The Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament—also known to many as “the other World Cup”—was held in San Francisco at AT&T Park in July for both men and women. Many are predicting this sport is on the brink of a boom. To launch a new charity called Women For Rugby in support of the growing sport, a fundraising event took place in July at the historical Rotunda building in Oakland.
Women For Rugby co-founders Nicole Strasko, a Life Chiropractic College West student and rugby player, and Morgan Roberts, an East Coast/New England player and coach, planned the memorable evening with help from Life West Athletics Director Adriaan Ferris, California Capital & Investment Group CEO Philip Tagami, Women For Rugby Director of Corporate Sponsorship Lloyd Gilmore, and many others. Along with the Life West Gladiatrix, the USA women’s sevens players, coach, and families helped make the event a success. Also in attendance were donors and three high school teams from the area: the Pleasanton Cavaliers, Sacramento Amazons, and the Land Park Harlequins.
Celebrating Life West’s Women’s Rugby Team and All Women in Rugby
Women For Rugby was developed to support the USA women’s sevens team along with creating the fundamental pathways to achieve Eagle status, including the local clubs, colleges, high school and youth teams. It aims to become the equivalent to the Golden Eagles that the USA seven’s men have for financial support. The group is working with other organizations that have the same mission and hopes to gain persistent and consistent support from donors and fundraising opportunities.
The Life West Gladiatrix received a proclamation from the governor, and Life West Executive Vice President Dr. Anatole Bogatski attended and gave Women For Rugby that honor. July 18th is now officially Women For Rugby Day. According to statistics included in a recent New York Times piece, rugby is the fastest growing team sport in America. The Sports and Fitness Industry Association says 1.6 million people played rugby at least once last year, nearly twice as many as in 2012.
Life West Rugby Team Player Jenn Sever Receives Award for Best Teammate
Women For Rugby has also created a new annual award called the Jenn Sever Award. This award represents a player/person who has made sacrifices—financially, physically, or emotionally—for the greater good of the sport. As the foundation member of the Life West Women’s rugby program, Jenn Sever has seen the program grow from a small beginning to one of the strongest programs on the national scene. Including herself, Life West now boasts more than 12 players who have represented the USA Women’s National Team. None of this would have happened without the unwavering support and unflappable efforts of Sever.
“Jenn’s tenacity on and off the field make her a special person to this program,” explains coach Ferris. “Singlehandedly, she has helped to recruit players to Life West. On the field, she is a powerful athlete who displays the passion and conviction that this program has to be the best it can. She is a special player and a special person.”
Sever attends Life West as a student and player. With her efforts and generous support from the school, Women For Rugby will continue to grow.
To learn more about Life West Rugby, visit lifewestrugby.com.