NDS: From the eyes of the Members

The National Development Summit (NDS) is a fantastic opportunity to develop, network and learn. Whether this is your first year participating in the game or your 50th, all have the opportunity to benefit.

Each year, hundreds of rugby enthusiast, coaches, administrators, referees, and players gather at the National Development Summit. Why? To exchange ideas, network, and learn something new that can be immediately applied to their club or team back home.

"I always walk away from the NDS with a nugget of information that I want to bring home to improve what we're doing locally," said President and CEO of Rugby Oregon and Co-Founder of Girls Rugby Inc., Jenn Heinrich.

Throughout the three-day summit, attendees can partake in a variety of workshops such as Developing a Team Culture, Concussion and Return to Play, Referee Recruiting, Analysis on a Budget and so much more.

"Given it's normal for rugby people to wear a variety of hats I particularly like that NDS provides multiple tracks and a schedule that allows attendees to gather information and ideas in different areas of the game," Heinrich explained


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"Equally important is the opportunity to meet other people who are putting in the hard yards and who get you thinking about new and different ways to do things," said Heinrich.

Andrew "Tui" Osborne, the Head Coach at St. Bonaventure University echoed Heinrich's second point, "One of the main reasons I go back year after year is for the networking opportunities with businesses showcased at the expo and other coaches in the industry."

Given that networking is a significant benefit to attending the National Development Summit, USA Rugby has specifically built in three networking breaks to ensure attendees have time to engage with one another. This is in addition to the Exhibitor Hall which provides upfront access to participating exhibitors over the entire weekend.

Alicia Allen, Special Projects Manager at USA Rugby, explained how the summit was created to link rugby people from all across the country together to help develop the game. "The Summit is a tremendous tool for developing the game across America as it brings together individuals from all over the country (and the world) to share ideas, network and learn from some of the top experts in rugby on how to better develop their teams, coaching styles, leadership, and overall rugby communities."

"Everyone who attends the summit has the same goal: develop the game of rugby in the United States, and it's great to see people working together and learning from their peers." Allen continued.

 "This year I will be presenting at NDS on Girls Rugby but even before we knew that I had it on my calendar. There are so many great people who attend from coast-to-coast making it an awesome way to connect, learn, share and grow." Heinrich concluded.

Whether this is your first year participating in the game or your 50th, you are sure to find NDS as one of the year's most valuable conferences. The 2019 National Development Summit happens January 11-13 in Houston, Texas.


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