The New York Rugby Club’s Under-19 Program (now High School Program) was started in 2006 by Lisa Lake, a player on the New York Rugby Club’s women’s team and a high school teacher in the Bronx. Her students struggled with goal-setting, accountability, respect for self and others, responsible decision making, completing high school, and access to post-secondary education. The High School Program was started with students from this school and similar schools with the goal of using rugby as a vehicle for positively impacting the lives of at-risk youth.
We strive for our players to develop as athletes and rugby players; however this is an important, but secondary goal. The sport of rugby has a unique culture that emphasizes discipline, teamwork and camaraderie among team members and competitors. We are a community organization that represents a sport with a growing global and local footprint (it is among the newest Olympic sports!) that has not typically been accessed by economically disadvantaged youth. New York Rugby Club operates under the National Governing Body of USA Rugby, which provides coach and volunteer background checks, training and elite pathways for players.