The following is a message from UGARFCAA Board Chair, Ryan Brenny:
If you read April's newsletter, you know during the past 15 weeks I have been working with members of the alumni, the officers of the club, and the new board to capitalize on the momentum created during the club's 50th anniversary celebration last fall. I want to personally thank everyone that has given their time and resources to help and support the club.
Since I became the leader of the club, my central focus has been to return the club to national prominence. Today, I'm happy to report we're making progress. However, to truly take this club from wooden spoon to national champions, it's going to take even more volunteer time, a deeper dive into the human resources we have in the group and more donors (like you) sending us a whole lot more money.
After our disappointing showing during the SCRC Playoffs in Knoxville a few weeks ago, I was driving back to Atlanta and thinking about what we could do to make an immediate positive impact on the performance of our current team. I reached out to Robb Young and we began to brainstorm and we started talking about the winning culture within his club Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC). The conversation resonated with me. The next day, I called Robbbb again and we took the first step in creating a much needed partnership.
Today I am pleased to announce that our club has partnered with Old Mission Beach Athletic Club in the a club development program. The first of it's kind that I am aware of. For the first time in club history, we're entering into a mutually beneficial partnership between UGARFC and OMBAC. We call it DAWGB.A.C. and it's going to make the impact we so badly need.
For those that have never heard of OMBAC, they're located in San Diego and they have a rich tradition of playing and winning high level rugby matches. OMABC has produced a ton of international players including players and some have gone on to star in the English Premiership. Currently they are in the playoffs and set to win yet another club championship. Google OMBAC. They are a huge part of San Diego's unique culture both on and off the rugby pitch. OMBAC is more than rugby.
The first phase of the DAWGB.A.C program is already underway. After finals, current Captain, Obum Imonugo and stand out Center Joey McLane, will depart from Atlanta to spend 10 days fully immersed in the culture of OMBAC.
The trip begins with an OMBAC traditional, the "OMABC Welcome" meal. Our players will dine with legendary OMBAC internationals Brian Vizard, Bill Leveresee, Jason Raven, Mike Stanaway and Jason Wood ( OMBAC President ).
During their time at OMBAC both players will train with OMBAC (as members) on their championship winning 7's team. When not training with the club, we have arranged for
Jason Raven, past Eagle 7's Captain with 200+ caps, to put them through personalized rugby training sessions.
Jason's trainings will include fitness drills, ball skills, small group drills and leadership lessons on how to lead a competitive rugby club. Jason's focus will be to give both players the tools necessary to come back, lead the team and to make our club trainings more impactful this fall.
When they boys are not training in San Diego, Jason scheduled a trip for all of them to go to Chula Vista (the home of USA Rugby 7s Training Center) for a tour and a workout and they're taking a trip to watch Major League Rugby's San Diego Legion practice. Other off the field activities include a rugby film session with Scott Bracken and attending OMBAC's mid week tradition a Captain's run on Mission Beach.
In closing, the members, players and coaches of OMBAC are as excited about DAWGB.A.C as we are. I would like to thank Robbbb for his work connecting us to his club. This partnership would never have been possible without Robbbb's ability to build meaningful relationships while playing for the club. I'm looking forward to hosting members of the OMBAC coaching staff this fall as they help us prepare for our new season in Athens.
PS/ In recruiting news, Robbb has arranged for our first west coast recruit, a US High School All-American Forward, to join Obum and Joey during at least one of these training sessions. The recruit reached out to the club via Facebook and has expressed an interested in playing in Athens next year. He was excited to know we had connections with OMBAC.