Executive Director Update

From the desk of Wil Snape-Rogers

Coming off the back of a busy start to the year, I couldn’t be more excited about the momentum we’re building and the positive results we’re seeing. Six months into the role, it’s been a rollercoaster of learning and planning. I’m grateful to Mark for the time he’s given me personally through my onboarding and setting the inspirational foundations for our purpose and mission.

Nothing is more inspiring than seeing the team and kids in action. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several of our programs. I particularly want to shout out our Saturday Night Lights program in Harlem, where I was stunned to see a mural on the school wall dedicated to flag and tag rugby! Also to our CHAMPS program run through the NYC Department of Education. Play Rugby hosts CHAMPS flag rugby tournaments on Saturday mornings in Brooklyn, where hundreds of public school kids compete against each other over successive weekends. Through this program, Play Rugby also supports the teachers and coaches who work tirelessly to lead their teams and continue to spread the gospel of rugby in their schools. It’s fantastic to see the energy thrown into the games and for us to give our Go Forward Award to one boy and one girl at each tournament that demonstrate positive values, such as respect, teamwork and leadership. I can’t wait now to see all these teams compete in the Rugby Cup hosted by Play Rugby on June 8.

A fantastic evening was had by all at the Rugby Legends Dinner hosted by Captain’s Knock. Jahquar Williams, a Play Rugby Alumni and now Youth Development Mentor, shared the stage with rugby icons Matt Dawson, Martyn Williams, Jamie Heaslip and Jeremy Guscott and got the biggest applause of the night! We now go full steam into our Gala planning and could not be more excited to Honor Bryan Habana at Midtown Lofts on May 1st.

Finally, I couldn’t be prouder of the Team as we move on from some good planning, strategizing and development success with a real sense of impetus. Some really hard work has gone into reviewing our successes and challenges over the past year and turning that into positive energy and ideas for the future.

Thank you everyone for your continued support. We appreciate you and being part of this powerful community as we all go forward together and make a difference to the kids we serve.