US Rugby Foundation Ball Grant Recipient Spotlight – Inner City Rugby of Nashville

Name of Program:  Inner City Rugby of Nashville

Location:  Nashville, TN

Our mission is to work with the inner-city youth of Nashville through the game of Rugby.  We hope to lead and support our student athletes in realizing their athletic, academic, and emotional potential by connecting, discovering, and nurturing the person they are born to be.  Our intent is to put our student athletes on the positive side of the post high school statistics.

Our program began in the spring of 2020 with the launch of boys and girls high school teams at LEAD Academy.  Our teams are comprised of a diverse population of Americans of all heritage (African, Hispanic, European, etc.).  72% of our student athletes are on assisted lunches with most working 10-20 hours/week to assist with household expenses.  We had tremendous success working with other established programs in the middle Tennessee region.  We experienced personal transformation from the experience of practicing together, scrimmaging together, and socializing together.  We also dramatically increased the maturation process of our players’ Rugby skills. 

Our season was cut a bit short after 5 boys games and 4 girls games, however, the team and players showed tremendous personal and Rugby growth during our 8+ weeks together.  We are most proud that 100% of our seniors graduated and have been accepted into colleges in the fall.  Three of the five plan to continue their Rugby careers representing their university or local adult team.

Contact person:  Paul Rein, 615.293.3188, paul4rein@gmail.com

Link to team/program website:  www.icrontn.org

The USRF Ball Grant will further advance the game off Rugby in Nashville.  Through the program, we intend to distribute balls to those showing active interest in the game to get the balls into the community.  In our spring recruitment, none of our players had even touched or seen a Rugby ball before.  We are optimistic that the players will solicit friends and family to play catch, touch, or otherwise use the ball and start to develop interest in the game of Rugby.  Our players will “earn a ball” following their second week of attending practice.  We will have a ceremony to present the student athlete with their ball at this point. Over the years, the USRF has supplied thousands of size four and five balls to over 1,400 youth and high school rugby teams, schools and community programs. If you like rugby and want to do your part in making it grow in this country, please consider making a tax-deductible donation by visiting https://usrugbyfoundation.org/donate/    #growthegame

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