Club History

About the Pelham Youth Rugby Club

In the Spring of 2007, Matt Persanis and Tom Klienberger got together with Christian Mayo from PlayRugby USA to form Pelham Youth Rugby. Their goal was to bring the great game of rugby to the children of Pelham. In 2008, Pelham Recreation officially recognized rugby as one of its sports. Since then, it has become one of the fastest growing youth sports in the town, and in the nation.

During its first year, Pelham won the Mayor’s Cup Tournament in New York, which is the largest flag rugby tournament in the world. Pelham went on to win the tournament two more times and finish in second place a third time. Last year, Pelham won the “bowl” trophy in the middle school division and finished in second place in the elementary school division.

This past fall, Pelham finished second in the middle school division of the PlayRugby USA fall seeding tournament. The second place finish means that Pelham is seeded second going into the Mayor’s Cup this spring. We are ranked No. 2 out of 68 teams!

In the Fall of 2010, Pelham started a middle school tackle team. In Spring 2011, Pelham’s first season in the league, the team went undefeated and wound up the No. 1  middle school team in New York State. The team will enter the Metro NY middle school rugby league this spring with that top ranking. There are eight teams in the league that come from clubs in Long Island, New Jersey and northern Westchester.
Pelham Middle School has adopted flag rugby into its curriculum just as the sport is about to be reintroduced into the Olympics in London this summer. Rugby in Pelham has grown to the point where in the Spring of 2011 more than 80 kids participated in the program.

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