The Chicago Blaze Rugby Academy has been gearing up for this Saturday’s scrimmage vs. the Glen Ellyn Ducks and upcoming inaugural season since we got indoors this January at Lemont Park District’s Core. The team is ready to follow in the boot marks placed on the pitch by the founding and current members of the Chicago Blaze Rugby Club which formed in 1982.
The Men’s Club will travel to Nashville this weekend to compete in one of the largest tournaments held in the USA during the spring.
Rugby Illinois’s All State select-side the Tornado’s coach Nolan Day will lead on the pitch. With the addition of backs coach Jason Brusa, forwards coach Ryan Stoddard & myself as Academy Director doing recruiting, marketing and administrative duties, we’ve gotten off to a great start for our inaugural campaign.
The Blaze Academy will draw players from a radius around the Chicago Blaze Complex including Lemont, Lockport, Stagg, Sandburg, Andrew, Lincoln Way East, Lincoln Way North, Lincoln Way Central, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Joliet West, Joliet Central, Joliet Catholic and Providence High Schools.
Our goal is to grow our local youth through the great sport of rugby and teach them the core values of Brotherhood, Camaraderie and Sportsmanship. As rugby has become the fastest growing team sport in America more and more colleges are offering scholarships. We are developing a program within the Academy to help assist in college placement and career goals. We plan on mentoring the Academy players by taking field trips to businesses, visiting colleges, and with the college admissions process.
Our goal is to have the men’s club mentor the players in their positions, education and career goals.
Rugby will be played in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 7s format and the boys that play for us this season have a chance to earn gold for the USA in the 2020 Tokyo Games. The USA is the current Olympic gold medal champion in rugby having the ribbon placed around their necks the last time it was played during the games in 1924.
The New Zealand All Blacks the world’s #1 ranked team just played to a sold out Soldier Field audience Nov. 1 in the most attended game on US soil. The USA Eagles were defeated that sunny fall day, but it showed the world that a beast has awoken and we plan to compete for the gold in 2016 and beyond.
The Chicago Blaze Rugby Club as whole has set some major goals in 2015 with the addition of the Chicago Blaze Academy and the breaking ground and grand opening of our new Clubhouse. We are growing on the grounds of an old corn field that our Blaze Founders purchased and envisioned a rugby mecca more than 30 years ago.
New Players are always welcome to join the club and academy throughout the season.
Our inaugural Blaze Academy league match will be under the lights at the Chicago Blaze Rugby Club 13011 Smith Rd. April 3 at 7pm vs Barrington. We invite all members of the surrounding community to see what all the hype I’m spouting is all about.
This season we are ready to spark the Blaze and grow from the ground up. Please click on these links to learn more about club and how to join the Academy or Men’s Club out on the pitch.
Chicago Blaze Academy & Alumni Director