Young rugby players from all along the East Coast will travel to State College for the Penn State rugby team’s 2013 winter clinics.
The two clinics, held for high school students from grades eight through 12 , expect around 400 participants over the next two weekends.
The men’s clinic will take place Jan. 18-20, and the women’s Jan. 25-27.
The clinics, held at Holuba Hall, will begin on their respective Fridays and run through Sunday. The agenda includes five training sessions and one classroom session aimed at instilling sound fundamentals in a variety of areas as well as showing young players the way things are done within major college rugby programs. The week will wrap up with scrimmages between attending teams.
Don Ferrell, director of rugby and head coach of the Penn State men’s team , explained that many high school rugby teams use the clinic as a training camp prior to the start of their seasons. The clinic attracted players from 30 different high schools in 2012.
Ferrell, alongside assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s rugby teams, Chris Amoratis have played key roles in running the clubs annual event over the past 10 years.
“Kids love the clinics, and we have many that come back year after year. We also have many current players [on the club team] who attended our winter and/or summer camps,” Ferrell said.
Ferrell noted that, by running the clinic, the club hopes to raise awareness about the game of rugby, improve the level of play and knowledge among players and coaches on the East Coast and make money to support the operating budgets of the club’s teams.
The fee to attend is $120 for a single player, $110 per player for a team of five, and $100 per player for a team of 10 or more. The majority of the proceeds go toward supporting the rugby club.
“Unlike many traditional US team sports, there is a place for everyone in rugby,” Ferrell said. “Big and strong, small and tough, tall, fast, quick, there’s a spot for all.”