New York Athletic Club Grants Men’s National Team $10,000

The prestigious New York Athletic Club's (NYAC) Athlete's Fund has awarded USA Rugby Trust a $10,000 grant to benefit the Men's Eagles' XVs team as the athletes begin to train for the 2015 World Cup in England.

The Athlete's Fund was created by NYAC more than 15 years ago as a way to directly support NYAC athletes competing at the highest level, especially around international competitions like the World Cup. Ted Vaccaro, the chairman of NYAC Rugby, said the club is happy to support the men's national team, as they have had "quite a few Eagle guys come through our program."

Kent Osmanski, current NYAC member and former player nominated the Eagles for the grant. "Kent is a great example of how one person can significantly impact a program or a team. We are very grateful for the time and effort Kent put in on behalf of the Men's XVs team," said Nikki Wiederaenders, Executive Director of USA Rugby Trust.

"We wanted to support the national team anyway we could, because our goals are similar in a lot of respects," Vaccaro said. "We want to develop good players and having a good national team is a part of that."

Men's Head Coach Mike Tolkin is a NYAC member and a former NYAC coach and player, and supporting him in a World Cup year, was especially important to the Club and NYAC Rugby, Vaccaro said. Tolkin said he was very pleased to learn of the grant and that it will greatly help as they begin to train for the upcoming World Cup.

"The gift is a very generous contribution from the most successful athletic club in the United States," Tolkin said. "It has been NYAC's mission to support the highest level of athletics in the country throughout its history, and this gift is another example of that support. It will be a great benefit towards the Eagles' growth and the program's World Cup preparation."

The NYAC Athlete's Fund gave to more than 25 organizations in 2014, according to their website, and has given $800,000 in grants in the last seven years. Other organizations that have benefited from their grants are the Special Olympics of Connecticut, the Police Athletic League, the Achilles Track Club and the Ronald McDonald House of New York, along with many others.

NYAC Rugby competes in the American Rugby Premiership, which is the only elite/premiership competition officially sanctioned by USA Rugby. The Rugby club was established in 1973. It won the Rugby Super League National Championship in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012. NYAC Rugby currently has four members of the Eagles on its roster.

USA Rugby Trust is the philanthropic arm of USA Rugby. Its fundraising activities support rugby youth initiatives, coaching and referee development, and build world-class athletes through our national teams. You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Men's National Team, or any of the other great teams and programs supported by the Trust, by visiting its website.