The HBCU Rugby Classic and Music Festival is taking place on May 1-2, 2021 in Baton Rouge, LA.
The mission of the HBCU Rugby Classic and Music Festival is to promote historically black colleges and universities, while also celebrating the culture that resonates through and around HBCUs through rugby. In doing so, we aim to connect people of all ages to come and participate in the HBCU Rugby Classic.
In 2020, we wanted to open the senior club division of the HBCU Rugby Classic. This was so that we could give more opportunity for creating networks and connections for participants with people who are working, and have familiar backgrounds. As a result of the pandemic, we were unable to follow through. This year we are going to try again, with a tweak. Because of the disruption that pandemic had on universities, we’re going to be combining the collegiate and senior division sides this year. We get to promote HBCUs and BIPOC club rugby teams. The teams that have accepted invites, so far, to the HBCU Rugby Classic are:
R.O.O.T.S Rugby Men & Women
R.O.O.T.S has been building their community program through rugby, for the last 3 years. Founded by Kyle and Tiana Granby, Tiffany Fa’a’ae, and Kimani Davis and supported by USA Rugby’s Phaidra Knight and Koma Gandy Fischbein, they have seen themselves go from a traveling team to a full development program, despite the obstacles the pandemic have brought.
South Florida RFC Men & Women
South Florida RFC is the newest club team in the community. Founded and developed by Ryan Forston out of Miami, they have established a culture of uplifting their players, and their backgrounds. South Florida is looking to continue their showcase in a post-pandemic arena.
HBCU Rugby All-Stars Men
The HBCU Rugby All-Stars is the combination team of HBCU rugby players. They will be taking on the mantle of representing HBCUs at this event. Because of the disruption of COVID, instead of teams without reserves, we wanted to have the players compete at a high level, against other clubs, and still represent the HBCUs. Selection is still available for the All-Star side.
We want to continue to build the pathway towards more recognition of HBCUs around the country, as well as placing more rugby programs at each place.
In 2019, we added the HBCU Rugby High School 7s, where we saw incredible play from the boys and girls. This year, we’re bringing the HBCU High School Rugby 7s back. Teams are already accepting bids, and we’re waiting to hear back from more. For this upcoming year, we are set to see the following teams compete at the HBCU Rugby High School 7s:
Memphis Inner City Rugby boys and girls
They will be returning to defend their championship in 2019. MICR has become a feeder powerhouse high school for BIPOC high school rugby. Not only have they changed the game as a rugby program, but they have also created opportunities off the fields for their students.
Baton Rouge Youth Rugby boys
Have to represent for the local side, as they look to add on to what they did in 2019. Baton Rouge Youth Rugby continues to establish roots in the local community while spreading their brand of rugby. Baton Rouge Youth Rugby boys are looking to protect their house this year.
Dallas Youth Rugby boys
They are the newest program to enter the HBCU Rugby High School 7s Tournament. They have been developing a strong, viable program over the last few years, and they are ready for their break out.
There is still more to come. The HBCU Rugby Classic and Music Festival is near with so many more announcements yet to come. You can follow the HBCU Rugby Classic on Facebook and Instagram @HBCURugbyClassic or on Twitter @HBCURugby. You also can sign up for the newsletter at www.HBCURugbyClassic.com.