SEATTLE – As rugby is thrust into the Olympic spotlight this summer in Rio when it returns to the games for the first time since 1924, Atavus, a Seattle-based sports education and technology company, is throwing its full support behind the U.S. Women’s and Men’s Olympic Rugby teams. Two Atavus high performance coaches are leading the women’s team, Atavus Athlete has made the women’s Rio roster, and Atavus is engaging with local communities through regional Olympic rugby watch parties across the country.
“We’re extremely proud to support Team USA through our coaches, player development opportunities that enable athletes to reach their highest potential, and simply growing the game across the country,” said Ross Young, Executive Chairman at Atavus. “We are fully committed to supporting America’s teams in Rio and showcasing the nation’s fastest growing team sport to new athletes, parents and families.”
As USA Rugby recently named the rosters for Rio, two members of the Atavus coaching staff will lead the USA Women’s Rugby Team at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics next month. Head Coach Richie Walker will partner with former national team player and Team Leader Emilie Bydwell as they guide the Eagles against other top teams in the world August 6-8 at Rio’s Deodoro Stadium.
“It has been a great journey so far with a group of dedicated athletes who have been putting in the hard work needed thus far to get selected and have their Olympic dreams come true,” said Richie Walker, USA Women’s Head Coach and Atavus Rugby Coach. “Emilie Bydwell has put in a lot of work to help us best prepare for this Olympic journey and her value to the team is exceptional as she helps on so many different levels. We will go out on the field and give everything we have and make our nation proud. We would like to thank everyone for all of their support.”
In addition to Walker and Bydwell’s influence on the Olympic team, Atavus Athlete Ryan Carlyle has been selected to compete with the USA Women in Rio. After competing in the 2013 Rugby World Cup, Ryan moved from San Diego to Seattle and began training at the Atavus Academy, putting her on a path towards the physical and mental development needed to make the Rio team.
“I spent a privileged two years working with Ryan at the Academy,” said Atavus High Performance Director Chris Tombs. “Through those years, through making strides physically, her confidence and purposeful drive increased and it’s incredible to see her achieve her goal.”
“The goal of our Atavus Academies is to provide athletes with a daily training environment that prepares them for international competition, so we are very proud to have Ryan come from our program and excited about developing the next generation of Olympians,” said Shawn Pittman, Atavus Academy Program Manager.
In support of Team USA, Atavus will also host Olympic rugby watch parties around the country. Specific dates and locations of events in all five Atavus regions including the Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast and Midwest will be released soon. These free events will include fun skill drills for young athletes, food and refreshments and live viewing of the Olympic rugby tournament.
For more details on the watch parties follow Atavus Rugby on Twitter (@AtavusRugby).