National Development Summit Recap

The 2014 USA Rugby National Development Summit saw its largest attendance with approximately 250 participant s on Saturday, February 22nd at Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than 20 presentations and seminars dedicated to growing the game of rugby.

Nikki Wiederaenders, Executive Director of USA Rugby Trust, conducted a session, Fundraising at the Local Level, for the Administration track participants. During the presentation, Wiederaenders focused on vetted fundraising resources local teams and organizations could utilize to raise funds for their groups. These resources can be accessed on the USA Rugby Trust website.

Spring Hill College Head Coach Mollie McCarthy was a member of the “Developing Female Rugby Athletes” panel, along with Katie Wurst, AIG Women’s Collegiate All-Americans Head Coach Danielle Miller and Minnesota Youth Rugby’s Libby Berg. “It was basically to kind of highlight different approaches and bring up issues with coaching and coaching females and if there are different approaches to it,” McCarthy said. “If there are differences, what are they and what certain things we need to address when it comes to women’s rugby.” Other discussions focused on multiple aspects of the game with presenters from around the world. Mike Rogers and Chad Tuoro of New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty Rugby Union spoke of their study abroad program in “Chasing Gold Sevens” and Colin Moran from the Irish Rugby Football Union led “Season Planning and Organization: An IRFU Model.” National team coaches Salty Thompson and Luke Gross were also amongst the list of presenters in multiple tracks at NDS, which included Coaching, Referee, Specialty and Administration.

“The Summit’s been great, a lot of excitement,” McCarthy said. “I just feel like everything’s buzzing because there’s so much going on in rugby right now. I think that the Summit itself, obviously with the different tracks, we’re touching on a bunch of different subjects. There’s so much to learn that I think people are walking away motivated and excited to go back to their teams and seasons.”