At the May Madness 7s Championship, we caught up with the American Rugby Pro Training Center's CEO Julie McCoy. We asked her a few questions about the development of Women's Rugby, and here's what she had to say:
Q: How important is it to develop women's high performance pipelines?
A: All sports need an obvious connection between recreational play and professional play. ARPTC is a destination where a player can go to work on their game, to test themselves to see if they still enjoy the game when pressure is added, and given tools to manage that pressure. Otherwise development is a random event.
Q: What steps are you taking to make women's rugby more visible and successful in the U.S? What further steps can be taken?
A: We make every attempt to provide for all players that sign up, and make sure they know that they belong. Not everyone is born with a high percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers, but that doesn't mean that what they bring to the table isn't valuable. When those players leave ARPTC we hope to have infected them with renewed enthusiasm for the game, so they move away and plant the seeds needed to grow this simple game of ours.
I'm hopeful that over time, we are making a difference for the women's game through our graduates.
We are growing with the Pro Game and the extension of our high school residency programs. Thankfully, we also have a number of partners that are interested in helping us be successful, and we try to do the same for other programs out there! (Like coming to the CRC and supporting small college programs, the CRC event, and NOLA Gold!)
Q: What advice can you give to current female rugby players? Coaches?
A: Look for the helpers! Go get more information, it's out there. Life is short!
NCR is honored to send a Women's 7s Select Side to ARPTC for the Falcon 7s Tournament this weekend! There will be high level teams and talent scouts in attendance. To watch, visit the ARPTC Youtube channel.
Maggie Burns - University of Northern Iowa
Madison Dunn - Iowa State University
Grace Gohl - Davenport University
Nyatasha Jackowicz - Bryant University
Jana Jaran - Barnard College
Maggie "Lynn" Kleyer - University of Northern Iowa
Eden Liebenthal - University of South Dakota
Siena Macy - Lee University
Chantell Mindt - Minnesota State University Moorhead
Lauren Nelson - Wayne State College
Jamelia Reed - Oklahoma University (Guest Player)
Annabelle Reese - Tulane University
Amanda Wisbeck - Endicott College
Head Coach - Carly Baker (Endicott College)
Team Manager - Angela Smarto (NCR Women's Director)
Assistant Team Manager - Kayla Dustin (NCR Intern)