EAST STROUDSBURG, PA- Celebrating its 11th year, the East Stroudsburg Player Development Camp, which ran from July 10-12, added a 7s component this year.
Both the 7s camp and the traditional 15s camp drew campers of varied experience levels from several areas of the U.S., as well as Hawaii, Indonesia, and Colombia. The camp boasted three capped Eagles as instructors and five National Championship coaches at the college, club & all star levels, as well as:full insight into becoming a complete rugby athlete (including nutrition, strength & conditioning, and speed & agility, along with basic and advanced playing & positional skills) and a comprehensive player profile evaluation for each camper from his/her instructor.
The camp’s official sponsor, Rugby Imports, along with founder Bob Hoder, generously provided camper jerseys, t-shirts, and instructor kits. Through this sponsorship, they remain committed to the development of youth and high school rugby.
The diverse ruggers were instructed by the highly trained staff including Scott Stratton, Jen Bustamante, Chris Castner, Kevin Castner, Molly Dengler, Natalie Monroig, Omar Rivera, Richard Ashfield, Lance Connelly, Mel Denham, Phaidra Knight, Anthony Purpura, Dan Sonan, Bob Weir, and Chris Wells on basic and unit skills and position specific-play.
2013 Camp Dates are tentatively set for July 9-14, 2013. More information can be found at the new camp website: www.rugbydevelopmentcamp.com.
ELITE Rugby USA successfully completed another summer of camps while leaving a lasting impact on the boys who attended, “Our son had such an amazing experience. The level of professionalism and emphasis on coaching and education was so refreshing. There is no doubt that ELITE had an extremely positive influence on our son”, stated a past campers parent.
ELITE’s staff of current and past Eagles including Colin Hawley, Chris Biller and Matt Sherman delivered modern rugby instruction on the field and messages of how to best represent rugby off the field. A typical day of instruction included three action packed training sessions, an educational speech from Karen Fong about preparing for college, concluded by a motivational speech from Chris Biller about accountability. (video below)
Over 275 campers attended ELITE in numerous locations this summer and ELITE plans to continue to grow. ELITE Director Ethan Willis told us, “We recently received our official non-profit status. This status allows us to receive charitable tax-deductible donations from individuals and private companies. Ultimately, we hope to be able to provide more scholarships to our camps, that will allow more players to get exposure to top flight coaching and facilities”.
"I have really enjoyed working with these kids," added Hawley. "The interesting thing about coaching is that you're working with kids of all skill levels. So it's good for me as a player to work with these kids and help them develop their skills, whatever their level is. It certainly helps with your self-critique, as well."
The future is certainly bright for ELITE with camps on the horizon next summer in new locations and the addition of a women’s camp as well.
Life University continued to expand their influence on rugby in America with three very successful summer camps for HS rugby players.
"We started our summer camp program three summers ago as we were set to embark on our first year of undergraduate competition,” said Life Director of Rugby Dan Payne. “The first year we had our High School Skills Camp and it reached capacity. Last summer we added our position specific skills camp and it reached capacity. This summer we added a third option to our menu, and it too reached capacity. As we continue to grow as a program, it's imperative we work to help high school players develop in both their skill and their appreciation for our great game.”
Payne said 14 of his program’s 16 incoming freshmen took part in one of Life’s camps, including three identified only this summer.
“Moving forward, I foresee our summer camp system continue and strengthen as our primary talent identification tool," added Payne.
"The Life University rugby staff and facilities impressed at every level,” added Steve Lynch, who is Director of Rugby for the All Navy Rugby Select XV & VII, and runs the GTMO RFC Men’s, Boys and Girls programs. “I personally witnessed significant growth and understanding over 12 days of camp from the beginner to the elite players, along with the coaches that attended as guests of the program. Dan and his staff provide the perfect blend of elite level rugby, coached by the best in the sport while maintaining a comfortable, nurturing, environment. I attended as a coach while also having three of my high school players, including my son, attend all three camps as campers. It was first-rate in every regard."
