Old Pueblo Rugby Football Club started a charitable program called “Engage” to give more kids a chance to try the fastest-growing sport in America in a free, fun and safe environment. Teaming up with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Tucson, OPRFC held a non-tackle rugby clinic for BBBST’s kids and mentors.
At the end of the clinic, each kid received an athletic kit including bag, rugby ball, water bottle and t-shirt. Because rugby only requires a ball and a patch of land, the idea was to give kids the resources needed to share the various games they had learned with their friends.
This year, OPRFC is expanding Engage. In addition to BBBST, OPRFC has gained support from the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson and USA Rugby, the national governing board for rugby in America. This summer, OPRFC will host mini-clinics at the Boys and Girls Club’s summer camps. It will also donate balls to each clubhouse. In September, it will host the same Engage clinic it held last year, giving away more athletic kits to kids from local nonprofits. The Underestimated City has partnered with Engage to provide the kids with dry fit jerseys. OPRFC hopes to host at least 100 kids at their clinic this year.
Kids who participated in the clinic and want more will be given a “full ride scholarship” to participate in Engage’s non-tackle youth program. The program will include coaches, referees and touch rugby games every Sunday in October. Engage will provide cleats to kids who do not have the means to have a pair of their own. For kids who are not a part of a local nonprofit, the program will be available for a small fee.
To fund this continuously expanding program, OPRFC is hosting an “Engage: All In For Kids” fundraiser at the Temple of Music and Art on June 10 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The event will feature local bites paired with local beverages (Chef Michael Powell from R + R Grill, Whiskey Del Bac by Hamilton Distillers, The Independent, Dragoon Brewing Company), yard games, dancing, photo booth, merchandise (The Underestimated City), raffle, silent auction and other giveaways.
The event will also feature a speed poker tournament with the grand prize of a Mystery Trip for two, including flights and hotel accommodations. The event has great local support from Kinerk, Schmidt and Sethi, The Tucson Conquistadores, the Zuckerman Outreach Community Foundation, The Volpe Team from NOVA Home Loans, Design Modular Incorporated, The Higgins Law Group and CAID Industries.
Tickets for the event start at $30 and can be purchased here at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/engage-all-in-for-kids-tickets-31884448243?aff=es2