Serevi Rugby is #GrowingTheGame, One Recess At A Time
For the first time in America, organized rugby programs are available to children all the way down to 4 years old. Serevi Rugby has made it a great time to raise a young, healthy rugby player especially here in Seattle. Serevi’s youth programming is designed to enhance physical activity in children in addition to having positive effects on psychology’s 5 Cs: competence, confidence, connections, character, and caring—each being a critical component of positive youth development. Serevi’s youth coaching staff, comprised of former rugby players and coaches, have developed programs to take into school Physical Education classes to introduce the sport and its values to students.
Serevi Youth Coach, Tyler Siceloff grew up in North Seattle, learned to play on Vancouver Island, and has rugby experience abroad. He admits, “this is truly an unprecedented time in America for youth rugby and its rise.” Tyler has worked as a youth coach at Serevi for 3 years. He works with schools in the Seattle area to help introduce the game of rugby to students. “We are able to bring rugby to PE Teachers, kindergarten to 8th graders, and even some high school students.” All of the students Tyler and the rest of the Serevi coaches share rugby with are given the opportunity to tackle the game through a crash course including fun games and drills. “Each PE class we take over gets students passing, catching, running and scoring like rugby players.” Since the first school demo, Serevi’s outreach to schools has grown to over 30 schools and more than 1500 students getting a taste of the game.
Tyler explains the growth as he sees it,
“In the past we’ve asked entire classes who has heard of or seen rugby before, few hands would pop up from the crowd. Now, since our programming has exploded in the region and with rugby in the upcoming summer Olympics, almost the majority of students raise their hands proudly knowing what rugby is. In addition to school demos, our overall Training Camp registration is up and we’ve been in more regions than ever before. I’ve always said the game speaks for itself and all we have to do is present it properly, but the relationships with the schools, staff, parents and the rest of the community is truly be what drives this movement forward.”
Alongside Tyler, Serevi Rugby is also the home to Fijian international players Willy Rasileka and Ishy Daveta. The love of the game and effortless impact on youth that each of Serevi Rugby’s coaches express through rugby is inspiring. USA Eagles like Bellingham native, Shawn Pittman and Seattle’s Nate Serevi have also taken part in the youth demos and give the students a local ruby star to connect to. The students are learning rugby from local talent and some of the game’s international best. As Serevi expands their programming worldwide, the roots of the movement have been and will remain, at recesses and during PE classes here in the Pacific Northwest.