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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Northeast Academy Partners With Saratoga Rugby Club

Press Release

Continuing its mission to expand the reach of High Performance opportunities in the region, the Northeast Academy has begun partnering with Saratoga Rugby Club (SRC). The city of Saratoga Springs, NY has a healthy, long standing relationship with SRC; that relationship will continue to play a key role in the Academy’s plan to create a full time training environment and centrally located home base in 2017/18.

The Academy’s role as an officially sanctioned, designated pathway for coaches and athletes to USA Rugby (USAR) national team selection was initiated in 2013. With numerous Cup championships, Silver and Bronze medals and some Bowl and Plate tophies at tournaments like the World Club 7s in Limerick and London, the Northeast Academy has forged excellent player growth and team success in its short but active history.

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Placing seven of its men’s team members on the USA National team(s) in 2016, and several of its women’s squad on the US College All-American team, the Northeast Academy is without doubt one of the most successful Academy programs in the USAR national development pathway system.

Previous partnership ventures between SRC and the Academy organization, including last June’s National Tracking Camp (NTC), have been very successful. At the NTC, Saratoga Springs proved itself very capable of hosting and entertaining a large volume of teams, staff and fans. “Saratoga is a natural choice for the continued expansion of the Northeast Academy, combining a central location, top-notch facilities and a knowledgeable and passionate local rugby community.” - Stephen Lewis, Founding Member of Northeast Academy; Director of Operations at PRO Rugby North America.

The summer of 2016 also saw the Academy launch a successful partnership with Play Rugby USA in New York City, helping that organization become the United States Olympic Committee’s first ever rugby specific Community Olympic Development Program (CODP). The CODP High School boys and girls teams competed in their first elite level tournament on July 30th, at the North American Invitational 7s tournament (NAI7s) in Salt Lake City, UT.

The NAI7s is one of a growing number of elite rugby events cropping up across the United States. Not just for High School competition of course, high performance tournament environments in the USA draw attention and registrations from numerous European nations, Asia, Africa, the pacific islands, New Zealand, Australia and many countries throughout the Americas. Indeed rugby’s influence in the states is growing by leaps and bounds.

“These are exciting times in American rugby. I am extremely excited about the opportunities in Saratoga, where The Northeast Academy can stay true to its mission of identifying and developing local talent with the overall goal of placing ambitious athletes on our national and olympic squads,” said Sean Horan, Director and Founding Member of Northeast Academy.

If all goes according to plan, USA Rugby’s northeastern network hub for elite training could see a new high performance training facility and stadium capable of hosting major league tournaments and playoff events. With the potential for a new full time residential Academy environment alongside, this new partnership can go a long way in developing grassroots and elite athletic development throughout the region.

“The Northeast Academy has tremendous success in developing talent, creating high performance events, and promoting pathways for aspiring athletes. We are extremely excited to become a Northeast Academy destination and bring these values and curriculums to the next generation of Olympians, Pro Rugby Players, and USA Rugby National Team players. This is an amazing opportunity for our club, our city and our region to play a prominent role in developing rugby in the USA” - Jaco Visser, President of Saratoga Rugby Club.

Northeast Academy

The Northeast Academy, with training squads in New York City, Boston and Buffalo, is a National Development Academy that has been sanctioned by USA Rugby as the official Academy (Men & Women) in the Northeast of America and as a designated pathway to the USA Eagles National Team selection. The purpose of the Academy is to identify, develop and prepare Sevens rugby players with the intention of placing ambitious athletes onto the USA National teams and future USA Olympic teams. The Academy will provide athletes with top level coaching, physical preparation, and playing competition to accelerate their personal development as Sevens players in line with current USA Eagles High Performance criteria.

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