Weaver appointed as USA Rugby Youth Director

from USA Rugby:

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby is proud to officially announce that Kurt Weaver will replace Mark Griffin as the Director of Youth and High School Rugby. Weaver has youth rugby experience as a player, coach, referee, and administrator. He will officially take the reins of the youth department in late February.

“Kurt’s experience in the State-Based Rugby Organization [SBRO] structure is second to none. What he’s done with Rugby Ohio can serve as a template for emerging SBROs. We’re thrilled to have him on board,” said USA Rugby Director of Rugby Operations, Jim Snyder.

The SBRO structure empowers rugby organizations on the state level to effectively and appropriately guide the development of the game in their respective states. The structure is enormously successful and has been largely responsible for the explosion in the youth game, reaching over 350,000 kids in 2010 alone.

Weaver founded Rugby Ohio, in 2007 under the SBRO structure introduced by Griffin and the USA Rugby Youth and High School Committee. Rugby Ohio has since doubled high school rugby participation rates in the state and developed an organizational structure that enables sustainable growth and development. Weaver credits Rugby Oregon founder and President, Jeff Arker, with providing a successful model for SBROs.

“At the 2007 Youth Conference, I heard Jeff speak and right after, I cornered him and said ‘tell me everything,’” Weaver recollects. Sharing best practices and strategies for success is central to Weaver’s focus for the youth department.

“We’re on a good path. We’ve seen a lot of growth in the youth game and a structure that fosters growth is in place. One area that I’d like to expand is our strategic partnerships with organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts.”

Weaver attended Bowling Green State University and went into politics as a campaign administrator and fundraiser. He and his brother started a business venture in 2007, the same year he was elected president of the Ohio Rugby Union and the same year he founded Rugby Ohio, leading him down the path to fulltime rugby administrator. Weaver is currently on the USA Rugby Youth and High School Committee and will continue serving on the committee with Mark Griffin.

Griffin is leaving USA Rugby on good terms to focus on growing his non-profit organization, Play Rugby USA. Griffin fully endorses Weaver and touts his SBRO experience and leadership.

“Kurt has established relationships with SBROs. He has experience in taking an existing situation and creating a structure around it that enables stakeholders to grow the game and a game development infrastructure,” Griffin said.

Griffin’s biggest legacies are the development of Rookie Rugby and implementing the SBRO structure in 27 states in just three years. He will remain active on the USA Rugby Youth Committee and as a youth rugby advocate.

Weaver will be working with Youth Development Manager, Erin Kennedy, and Youth Administrator, Ian Jaray, in the USA Rugby National Office in Boulder, Colo.

Further Information:
Jarrod Beckstrom | Communications Manager | USA Rugby | jbeckstrom@usarugby.org| 303-539-0300 ext. 124

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