Summer Camp is Back for Year 2!
Schuylkill River RFC, Philadelphia Women’s RFC, and the North Philadelphia Nomads RFC are proud to announce year two of their summer rugby program at the NE Frankford Boys and Girls Club. Building off of the success of last year’s summer camp the ten week program sees coaches, players, and administrators from all three teams continue to give back to the community and help develop the game on the grassroots level.
The Clubs plan to make this year’s program even bigger and better than last year’s with Kate Hallinan of Philadelphia Women’s RFC stepping into the role of Director of Rugby for the Boys and Girls Club. Hallinan, who has previously been involved in rugby programs at other youth organizations such as Philly Girls in Motion, brings a wealth of experience to the position. “As the kids continued to grow and develop as rugby players during last year’s summer program and beyond it became clear that they were ready to take the next step and see a more nuanced approach to the game” Hallinan stated. She added “it’s my intention to monitor their progress this summer and tailor the sessions to give them the best experience they can have as beginning rugby players while developing their skills.”
Helping out with the program is North Philadelphia Nomads RFC coach James Brunson who is also known to his peers as the overall heart and soul of Philadelphia rugby. Brunson was a founder of the Nomads program who has made a positive impact on countless lives through his dedication to the game and the community. According to Brunson “The partnership with the Boys and Girls Club gives members of the Nomads an opportunity to build bonds with, and mentor, youth and help grow the game in our city.”
Schuylkill River Board Member Ryan McHugh, who is also a coach for Roman Catholic high school and the Wissahickon Braves youth program is another of the volunteers for this program with substantial youth development experience and strong ties to the Philadelphia rugby community. McHugh had this to say, “As my teammates know, this is where I grew up and I’m excited to have the opportunity to give back to my community and help teach these kids the greatest sport on earth. I really can’t express how much I appreciate working with Rafiq, Donald, and Denise from the Club to help provide an opportunity for these kids."
Schuylkill River President Dave Codell, who is also involved with the Narberth Otters and the Wandering Warriors rugby teams, believes this staff might be one of the strongest youth rugby groups in the entire country. “Look around at all of the talent we have involved: Kate Hallinan just Captained and Player-Coached Philly Women to Nationals in 7s and 15s, she’s Philadelphia’s most accomplished rugby player overall at this moment and deserves credit for her status nationally. Brunson founded a club from scratch and their story was so good that they made a movie about it (which Brunson and I both happen to be in so make sure you see Nomads when it comes out!) while McHugh has twenty years of playing experience, is a D1 starter in 15s and a player-coach in 7s while also being involved in a total of 4 youth programs when you factor in Schuylkill River’s U-19 team in addition to his work with Wissahickon, Roman Catholic, and the Boys and Girls Club and that’s just a small sample of who we’ve got coaching the program this year. There’s also Greg Mininger who has overseas playing experience and various select side/all-star coaching experience and several other players from each of the Clubs mentioned. Nobody else is out there rolling out this kind of talent, that is a fact and it’s why this program is so successful and the kids enjoy it so much. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
The Club is anticipating that as many as 130 kids will participate in their summer program and the Club’s hours are expanding from 15 hours per week in the school year to over 40 hours per week in the summer which makes this a great opportunity for the teams to lend a hand where it’s needed and help provide these kids with a summer that they’ll never forget.