Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jersey City Casino Night Benefiting the Play Rugby USA & Police Activities League Rugby Program

Registrations now open:

A Safe Bet: Play Rugby USA & Jersey City Police Activity League Team Up for Casino Night to Benefit Local Rugby Program
Jersey City, NJ, October 14 2010: Play Rugby USA and The Jersey City PAL are proud to announce their inaugural fundraising effort to expand their highly popular Youth Flag Rugby program. This last spring saw the first ever Youth Rugby program in Jersey City. SGT Frank William, PAL Director, gave the program a chance and it was found to be immensely popular with the kids. Within just a few short weeks of their first practice the JC PAL team went on to take 2nd place in their bracket at the NYC Mayor’s Cup. Off the field, the program was as successful in engaging the local kids after school and keeping them off the streets and committed to their team. Due to its popularity SGT Williams is looking to expand the program into 5 more schools for 2011. At this rate of expansion Youth Rugby could be in many more schools in just a few short years, perhaps reflecting the 1000% increase in organizations adopting rugby in New York City in under 5 years.

This future growth not only bodes well for rugby teams in Northern New Jersey, but for those in New York City as well. Youth teams have also been starting up in Hoboken and there have been some initial conversations with starting up teams in Newark. For the past decade Youth Rugby has been growing exponentially in the Metropolitan New York area with other 3,000 players per year competing from ages 6 – 18 years. College teams and even high school teams are now finding themselves bringing in experienced players where before recruiting was always much more difficult in addition to having to train them from not knowing anything. A feeder program is now in the process of being created all over the tri state area benefiting all the teams here and nationally. One hopes this will filter up to the National Team who embark on their first Olympic Rugby campaign ahead of 2016 and along with it the opportunity for local youth to aspire to be Rugby Olympians.

Mark Griffin, Founder of Play Rugby USA, says that the best thing about the Play Rugby USA program has been it’s ability to provide a comprehensive wellness and prevention solution for urban youth. Rugby provides a unique and effective vehicle for youth development. Griffin states: “The children who have joined our program have benefited immensely by developing basic life skills through the game such as discipline and respect and have done so in a fun environment. Importantly, many of them also now recognize the fact they belong not only to a team but a much broader international rugby community. In combination; belonging and life skills go a long way to helping the kids stay on the right track in school and in life.

In order to assist the JC PAL and Play Rugby USA, local Rugby players have taken up the cause and have organized a Casino Night on November 5th at Michael Anthony’s Restaurant. Steve Guzman, a manager at Michael Anthony’s and former member of the front row for Rutgers University RFC, says that this event and its location will highlight how revitalized Jersey City has become and how as a community we need to come together to help those children in need. With great views of the Manhattan skyline and a rebuilt waterfront one can see how far Jersey City has come since even just the 1990’s. “Donating just a few dollars will help these kids stay off the streets, pick up a sport that we all want to see grow and give them the skills to excel in life.

The official promotional page for the casino fundraising night to buy your tickets is
For more information on sponsorship or any other questions you might have about the event please contact Dominic Wareing at or call (212) 563-3380.

For more information about the Jersey City PAL:

For more information about Play Rugby USA:

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