Meet Denisse – Youth Development Mentor

Denisse making the tackle

Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Denisse Zambon did not know a lick of English before she moved to New York when she was 14.  But, by being immersed in rugby and high school she slowly learned and is now completely fluent.

Denisse began playing in a Play Rugby program. She’s been playing rugby over 8 years, and still loves every second of it.

Denisse joined the Play Rugby staff as a Youth Development Mentor after being urged to apply by her former Academy Coach, Ryszard Chadwick.

Denisse (in green) listening to her former coach, Rys (in black)

“I immediately said yes to the opportunity because I wanted to give back to my community through rugby,” she says. She currently mentors at our Saturday Night Lights program in Harlem as well as with the U-18 Girls Academy team.

Denisse has only been working for Play Rugby for six months but has already made a huge impact in the lives of our students during that time. She says, “I get to not only coach rugby to our athletes, but I also get to teach them life skills.”

Denisse is an absolute trooper, after having multiple injuries, it has never stopped her from going forward, and always putting others before herself.
Her motto? “Your mind is stronger than your body. As long as you have a strong mind, you can overcome anything in life.”

If you think you have what it takes to be a Youth Development Mentor like Denisse, send us your resume at [email protected], we would love to hear from you!