Chicago Lions Rugby with Chicago Hope Academy hosted their first “middle school rugby festival” at Quest Multisport last Wednesday evening. The Chicago Lions Community Rugby Program (CLCRP) brought 30 children from Leif Ericson Scholastic Elementary Academy and Henry Nash Elementary School together to play with and against each other.

The purpose of the festival was to give the players a goal for training and also to introduce them to other pupils from a different school, with similar interest.

These two schools have been part of our pilot program which would not be possible without the support and partnership of Build Inc. We will add three CPS middle schools to the program to total 5 schools with 80-120 children participating by year’s end.

In addition, mayoral candidate Bill Daley happened to be visiting Quest as well as an award winning documentary filmmaker who recorded the entire event, stayed tuned!

If that wasn’t enough, Sarah Levy and Anna Karen Pedraza from the USA Rugby Women’s XV team and “Rookie the Eagle”, the USA team mascot, participated in the event, so thank you for your help.


Jeff Steele and Paul Westin for their organization and impromptu referring abilities. Kevin Drewyer and his team from Hope Academy to secure the venue. Katelynn Ludwig from RXBAR for providing the snacks for the event. We look forward to your continued support as the program expands. Tony Rio for riding on the bus to make sure everyone was accounted for and a very special thanks to Clayton Miller for volunteering his time and taking some awesome photos of the day. It didn’t happen if it wasn’t documented!

To sum it up take a look at the smiles in the photos, that says it all. If you want to be part of the next festival on the December 18th from 4.15pm to 5.45pm at Quest Multisport, please email me directly.

~ Andy Rose