Moving the family as expats can be very challenging. Five years ago, when we landed here, our oldest boy, then 11, had the most difficult time of the three boys adjusting to his new life here. Not only did he miss his friends and school, but he really missed his favorite sport, American football. Having been a pretty good Quarterback for his school team, he was a bit resentful that there was no football here at all. Then, a few months into arriving, one of his teachers suggested he try rugby. As Americans, we were unfamiliar with the sport. But, we soon came around, and now, five years later, my oldest loves it (and so do we).
The benefits to him of playing, both helping him stay physically fit, but also the team building and the great friendships he has developed from playing and going on the overseas rugby tournaments, we believe will benefit him for years to come.
Although not as many Americans play rugby, some of the top schools in the US, including all the Ivy League schools have significant rugby teams and compete nationally. So, getting kids involved in rugby early, for all first language English Expats, as well as others interested in schools in Europe and the US, rugby is a sport that can be played throughout the school years.
Recently the Corniche Club took over the management of the Saracens Rugby Club. Their goal is to increase participation by players by 50% this coming year. That will mean replacing leaving players as well as expanding the teams in all age groups. As far as an age to start it’s never too late. Players begin at age 8 to play tackle rugby, before that they play tag rugby.
In years past, practices were generally once a week, on Friday mornings, at the airport pitch. But the new management is hoping to expand that, especially for the older age groups, to twice a week. In addition to rugby training, the Club is also looking to add physical fitness training and conditioning practice, to help increase the fitness level of the players.
The goal this coming year is to hold membership fees to the current level, and increase sponsorship to help offset the cost of kits and pitch fees and other administrative costs. The Club recognizes the need as well to help parents out, as the travel costs also are an added expense for players to participate in tournaments. But, in order that all the players get to play competitive rugby, it’s essential that as many players attend the tournaments. To that end, the Club hopes to add some travel agency and/or airline sponsors to help offset those costs.
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, are a current rugby parent or are interested in having your child join, you can contact Lynne