Tuesday, February 24, 2009

USA World Cup Squad Announced

The final 12 have been chosen to represent the USA in the first ever World Cup in Dubai

They are

Amy Daniels, Boston, MA
Ellie Karvoski, Little Rock, AR
Pam Kosanke, Chicago, IL
Kelly White, Belmont, CA
Lauren Hoeck, Washington, DC
Alison Price, New York, NY
Teena Mastrangelo, Chicago, IL
Ines Rodriguez, Philadelphia, PA
Christy Ringgenberg, Minneapolis, MN
Jen Starkey, Washington, DC
Jess Watkins, Palo Alto, CA (Stanford U.)
Jen Sinkler, Philadelphia, PA

Nontraveling Reserves:
Ida Bernstein, Balitimore, MD
Phaidra Knight, Bronx, New York

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gone Wrestling

After all my talk about wrestling, I recently discovered that Sunday is a wrestling day.... in Bolivia. I picked up the September issue of National Geographic to read the cover article about where our food comes. But it was the article about Cholitas, women wrestlers, that left an impression.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Play Rugby Press Release

For Immediate Release

February 6, 2009
New York, NY

Play Sports for Life the trading name for Play Rugby, Inc (www.playrugbyusa.com) and New York Rugby Club’s Women’s Team are extremely proud to announce a youth development rugby program partnership that will witness a growth in numbers of female rugby players and coaching role models throughout all age grades, in New York.

The program named the ‘Right of Passage’ is a player and coach development continuum that will utilize alumni players of the Play Rugby USA® (“PRUSA”) school program, transferred into a unique service learning coach training system. At a senior women’s level, alumni will be encouraged to give back to the community through the coaching mentoring program. New York Rugby Club’s women (“NYW”) and under 19’s Harlem based girls team (“U19’s”) will form the group of senior coaches and trainee coaches, respectively.

The PRUSA program has reached over 70 schools and 7000 students in New York City over the last 3 years. It will provide the coach mentoring / training foundation from which these new coaches can begin transferring their knowledge and experiences to other urban rugby playing girls. The NYW team is one of America’s premier Women’s teams http://www.newyorkrugby.com/content/view/117/208, having been placed in the top 3 teams nationally for the last 6 years. Furthermore, the team has fielded 20 Women’s National Team players in its recent history.

Play Sports builds upon a strong foundation already in place with NYW with a number of these great athletes and female role models already coaching within the PRUSA program. One of four such coaches is Tyshawn Henry – a NYW and National Team stalwart and international 7-a-side (“7’s”) player, Tyshawn has been a PRUSA coach for over two years, transferring her expertise and speaking of her life experiences, to hundreds of underserved urban youth athletes. Most recently, Tyshawn competed in the winning Hong Kong USA 7’s team last year.

This new partnership will see these new developmental coaches being mentored with already existing and trained PRUSA coaches. Through this coaching relationship, the program will spark a whole new generation of female rugby coaches of all ages. Girls as young as 15 will be involved in coaching youth rugby players in the flag rugby school programs. There currently is an evident lack of youth rugby coaches, particularly females. Such a deficit, limits the number of younger females actually open to participating in the sport. The development of community coaches allows an increased number of females to have the opportunity to play as a wider playing audience can be reached. Young girls will learn to play the game and progress up through their school rugby PRUSA programs. Upon graduation, these young rugby stars may move in to playing in the very successful New York Women’s U19 program.

The New York Women’s U19 Coach, Molly Dengler, spoke of her aspirations for the program: “As part of our player development program, we have been looking for a way for the U19 girls to give back to their neighborhood and to the rugby community. The coach development component of the program provides an ideal outlet for the first community service opportunity of our players’ lives. Through this two-way mentorship, the U19 girls will not only improve their understanding of the game, but also see themselves as empowered leaders and role models.” .

However, the unique driving force emanating from the backbone of the partnership is the creation of, promotion and more importantly the actual involvement of local community female role models. By placing successful student and senior female athletes back into the player development cycle at every age group, this program will stimulate urban female students’ desire to continue to participate in sport. The conception of role models can be a great inspiration in knocking down old expectations and suggesting new ambitions, who knows, their involvement may just be the inspiration to unearth the next USA female rugby star!

Excited about the prospect of this new initiative, Mark Griffin, Founder of Play Sports commented: “This partnership is a fantastic addition to our program. Given so many of the pieces of the puzzle were already in place, and relationships established, it was really just a meeting of the minds. In addition to providing a valuable developmental experience for the existing players on the NYW U19 team, it will also enable us to engage many more young female athletes at a community level, starting in Harlem. From there, we look to replicate the program city-wide and ultimately with other teams and our affiliates elsewhere”.

The progress and development of the PRUSA program has sparked interest from Nike and as a result Play Sports decided to enter an online competition sponsored by Nike and Ashoka called GameChangers to promote the new initiative. To learn more, get involved, or comment please visit the following link:



Play Sports for Life is a registered non profit organization who’s vision is to create transformational change for youth through sports. Play Rugby USA® is the unique youth development program with an underlying philosophy of “developing youth through rugby”.

127 West 25th Street | New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212 851 8858 | programs@playrugbyusa.com


Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Right of Passage: Youth Rugby Partnership

One of my favorite things to talk about is youth rugby. I've had the opportunity to share my love of this sport with youth through working with my club, New York Rugby's under 19 teams (NYRC) as well as through coaching with Play Rugby USA (PRUSA). Both organizations have partnered to develop a youth development rugby program that targets girls while growing the numbers of female coaches. The proposed program, The Right of Passage, has been submitted to Nike's and Ashoka's "“Gamechangers: Change the Game for Women in Sport” Collaborative Competition, which aims to find innovative solutions and catalyze a community of changemakers around the use of sport to improve community, accelerate development and drive social change for girls and women."

For more information, read about The Right of Passage.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sadeana's Hat

Sadeana's Hat- Finally

On my first trip to Little Rock in the fall of 2005 I was knitting a brown cable scarf. Somewhere between her house and a trip to Walmart, that I vaguely remember, I promised Sadeana that I would knit her something. She decided on a hat. 2006 came and went, as did 2007. On occasion when I'd see Sad, she ask, "How's my hat coming along?" I kept promising. In September of last year, I finally started it. I had it at the Bronxville camp. I hoped to finish in time for September's Little Rock camp. That didn't happen. Well, it took a few years but I finished it the Monday after the last Little Rock camp and sent it in the mail last week.

Sad- Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Burpee Comeback

One Hundred Day Burpee Challenge:Day One

In December I signed up to participate in the One Hundred Day Burpee Challenge. From January 1st to the 10th I was going strong. One Saturday, Hobs and Sarah met me in Sunset Park for some passing and we topped off the session with burpees. That was the last time I did them, until recently when I received an email reminder about it. Today marks day 34. I'm not exactly up to 34, but I am making a come back. I'll add this to my exercise routine. This morning, I went running well before it began snowing. I did some yoga too. This evening I'll do some burpees. Does this still count at two a days?