The Foundation provides athletic facilities for community, youth and amateur rugby use at Sports and Orthopaedic Specialists Field at Columbia Park in Northeast Minneapolis. These facilities were built upon generally unusable lowland in the mid-1990's. Hundreds of thousands of Dollars in grant funds, including state and federal funds, were secured and used to create what is now the premier rugby training and match facility in Minnesota and neighboring areas. Overlooking the training and match facilities are a pavilion and a large playground that was funded with grants obtained through the Foundation. The Foundation pays to maintain and improve these facilities and is proud to make them available for youth rugby and other athletic programs, as well as community use.
The Foundation, through its partnership with Metropolis RFC and its predecessors, promotes the development of youth rugby by providing coaching, equipment and facilities. Metropolis RFC and its alumni have provided volunteer coaches to the vast majority of local High School Rugby programs. In addition, the Minneapolis South Metro boys & girls High School rugby teams make Sports and Orthopaedic Specialists Field at Columbia Park their home.
Learn Rugby Minnesota is a youth rugby program headed by an alumnus of Metropolis RFC. Learn Rugby Minnesota seeks to increase the percentage of rugby participants by teaching the game to younger children. The program is designed to provide knowledgeable, competent, organized rugby instruction to American children who have never been exposed to the game of rugby. Learn Rugby Minnesota provides the expertise and enthusiasm necessary to properly advance the game of rugby and expand participation. The Foundation provides grants, facilities and other support to Learn Rugby Minnesota. For more information, please visit www.learnrugbyminnesota.com.
Periodically, the Foundation grants funds for use by individuals involved with amateur and youth rugby to participate in select-side (i.e., all-star) rugby training and matches. While state and national select-side programs do provide for some of the costs involved in participation, many of these programs still place a significant amount of the financial burden upon the individuals who are involved. In this regard, the Foundation endeavors to fill some of this financial gap by providing funds to these selected individuals. By promoting rugby at a higher level for these individuals, we will improve rugby in Minnesota as they bring their learned skills back home.
Amateur rugby has begun to climb the ladder into the limelight over the recent years in the United States. As more and more people are introduced to the sport of rugby, the excitement, camaraderie and community has made believers of them. The Foundation aims to continue to promote the sport of amateur rugby and to foster its growth in Minnesota via the support and promotion of Minnesota's premier club, the Metropolis Rugby Football Club (RFC). Metropolis RFC, in addition to being the premier playing rugby side in Minnesota, has also been the largest supplier of volunteer high school and youth coaches, and has worked through efforts of the Foundation and its predecessors to build and maintain the facilities at Sports and Orthopaedic Specialists Field at Columbia Park. For more information regarding Metropolis RFC, please visit www.metropolisrugby.com.