WWU Campus Recreation Services runs summer programs from the Wade King Center that provide instruction in sports that are not offered as part the Athletic Department’s summer camp schedule. This year Campus Rec Services added a week long rugby camp that ran from July 8th through the 12th.
There were close to thirty-five young people who signed up and when all was said and done, there were 32 young rugby players on the Wade King turf field ready to go Monday morning, July 8th. The campers came from all over the Northwest and BC, and there were three campers from California.
Most of the campers were enrolled in the ‘residential’ program. Living in the dorms and eating in the residence hall dining room, while the rest were part of the ‘commuter’ option, those players being dropped off in the morning and picked up at the end of each day.
Campus Rec Services staff, Assistant Director Adam Leonard and Sports Club Coordinator, Clark Cripps took care of setting up all the “off-field” arrangements like residence halls, and dining, while the rugby part was run by WWU Men’s Rugby Club Coaches Paul Horne and Adam Roberts with help of guest instructors and members of the WWU Men’s Rugby Club team.
From all accounts, the camp was a huge success on all fronts. The campers generally spent the morning and the early part of the afternoon working on rugby related skills and techniques and how to use those skills in offense and defense, as well as strategy and tactics sessions. Also included in the program were sessions on weight training, nutrition, and overall general fitness.
The late afternoon was reserved for other less challenging recreational opportunities and team building exercises using WWU’s Lakewood facility at Lake Whatcom and other campus locations.
The campers had the benefit of some world class instruction with current USA National Team members Shawn Pittman and Nick Wallace, both former Bellingham residents and Chuckanut Bay Rugby Club players, who were in town for the first three days and were happy to help with the camp.
Even though it was the first year for the camp both Coach Horne and Coach Roberts were really excited about how the camp played out. Both coaches have run summer camps in the past and if the enthusiasm show by this years campers is any indication, there will be many more campers signing up for future editions.
In fact, a couple of the California kids, who had been to many rugby camps over the years including the Cal and UCLA camps, said that this was the best rugby camp they’d ever been to and they would be spreading the word about the WWU Summer Rugby Camp.
Keep all of this in mind if you know a young person interested in bettering their rugby skills and knowledge and get them to signup for next year’s camp. As one of the California campers put it, “…this place is really cool…”.