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Looking for a terrific holiday gift that incorporates rugby into the spirit of the season? The place to go is Netflix, and the object to buy is the heart-warming film: “Red, White, Black & Blue Odyssey”; which narrates the inner-city rugby program in south Los Angeles. This special initiative, entitled the Inner-City Education Foundation (ICEF Rugby), was founded in 2002 by former USA Eagle Stuart Krohn.
Krohn has encouraged more than one-thousand girls and boys to participate in rugby at the high school level. He has been admirably assisted by David Hughes, the Youth Development Officer who has been on board since 2005.
The film shows lots of youthful talking heads who praise the arrival of rugby both for the sports benefit but also for its team-building and camaraderie value. The rugby program parallels classwork, encouraging goal setting and academic achievement.
The crux of the film is the three-years of international travel that takes the team to China and the Great Wall. Here, the girls take on the Chinese Olympic Development Program in Shanghai. A year later for the boys, it’s on to the United Kingdom and the National School Sevens, the world’s largest sevens school tournament, played at Rosslyn Park with a stopover at Stonehenge. Finally, the team crosses the Channel to Toulouse, France, in the historic heart of French rugby country.
Krohn, an All-American at UC Santa Barbara, became captain of the USA Sevens in 1990. After hanging up the boots, he coached at the Santa Monica RFC, before implementing this successful inner-city youth rugby concept.
A significantly high percentage of the ICEF students head on to college, a testimonial to the academic standards.
It’s the young and talented players who emerge as the stars, narrating the joy that comes from playing rugby, and the wide-world of opportunity opened by ICEF.
The “Red, White, Black & Blue Odyssey” movie will take you on a wonderful rugby journey.
(A Break Out Media Film, directed by New Zealander James Brown).