National Development Summit under way in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, Penn. - The 2014 USA Rugby National Development Summit presented by BLK kicked off at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing with a First Aid in Rugby Course and the Welcome Reception Dinner Friday.

Presented by Canterbury, the Welcome Reception Dinner was attended by NDS registrants who had braved the inclement weather around the country to arrive at the Hyatt Regency to connect with their rugby peers.

"It's an amazing weekend," USA Rugby Youth Development Director Kurt Weaver said. "We always bring in hundreds of rugby players, coaches and referees to share, learn and hear the latest about the game. We most look forward to everyone sharing their knowledge with the rest of the rugby community."

The Rugby Player, a full-length documentary on the life of rugby player Mark Bingham, was also screened at the Hyatt Regency Friday night. Bingham's mother attended the screening.

Saturday's Summit proceedings will begin with a breakfast sponsored by new USA Rugby Official Breakfast Cereal Weetabix, followed by a welcome address. Attendees will then have the opportunity to hear from the leaders in rugby in America in seminars such as "Refereeing Stats and Trends at the Breakdown" with USA Rugby High Performance Referee Manager Richard Every, "Enhancing Rugby Participation Through Team Building" with Katie Wurst and Mollie McCarthy, and "Coaching the New Scrum Cadence" with USA Rugby AIG Men's Collegiate All-Americans Assistant Coach Gavin Hickie.

"Everybody comes in to learn a little bit more about the game," Weaver said, "whether they know a lot and they want to impart some of the knowledge or they're looking for the latest on the scrum law changes or what the referee's looking at or what an administrator might be doing out there. It's about learning something else about the game you may not know."

The National Development Summit runs through Sunday in Philadelphia. Search the #RugbyNDS hashtag on Twitter for more updates and visit the NDS event page for a full list of presenters and sponsors.