Utah Warriors and Utah Youth Rugby announce High School Academy
Salt Lake City, Utah — October 20, 2020. Today, the Utah Warriors announced their partnership with Utah Youth Rugby (UYR), the local state governing-body for youth and high school rugby, to launch the state’s premier High School Academy. The Academy will develop and facilitate opportunities for local rugby players to enter the Utah Warriors development pathway where they will learn on and off-field skills necessary to prepare them for the next level.
“[The Warriors Academy] allows us to get that direct link to the community, so we can give back and provide the help and resources that may not be accessible to them,” said Chris Latham, head coach of the Utah Warriors. “It also provides a pathway for athletes and coaches to one day become professionals.”
The purpose of the Academy is to facilitate skill development and rugby IQ in high school-aged players and expose them to the Warriors core values. Through this partnership with the UYR, the Warriors will work with UYR staff and coaches to assume the costs, leadership and management of the UYR All-Star program, also known as the Utah Cannibals.
Utah Youth Rugby President Owen Power said the partnership with the Warriors will provide more high-performance opportunities for the UYR’s high school players.
“This formation of an official partnership between the Utah Youth Rugby All-State Team program, the Utah Cannibals, and the Utah Warriors is an exciting step forward for youth and high school rugby in Utah,” Power said. ”The formation of the Warriors Academy closes the open loop for high-performance rugby in Utah. I am proud that the Utah Cannibals were able to prepare our high school players for this day.”
A launch date is set for an opening winter camp, Dec. 27-30 for a limited group of 50 players. Following the winter camp, the Warriors Academy players who are selected will have every-other-week training sessions held Monday night with the Warriors coaches and players. The cost for the camp is $250 per player with most of the on-going costs supplemented by the Utah Warriors organization.
“By having the Academy, we can see players progress on a regular basis, […] but most importantly, it allows us to cast a wide net across the entire Utah Rugby Community,” Latham said. “That way every aspiring player has the opportunity to achieve their goal of becoming a professional athlete.”
The Warriors Academy’s 2021 competition schedule will be announced in the coming weeks, but it will feature a number of local, regional and MLR academy teams.
“I truly believe this is a win-win situation for both the Utah Warriors and the Utah Rugby Community,” Latham said. “It’s our way of giving back to the community with resources that may not be readily available to everyone, and a way for us to find the next hero, role model and superstar to come out of Utah.”
Warriors Director of Rugby Brandon Sparks, who is spearheading the Warriors Academy initiative, echoed Latham’s sentiments.
“The Warriors High School Academy will add another entry point for player identification and development,” Sparks said. “We are excited to work with the incredibly talented high school community here in Utah and continue to develop homegrown talent.”
Utah Warriors Academy Key Dates & Information:
- Kick-Off: Winter Camp & Trial — Dec. 27-30, 2020
- Who: High School boys aged 14-18 years old — only 50 spots available
- On-Going Training: Every other Monday night starting January 19, 2021 (Pending Selection)
- Cost: $250 per player
- 2021 Competition Schedule: To Be Announced
- Registration: Fill out the form on www.warriorsrugby.com/warriorsacademy/ to save your spot for the Winter Camp & Trial
For more information and details on the Warriors Academy, please visit www.warriorsrugby.com/warriorsacademy/.
WARRIORS ACADEMY VIRTUAL TOWN HALL: OCTOBER 20th @ 6PM MT
Warriors color commentary man Jared “Banksy” Danielson will lead head coach Chris Latham, Director of Rugby Brandon Sparks and Utah Youth Rugby President Owen Power for a virtual town hall discussion to answer community questions around this partnership. The town hall is set for tonight, Oct. 20, at 6pm MT. For viewing details, go to our Facebook, YouTube or stay tuned on all Warriors and UYR social media channels.
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