School Kids in Queens Learn to Play Rugby from International Legends and Fastest Man in Game

HSBC Rugby Festivals Powered by Serevi Introduces Thousands of New York Youngsters to Sport


[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap1′]N[/bra_dropcaps]EW YORK – (September 24, 2014) – Why are more than a thousand school kids from New York picking up a rugby ball for the first time in their lives next week? The HSBC Rugby Festivals powered by Serevi are making its first North American stop in New York on Monday September 29th and Tuesday the 30th to introduce local youth to one of America’s fastest growing sports.
As rugby sevens is set to debut as an Olympic sport in 2016, one of the greatest ever players Waisale Serevi along with “The Fastest Man in Rugby” – current USA Rugby speedster Carlin Isles, current USA Rugby Head Coach Mike Tolkin, former USA Rugby player Phaidra Knight, and former USA Rugby captain and coach Matt Hawkins will provide hands-on demonstrations and coaching to middle and high school students in Queens and Harlem.
  • What: Media Availability for the New York stop of the HSBC Rugby Festivals powered by Serevi – an international grassroots rugby program which introduces local area youth to the quickly growing game of rugby.
  • When: Tuesday September 30th, 9:30 am – 11:00 am
  • Where: Civic Leadership Academy (Queens) – 45-10 94th St., New York, 11373 (Google Map)
  • Who:
    • HSBC “Rugby Ambassadors”; International Rugby Hall of Famer Waisale Serevi, former USA Rugby Captain Matt Hawkins and former USA Eagle Pate Tuilevuka
    • “The Fastest Man in Rugby” – current USA Rugby player Carlin Isles
    • Current USA Rugby Head Coach Mike Tolkin
    • Former USA Rugby player Phaidra Knight
    • Civic Leadership Academy Principal Phuong Nguyen
  • Why: As parents look for alternatives to football and a sport that can offer a position for young male and female athletes of every size, rugby has emerged as a fun, safe, and rewarding option for a growing number of kids. Requiring every player to have a diversity of skills – passing, jumping, kicking, running, tackling – rugby is one of the fastest growing team sports in America, an increasing number of major universities now offer rugby scholarships to boys and girls, and rugby sevens will debut at the 2016 Olympic Games, opening the opportunity for many new athletes to play for their country. By its free flowing nature, rugby is an offseason complement for players of all sports to develop as total athletes, requiring all positions to run, catch, pass, and kick. It has some contact like football and lacrosse; the individual flair and constant action of basketball; the skills and spacing of soccer. Rugby develops key decision-making skills by forcing all positions to think on the fly, whether on offense or defense. Additionally, through the practice and development of other skills, rugby can keep young athletes’ attitude about and motivation for sports fresh – providing a break from “sport specialization” burnout that many youngsters are facing. Schools are also taking note of the benefits that accrue to their students from rugby: leadership, confidence, decision-making, team play, and perseverance.
  • Photo Ops/Visuals:
    • Rugby Ambassadors coaching middle and high school aged children
    • Rugby Ambassadors demonstrating rugby skills (pass, kick, formations)
    • Middle/High School aged children throwing and kicking rugby ball for the first time
    • Group photos of Ambassadors and classes of children
    • The HSBC Sevens World Series Trophy with Ambassadors and children
About Serevi Rugby®
Headquartered in Seattle, Serevi® is focused on growing the game of rugby in North America and beyond. The official Youth Programming Partner of USA Rugby, Serevi offers on-field programming and off field conditioning for coaches and players through the youth to elite spectrum. It also offers performance and casual rugby apparel to players and fans of the sport. For more information on Serevi Rugby, including upcoming player and coach training sessions visit
About BLK
About HSBC and Rugby HSBC is a long-term investor in rugby around the world. As well as being the title sponsor of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the bank is co-title sponsor of the Hong Kong Sevens and the Principal Partner of the Hong Kong rugby teams. Recently, HSBC became the Official Banking Partner of the Qantas Wallabies and sponsor of the HSBC Rugby Festivals powered by Serevi – a new international grassroots rugby program.

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