The Foundation has its beginnings in the Metropolis Rugby Football Club (RFC), an amateur rugby club who represent a winning combination of strong rugby play, club spirit and community involvement. Metropolis RFC is the metamorphosis of two rich rugby traditions via the consolidation in 1992 of Minneapolis RFC, founded in 1960, and Metro RFC, founded in 1980. The rugby history books will remember Minneapolis powerhouse rugby pushing its way into the USA Rugby Football Union National Club Championships in the late 1970's, and the relentless attacking Metro back line rising to national sevens rugby prominence in the late 1980's and early 1990's. The result of the merger is a balanced style of rugby that stresses strength and mobility in the forwards, and quick ball to the backs where creativity, aggressiveness and agility dominate play.
Rugby has been rapidly growing in the US at all levels and, in recent years, has seen resounding growth at the youth level. The Twin Cities metro and surrounding area has seen the recent establishment of over thirty one High School Rugby programs for both boys and girls. At the younger level, rugby has been added as physical education curriculum at many schools and has been added to community-sponsored recreational programs.
The rapid growth of amateur rugby programs as a sport, particularly at the youth level, made apparent the need to establish means by which to support these programs, financially and otherwise. Possibly more importantly, this growth has made apparent the need to instill community and social responsibility as an integral part of athletics and athletic programs, in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area and beyond. In this regard, through the efforts of Metro Old Boy Rugby Club, Inc. (a.k.a., MOB, Inc., renamed The Metropolis Foundation), and particularly through the efforts of Dr. Richard and Mrs. JoAnn Vincent of Minneapolis, a non-profit organization was established in the late 1990's. Their first task was to generate funding for the creation of rugby facilities in Northeast Minneapolis. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised via federal and state grants, as well as through personal contributions. These funds were augmented by donated equipment and thousands of hours of labor, predominantly via Metropolis RFC, to turn what was an unused lowlands at Columbia Park in Northeast Minneapolis into what is now the premier rugby facility in Minnesota and surrounding areas.
Through partnership with Metropolis RFC, the Foundation has developed a history of providing coaching, facilities and financial assistance to support amateur and youth rugby in the Twin Cities metro area and beyond. The vast majority of the Twin Cities area High School and other youth rugby programs are coached by active and/or retired Metropolis RFC players and members. The Foundation is further proud to make available facilities and equipment at the Columbia Park training and match facilities in Northeast Minneapolis for amateur and youth athletic programs.
The initial chapter in the Foundation's History has been written. We look forward to writing the rest of the successful story as we take strides forward for our athletes and for our community.