Two young Tigers are taking time out of their busy schedule to help the new Inner City Rugby programs by serving as assistant coaches for the Kingsbury High School Rugby team. Brandon Worley and J.C. Russell are investing in the lives of young high school men as they volunteer with Memphis Inner City Rugby, which is “dedicated to reaching under-privileged kids through the power of rugby.” Their love for the sport and the values that rugby holds could not be expressed in a better setting than the inner city.
Brandon, a starting freshman player at the University of Memphis, described his role with these kids as an “uplifting experience… seeing how they bond with each other and the coaches” through the sport. “As they practice, work hard, and encourage one another they become one tight unit,” stated Brandon.
Rugby is a unique as a sport, allowing many bonding opportunities not only with your teammates but with the opposition. As Coach Cole often says at Memphis, “The other team is not your enemy, the other team is your opponent… and when the game is over, they can be your friends.
J.C., also a starting freshman Tiger, brings experience as a backline player while Brandon has skills as a forward. J.C. loves to see the players “work together to learn the basic concepts of rugby”. “These kids really learn fast,” said Brandon. “They bring lots of energy and enthusiasm at practice.” J.C. and Brandon work with the Kingsbury High School squad which is currently in its first year in existence.
The team is growing and learning fast and it is only a matter of time before they become a powerhouse team. It is something the community needs: a sport that focuses so much on supporting and trusting other people in order to affect the culture in the surrounding area. The kids have great hearts and are willing to learn and dedicate themselves to the sport.
Several players for the Kingsbury Rugby team will have an opportunity to watch their first rugby game at the University of Memphis this weekend as Memphis takes on the University of Western Kentucky and Brighton Storm Alumni. Please support this team and the coaches as they continue to impact their surrounding area through the development of Inner City Rugby.
The University of Memphis is proud of its rugby tradition and the other Memphis teams that continue to develop. Memphis rugby is very proud of Brandon and JC and their commitment to help develop young men in the inner city through the game of rugby.