Life’s High School Camp covers the basic skills required to play the game. The Position Specific Skills Camp is three days working skills specific to each position. The Elite Competition Camp focuses on live matches and coaching based on the live matches and preparation for the next match
HS Skills Camp and the Position Specific Camp sessions were led by Scott Lawrence, USA U20 Head Coach, Gavin Hickie, USA U20 Forwards Coach and former Leinster Hooker, Alex Houser, assistant coach at Arkansas State, Neil McMillan, former Sale, Ulster and Harlequins professional player and current NYAC player, Tui Osborne, Life University 7s coach and former USA player, and James Isaacson, current Life Super League Head Coach, and former professional player for Leeds and Newcastle, other Life University players.
This was the first year for the Elite Competition Camp. After the first day of camp the teams were selected into two teams: Team Emerick, and Team Petri.
Both teams had a supporting cast of coaches from those listed above, and were headed up by current Eagles Mike Petri and Paul Emerick.
"Our camps are only as good as the staff we assemble and we'll continue to work hard to assemble the very best,” said Payne. “I can't say enough about the staff members and their hard work towards helping the campers develop throughout their stay with us. In addition to the many former professional players, our own US Eagles in Paul Emerick and Mike Petri, Alex Houser, a rapidly rising coach in the USA, and our own Life University staff with Scott Lawrence, James Isaacson and Tui Osborne, I'm confident we were able to provide the environment necessary to ensure our campers leave improved players. We keep our camps capped between 65-70 campers per camp to make sure we have the proper camper-to-clinician ratio.
“It was a great two weeks and a lot of work by all involved, but everyone had a great experience, campers and staff. It's a great sign of growth and continued progress for our great game. We're excited about the future and will continue to do all we can to help foster that growth."
BERKELEY - Once again sold out at 170 campers, the 2012 Cal Rugby Summer Camp opened on Tuesday with a four-day immersion in the sport that has seen the Golden Bears earn 126 All-America honors and make 561 appearances with the U.S. National Team from a program that has won 26 national collegiate titles and contributed to two Olympic gold medals.
Boys from around the nation and the globe between the ages of 15 and 18 were welcomed to Witter Rugby Field and Strawberry Canyon by head coach Jack Clark, fellow former National Team coach Tom Billups and manager Jerry Figone. These seasoned professionals have selected a broad range of current and former Rugby Bears representing a range of positions as counselors for the camp session.
Also joining the rugby coaches and counselors are Dr. Phil Wagner, Director of Applied Research at SPARTA Performance Science; Nick McNeil, an Academic Advisor at the University; and Pete Smith of the Northern California Referee Society. The campers' well being is administered to by athletic training staff from Intercollegiate Athletics.
Among the attendees are almost 70 rising seniors who are considering their imminent college futures as the November application window approaches.
"There is no doubt the camp has been instrumental in building our roster," said coach Clark. "Spending time on the field and off with young athletes is the best way to get to know them and learn what they want from their collegiate athletic experience."
In addition to daily training sessions and a tour of the training zone at the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance, campers are led through their days with seminars and clinics covering a wide range of on- and off-field topics. Evening video analysis allows players valuable feedback on their progress, and each evening ends with the campers checked in at an on-campus dormitory.
"It is a fun week having the high school students with us on campus," Clark added. "They bring a great energy."
ELITE Rugby USA has recently sold out their camp at Stanford from July 9th to July 12th with over 120 young players attending.
Following ELITE at Stanford, ELITE will host a camp at Infinity Park in Glendale Colorado from July 13th to July 16th for boys ages 8 to 18. The camp at Infinity Park, offers campers the unique experience of directly learning from current and past USA Players and Coaches while training at one of the Nation’s premier rugby facilities.
“We have players traveling from throughout the country and abroad to attend ELITE at Infinity Park. The powerful mix of an amazing facility and a coaching staff including Matt Sherman, Colin Hawley, James Paterson and Nic Johnson has attracted many young players to ELITE at Infinity Park”, stated ELITE Director Ethan Willis. “Our carefully constructed agenda at all our camps includes more that just rugby instruction, and that’s why I think we see so many young campers return each year,” Willis continued.
ELITE offers an early arrival package that includes an extra night stay, pick up from the airport and extra meals to accommodate campers who travel from out of state.
Each day at Infinity Park will introduce campers to new techniques, but Collegiate All American Coach and ELITE Director of Coaching Matt Sherman believes campers gain the most from going back to basics, “On a daily basis we present campers with the proper fundamentals of every aspect of the game. We see the most growth year to year from campers who commit to perfecting these fundamentals.”
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