USA Rugby Receives Grant to Support Stars and Stripes Camp

USA Rugby received a $25,000 Daniels Fund grant to support its annual High School All-American Stars vs. Stripes Camp.

"Getting the Daniels Fund Grant means we are able to run a camp that is more accessible to more athletes," Director of Coach Development Josh Sutcliffe said. "It also removes an obstacle to providing an elite training camp for young rugby players."

Throughout the camp, players are divided into two teams, Stars and Stripes. Players selected competed in one of seven Regional All-Star Tournaments (RASTs) and have been chosen by USA Rugby selectors.

USA Rugby's Stars and Stripes Camp is the first step in its elite player development program. Players identified for this program are future Eagles! Athletes like High School All American and U20 National Team player Ashlee Byrge started with this program.

"I knew I loved rugby before going to the Stars and Stripes camp," Byrge said. "But attending the camp showed me how far I could take it."

“I knew I loved rugby before going to the Stars and Stripes camp. But attending the camp showed me how far I could take it.” — U20 National Team player Ashlee Byrge

"I emailed the coach and got everything set up not long after that," Byrge said. "The camp brought me directly to college rugby."

It is stories like Ashlee's that highlight the huge impact that the Stars and Stripes can have on youth rugby. Not only are players given the opportunity to play and be coached at a higher level than ever before, but it also opens up pathways for further development.

After her experience at the Stars and Stripes Camp Ashley has gone on to play at Davenport with a rugby scholarship.

"The Stars and Stripes camp really birthed the girls High School All American team," Sutcliff said. "Stars and Stripes showed that we had the players to do it."

Despite the successes of the Stars and Stripes Camp funding for the program is always a struggle. To relieve some of the pressure USA Rugby Trust pursued the Daniel's Fund grant on behalf of USA Rugby. The $25,000 awarded to hold the camp has made it possible for this great camp to be held again this year.

If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to any of USA Rugby's All-American teams you can do so here.

Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity to those in need, established the Daniels Fund to provide grants and scholarships in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. For more information, please visit www.danielsfund.org.

USA Rugby Trust is the philanthropic arm of USA Rugby. Our fundraising activities support rugby youth initiatives, coaching and referee development, and build world-class athletes through our national teams.

Founded in 1975, USA Rugby is the national governing body for the sport of rugby in America, and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Rugby Board (IRB). Currently headquartered in Boulder, Colo., USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels and has over 115,000 active members. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and high school All-American sides, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes.