Rookie Rugby in Texas

For Immediate Release
December 22, 2009

Rookie Rugby Continues Growth in Texas

DALLAS, Texas – The Texas chapter of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) had its annual winter conference in Dallas, Texas from Dec. 2-5 and included over 2500 educators from the state in the Arlington Convention Center, proving once again that everything really is bigger in Texas.

USA Rugby and Rugby Texas took advantage of this large gathering to introduce these educators to Rookie Rugby, the safe, non-contact version of rugby which is great for all ages.

“It is very important that Rugby Texas was a part of this year’s TAHPERD as it gives us the opportunity to meet face to face with educators and speak with them directly on the overall benefits of Rookie Rugby to their students,” President of Rugby Texas, Rick Marshall said. “Specifically, we emphasize how Rookie Rugby meets the six recommended guidelines for physical activities, as well as being all inclusive and overall fun for their students.”

Rugby Texas’ booth overflowed with information on Rookie Rugby, as well as sign-up sheets for In-Service Trainings. Educators were able to gather information, toss around some rugby balls, sign up for future trainings, as well as speak with one of many Rugby Texas representatives. Information supplied included a plethora of handouts and a Rookie Rugby DVD, filled with promotional videos, materials, and a full P.E. Curriculum.

During the last day of the exhibition, Rugby Texas’ Rookie Rugby Coordinator, John Shafto and USA Rugby’s Youth Development Manager, Erin Kennedy led an interactive demonstration in the middle of the exhibit hall. Teachers had a chance to participate in progressive rugby drills and games before playing ‘Ultimate Rugby.’ Teachers experienced first hand a taste of what Rookie Rugby would look like in their classes. The demonstration generated a substantial amount of interest leading to four scheduled In-Service trainings for Rugby Texas to lead in the first two months of the New Year.

One school that has Rugby Texas excited is Houston ISD, which includes 39 middle schools, 43 high schools, and 179 elementary schools. Houston ISD is not the only school jumping on board, though – Rugby Texas was able to make contacts within 147 different school districts across the state of Texas regarding In-Service Trainings.

“Houston ISD is a very important school district for Rugby Texas as it allows us to promote fitness and a healthy lifestyle through Rookie Rugby within a school district which is traditionally within the inner-city and lower income areas,” stated Marshall. “It will allow us to promote a fun way to fitness and a healthy lifestyle to over 202,225 students, while promoting the values of rugby to a community. It will also create more opportunities for us to reach out to other school districts within Texas.”

Rugby Texas is working on getting sponsorships that will enable them to supply balls to interested schools in the state of Texas. Currently, the Marines have agreed to sponsor Rugby Texas and supply five rugby balls for each high school that works with the State-Based Rugby Organization (SBRO) on incorporating rugby into their programs. They are currently seeking additional sponsorship for middle and secondary schools as well.

“Rugby Texas has been making incredible strides on growing the game of rugby at the youth and high school levels. Their efforts at this year’s TAHPERD conference are just the beginnings of what will soon emerge from the state of Texas,” commented Erin Kennedy.

To download the Rookie Rugby guidebook, take the on-line coaching course, or for more information on how to get started with Rookie Rugby today, visit or contact USA Rugby Youth Development Manager, Erin Kennedy at For more information on Rugby Texas visit or

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