You are here
The annual USA Rugby sponsored National Development Summit (NDS) was held last weekend in San Francisco, and attended by 360 people, up from 290 last year. The sessions included seminars about using the 2016 Olympics to bolster rugby awareness for clubs and colleges, reviewing contact skills, and how to start successful college rugby programs. This event has increased participation each year as it travels around the country. (Chicago in 2015 and Philadelphia in 2014.)
This year’s keynote dinner speaker was Mike Cheika, the Australian coach who led the Wallabies to second place in the past World Cup.
Importantly, the summit also facilitated a large exhibition space for rugby vendors, generating the largest display area of all prior NDS events. This is a key yardstick of the commercial growth of rugby in the United States, currently, the fastest growing team sport in the country. National rugby awareness has proliferated exponentially, especially, from past years’ television airings by NBC Sport of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas (March 4,5,6), the Varsity Cup XV (May 7), and the College Rugby Championship (Philadelphia, June 4 and 5). Rugby also benefitted from media coverage of the Rugby World Cup last autumn, and the game's inclusion in this summer's Olympics when both USA women’s and men’s sevens' sides will compete for medals in Brazil.
At this year’s NDS, about 30-vendors exhibited, highlighted by a Rhino Rugby booth with a full complement of its equipment and team wear product line. Other familiar exhibitors included Canterbury and the World Rugby Shop.
The NDS is the an annual show attracting rugby peoplel that attend for the informative seminars, the coaching awards, and also viewing the latest commercial offerings from an ever-growing list of vendors.