Chicago Lions Youth and Community Rugby

History of the Lions’ Youth and Community Rugby Program

Partnership with Chicago Hope Academy 

In 2009, Chicago Hope Academy and Chicago Lions Rugby entered into a unique, mutually-beneficial partnership in ordered to further develop the sport of rugby in Chicago. This partnership has provided the Lions with a home field and clubhouse in the inner city of Chicago, while producing financial support and developing a rugby program for Hope Academy.

Lastly, the partnership has produced a safe and substantial location to develop all levels of rugby, from youth to Division 1.

Development of Lions Community Rugby

The Lions Community program is the brainchild of Lions’ Director of Rugby, Dave Clancy, and focused on using rugby as a vehicle  for youth development and social change in the North Lawndale and East Garfield Park Community. The Lions hired Andy Rose as Director of Youth and Community Rugby in May 2018 and launch its first programs – an “Introduction to Rugby” course in North Lawndale Community Academy and Morton School of Excellence, unfortunately their festival had to be cancelled due to lightning but that was the beginning.

In 2018/2019 school year, the Lions Community program ran two after school programs as well a numerous camps and clinics with community parks and other non profit in the area – all of these programs, camps and clinics focused on introducing the sport and its ethos to the community members These programs were also provide an opportunity for healthy competition against the other programs.

Merger with Chicago Wapiti RFC

In August 2019, the Chicago Lions Rugby organization, established in 1964, joined forces to expand the Chicago Lions Youth Rugby Program to include middle school and rookie rugby. The merger is mutually beneficial and a pooling of resources will allow a complete pathway for its players focused on development and growth.

Programs

Rookie Rugby (Co-ed)

Pre-K to 4th Grade / Non-contact Rugby

Seasons:
  • Fall: September – Middle of November
    • Saturdays: 9:00 am – 10.30 am @ Lions for Hope Sports Complex
  • Winter: January – March
    • Sundays: 2:00 pm – 3.15 pm @ Chicago Fire Rec Soccer Dome
  • Spring: April – June
    • Saturdays: 9:00 am – 10.30 am @ Lions for Hope Sports Complex
    • Plus festivals

Point of contact: Andres MendozaPena @ andresmendozapena [at] chicagowapitirfc [dot] com

Middle School Rugby (Co-ed)

Middle School Juniors 5-6th Grade / Contact Rugby

Middle School Seniors 7-8th Grade / Contact Rugby

Seasons
  • Fall: September – Middle of November
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays: 5.30 pm – 7:00 pm @ Lions for Hope Sports Complex
  • Winter: mid-January – March
    • Sundays: 3.15 pm – 5:00 pm @ Chicago Fire Rec Soccer Dome
  • Spring: April – June
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays: 5.30 pm – 7:00 pm @ Lions for Hope Sports Complex
    • Plus weekly weekend festivals

Point of contact: Pat Berger @ pat [dot] paddylongs [at] gmail [dot] com

High School Rugby

High School Girls 9-12th Grade / Contact Rugby

High School Boys 9-12th Grade / Contact Rugby

Seasons:
  • Fall: September – Middle of November
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays: 5.30 pm – 7:00 pm @ Lions for Hope Sports Complex
  • Winter: mid-January – March
    • Sundays: 9:00 am – 11:00 am @ Chicago Hope Academy
      Includes a HS Boys Tour to the University of Louisville at the end of March
  • Spring: April – June
    • Tuesdays and Thursdays: 5.30 pm – 7:00 pm @ Lions for Hope Sports Complex
    • Games mostly on weekends

Point of contact (boys): Clayton Miller @ claytonmiller [at] chicagowapitirfc [dot] com

Point of contact (girls): Andy Rose @ youth [at] chicagolions [dot] com

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