention, including functional training and taping/strapping skills. The Academy were eager to share their new knowledge with the young teams on Sunday.
The eight teams represented schools and communities from throughout the NYC area:
Manhattan RFC – Manhattan community
This was a hybrid team of both Manhattan and Epiphany community program participants.
PS 208 and PS75 – Harlem
Our two Junior Sports Leadership Academies brought two teams each out to compete. Both schools entered teams the inaugural Harlem Rugby Cup in 2011 and have been consistent competitors every year. At this year’s tournament the JSLA’s faced each other at the start of pool play and in the Plate final. Ultimately PS75B walked away with the hardware after a close 5-4 match!
PS20 – Lower East Side
Part of the Henry Street Settlement in lower Manhattan the program at PS20 is made possible by support from the American Heart Association.
Boys & Girls Republic – Lower East Side
BGR is another part of the Henry Street Settlement in lower Manhattan, and are veteran competitors.
PS59 – Midtown East
Newcomers to the tournament, this program started just one year ago. They made a huge splash on Sunday with their performance both on and off the field, claiming the Cup runners up trophy and winning the Action Value Contest for the best definition of “Try Makers Not Just Try Scorers.” This program is made possible by support from the American Heart Association.
The exciting athleticism of our participants is always a highlight, but at this year’s tournament there was a special focus on the values of rugby. Referees were equipped with Green Cards to be awarded to individuals who show extraordinary sportsmanship during the day. Teams also participated in our Action Values Contest where the team with the best definition of “Try Makers Not Just Try Scorers” won. PS59 claimed this award and was recognized during the trophy ceremony.
Try Makers Not Just Try Scorers Award – PS59
Cup Winners – Manhattan RFC
Cup Runners Up – PS59
Plate Winners – PS75B
Plate Runners Up – PS208A
Try maker: A support that backs his or her teammate on and off the field. For example assisting a teammate on field, making a good pass after you are the one that gets flagged. In the classroom lending a pencil or a pen toa friend. It feels great to help a friend or a teammate, lending a helping hand.
Special thanks to our donors and health partners for their contributions!
Dr. John Kennedy
American Heart Association
Harlem Educational Activities Fund
Hospital for Special Surgery
Lenox Hill Hospital
New York Presbyterian
Play Rugby USA Academy
Village Lions RFC