This Fall, the Old Pueblo Rugby Football Club hosted more than 65 kids at its rugby clinic and more than 30 kids at its youth rugby league every Sunday this October.
Kids came from throughout Tucson, including the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Tucson, the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson, the military, the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind, the Pascua Yaqui tribe and more. The annual clinic and league is a part of OPRFC’s nonprofit program “Engage,” which provides underprivileged kids more opportunities to play the fastest growing sport in America in a fun and safe environment. The clinic and league were non-tackle.
As a part of the program, each kid received an athletic bag including a water bottle, rugby ball and t-shirt. Engage also provided 45 kids with a brand new cleats. The Shop, a local store for rugby, soccer and lacrosse, assisted OPRFC with properly fitting each kid.
The program has become so popular and fun that OPRFC has decided to extend the Engage program by hosting Rugby Sundays every third Sunday of the month at Rillito Park from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Any kids ages 6-18 of any experience level or welcome to join. The programs will include rugby instruction, drills and games.
Because the OPRFC men’s team is the Lions and the women’s team is the Lightning, the mascot for this youth program is the Thunder Cubs. Through tremendous support from the Tucson community, Engage has raised enough money to provide all of these resources to kids absolutely free.