ABOUT KENMORE RUGBY
Kenmore Rugby began in 2004 as the Kenmore West Rugby Club. Fielding both boys and girls rugby teams, Kenmore West was one of the first the first local high school rugby programs in WNY and a charter member of the NYS Rugby Conference's high school division. They were joined in 2005 by teams at Kenmore East who also established boys and girls rugby. The two schools were as fierce of rivals in rugby as they were in all other sports.
The Kenmore Youth Rugby Association was formed in 2011 offering non-contact flag rugby for boys and girls originally in grades 3-8, and eventually expanding to include grades K-8. Since then, many players have gone on to play high school and college rugby. The youth program has become one of our largest sources of players for the high school teams.
In 2012, the boys teams at East and West merged creating the Kenmore Boys Rugby Club. Kenmore Girls Rugby was also formed that year as the girls teams at Kenmore East and Kenmore West also joined forces.
With declining numbers the girls team folded prior to the 2020 season. Meanwhile the boys were still experiencing strong numbers, only to see their 2020 season canceled by the Covid-19 pandemic. The youth and flag program also did not play at all in 2020.
With no one playing rugby in 2020, the time was right to look at combining some or all of the existing programs. Interested stakeholders from the boys, girls, and youth teams all agreed that the best way to move forward and grow the game was to go back to the future by combining high school boys, high school girls, middle school boys, and youth flag rugby all under a single club. The unified Kenmore Rugby Club was officially formed in the Spring of 2021.
Coming out of the pandemic in it's first year of existence the goal of the newly unified club was simply to recruit players and to just play rugby. The high school girls were the first team to take the pitch as part of the new club and won their last two games of the season in convincing fashion as they improved with each outing. The high school and middle school boys were next up and had similar results against more experienced opposition, while gaining valuable playing experience.
Last but not least to return to play was our youth and flag rugby program, which resumed play in the summer of 2021. With over 70 players, coming to play on Monday nights, the return of the youth and flag was a resounding success. Our Summer success was quickly followed by the resuming of our Fall and Winter sessions, providing additional playing opportunity for our youngest club members and our future middle and high school players. Led by current and former Kenmore Rugby high school players, our Youth & Flag program is developing a solid foundation and are the future of the club.
This past spring, the Boys Middle School team made great strides as they joined teams from Fairport, McQuaid Jesuit and Corning in the very first official RugbyNY Upstate Boys Middle School competition. The inaugural year of play had each team taking a turn hosting the other three for a round robin "mini" tournament. Plans are already underway to expand the league for 2023.
Going forward, the goals remain the same. To teach more young people the values and comradery of the game of rugby in a positive, supportive, team first environment.
Much more to come, we can't wait!
KENMORE RUGBY. NEXT PHASE.