I want to take the time to thank you for this opening set up for a blog. In time this will develop into something that can be relied upon more and more for you rugby updates for news here in Louisiana, and national news.
The reason that I created Gift-Time Rugby Network was because I believe in the growth of rugby in the United States. Since I started playing back in 2009 for Baton Rouge Rugby Club, I have been completely mystified on how this sport had been passed over by the general public. Yes, we have Football here, and basketball and baseball are the other part of the big 3 for United States sports, but rugby seemed to be a natural addition. It wasn’t until I started looking over the history of rugby around the world, as well as here in the United States, that I realized the trend that had been occurring. It appeared as if there was a consistent concern that upgrading rugby from an amateur status to a professional and profit-creating sport was hindering it. I mean, 1995 is when the first elements of a professional rugby started. While that may work for our brothers and sisters overseas, a sport that does not seem to have a monetary end goal doesn’t work so well here in the states. So the club mindset of rugby would continue to persist.
Fast forward to the present, since 2009, USA Rugby have been making a much stronger effort of popularizing rugby. They acquired a new CEO, Nigel Melville, who forced the organization to go out and actively create programs to increase rugby. They have pushed Rugby 7’s on TV with the Las Vegas Sevens Tournament, in February, and the College Rugby Championships, in June. Internationally, the International Rugby Board (IRB) has gotten rugby returned to the Olympics for 2016, even if it’s Rugby 7’s, a major step forward for the organization as a whole.
Now, to the point of why I have done all this. As I have seen growth with rugby, I know that there are limitations to what they can do. Resources are finite for now, and there are a lot of holes to be filled. I wanted to make the effort of promoting Louisiana rugby and national rugby in a means that would be easy for the general fan to understand. I know many people who have come to me after seeing rugby on TV or in person and are just confused by the actions. The education of rugby to the general fan will be one of the most important, if not THE most important, key to getting the sport to where it deserves to be. So with Gift-Time Rugby Network and everything that we’ll provide, I hope to be able to bring rugby to the profitable and viable sport in the US that I know it will get too.
I hope you enjoy all our content.
CEO/Founder of Gift-Time Rugby Network