For the first time ever, rugby has come to south Atlanta.
Purpose Built Schools Atlanta has partnered with Atlanta Youth Rugby (AYR) to create the first co-ed rugby team at Price Middle School and Slater Elementary School.
Like Purpose Built Schools, AYR aims to build healthy, strong communities. AYR accomplishes this through sport, bringing rugby camps, clinics, and programs to schools throughout Atlanta.
“We believe that rugby is meant for everyone,” says Rebecca Martin, program director of AYR. “People from all backgrounds deserve the same opportunity to try rugby. It’s a sport about equality; everybody passes, scores, tackles, plays defense, etc. We all get a chance to make the play.”
The new team is providing Price and Slater students opportunities to discover their talents and reach their full potential.
“We encourage self-initiative, accountability and fitness in a fun and safe environment,” continues Martin. “We compete hard and clean, insist on good sportsmanship and individual responsibility, and build the sense of community that we believe is unique in our sport.”
Rugby is one of the fastest growing scholarship sports in the United States. Colleges and universities are looking for talented high school athletes to fill their newly-formed rugby teams.
Most rugby athletes playing professionally picked up the sport in college or as an adult. By bringing students into the game early, AYR is opening doors for talented athletes to discover a sport they could someday play in college or professionally.
“If students are athletically gifted and decide that rugby is the sport for them, the sky would be the limit for what they can achieve,” says Martin.
So far, rugby is scoring points at Price and Slater.
“The students at Purpose Built Schools love rugby, and it’s great because the skills are transferable,” says Martin. “Kids show up and say they’re basketball, football or soccer players, but after a few practices they realize the skills are the same. The best part is that kids aren’t waiting around on the sidelines; they can pick up the ball and just start playing.”