Building something great.
The Glendale Raptors provide the surrounding community with a world-class stadium and highly competitive teams. In other words, they have a strong foundation to build on as rugby, the fastest growing sport in the U.S., continues to grow. In order to build an organization with deep community ties and passionate fans and supporters, the Raptors have made major investments in families and youth programs. As existing youth programs proved popular, more and more programs came online. Each existed alongside one another, but they weren’t exactly connected.
A welcoming culture.
The Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy comprises a host of programs designed for youth as young as 5 and as old as 18. Each successive program will build on the last, like a staircase. There’s a long-term vision in mind: Coaches have spent years developing a values-driven program that progresses, from teaching rugby fundamentals to grade-school children to teaching high-level skills such as in-game awareness, tactical thinking, and leadership in addition to fundamentals.
At the Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy, children and their families will find a welcoming, supportive culture. Respect is fundamental to the rugby tradition around the world. One does not need to be the fastest or strongest among peers to succeed at rugby. Safety is incorporated into every aspect of teaching. Learning rugby with the Glendale Raptors has the added benefit of introducing approachable, positive role models to children. Youth can learn from the pros and then return with their families to watch those same pros play the best teams in the country.
High school players who have ambitions to play rugby at a higher level will find the GRRA to be a one-of-a-kind experience that bolsters their high school career. The high performance training found at the Academy, done alongside the area’s top athletes and coaches, will help players reach the next level of their career: playing at the nation’s top colleges and for teams like the Raptors.
In addition to these efforts, the Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy is developing outreach programs to bring a greater general awareness of rugby to a wider population. These opportunities will include teaching rugby basics at PE classes and after-school events throughout the region. Efforts like this will help bring rugby into the mainstream conversation, like football or basketball. The Raptors organization emphasizes access and affordability in its youth programs and pro games. By sharing the game proactively, they ensure that more and more people can take advantage of everything a rugby lifestyle offers.
The future of Glendale rests on an unusual premise: It will be built around rugby. This endeavor can’t be explained in one or two words. It challenges the traditional understanding of what a community project is. It’s an example of what smart, public-private partnerships can accomplish.
Why rugby? The sport embodies Glendale. Glendale is a small town amid a major metropolitan area. Despite its seemingly small stature, Glendale has a big personality, and has built itself to reflect that, while remaining grounded in who it is. Glendale values hard work, creativity, and dedication to the task at hand—values expressed in rugby’s tough-yet-elegant ethos. The game is inclusive, welcoming men and women, young and old, to watch and to play. It challenges the mind and the body, and it is a true team sport—it’s a sport of shared victory, not superstars.
The result is something we call RugbyTown USA. It’s the attitude, the character, the “this is who we are.” It’s teamwork, grit, and celebration. Vision, execution, and excellence. It’s a long-term vision with day-to-day implications for everyone in the Denver metro area.
The Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy is a cornerstone of that vision. The youth programs at Infinity Park represent the future of the sport. Participants of these programs will become the future fanbase of the Raptors and the next generation of players on the field. By developing teamwork, work ethic, and rugby skills in a program designed with a purpose, Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy will keep the Glendale Raptors at the forefront of American rugby for years to come.
MISSION AND VISION
Rugby today. Rugby tomorrow.
The Glendale Raptors are committed to embodying rugby’s inclusive ethos, promoting local engagement and participation at every level. The Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy, to that end, offers a community-centric youth, social, and high-performance pathway for players and fans to enjoy rugby throughout their lives: from kindergarten all the way to the professional level and beyond.
The Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy is comprised of a host of progressive, values-driven programming for youth as young as 5 and as old as 19. Each program builds upon the one before it, creating a pathway of growth throughout the lifetime of community youths. The Academy fosters mental, social, and physical development, underscoring the tough-yet-elegant nature of the sport. In so doing, The Academy serves to further enhance The Raptors’ presence in Glendale at large. Through its engagement of local youth and their families, The Academy enlarges the Rugby Family, an inspirational, character-driven model of sport and athleticism, teamwork and diversity, participation and community.
At the Glendale Raptors Rugby Academy, participants and their families find a welcoming, supportive culture, one that serves not simply to improve rugby skills, but also to strengthen community youths’ sense of self, discipline, and drive. At The Academy, as in rugby, respect, inclusion, and safety are defining pillars of all programming. To continue the mission of community involvement and increased engagement with the sport of rugby, a significant portion of The Academy also involves local outreach programs in the form of school rugby PE classes and after school events.
Ultimately, The Academy is not solely a multi-year rugby development program. Nor is it just a one-of-a-kind training opportunity for Glendale’s top talent. In addition to providing the surrounding community with these extensive, focused opportunities, The Academy is also a way of life, a major positive influence on a child’s development, and a pathway for growth mentally, socially, and physically, all through the exceptional values that define the sport of rugby.
Rugby today. Rugby tomorrow.