Mountain View Voice

News - November 16, 2012

Rugby league is still kicking

by Nick Veronin

In an effort to increase the visibility of the sport he loves so much, the co-founder of the locally based American Youth Rugby Union has declared this week — Nov. 11 through Nov. 18 — to be the inaugural "Rugby Week."

Mountain View resident and AYRU co-founder Paul Lynch said he has been working hard to build his league into a top-notch organization since he and fellow rugby enthusiast Tom Trill established the league in 2009.

"AYRU aims to be the leading movement in the rapidly expanding world of youth rugby," Lynch said in a statement. "We have initiated the inaugural rugby week in our locality to raise awareness of the benefits of the sport of rugby for our youth."

Over the course of the week, AYRU has hosted several free rugby events in order to introduce the community to the sport, which is often described as a combination between American-style football and soccer.

From day to day, the AYRU events were held at different schools across Mountain View, including Huff Elementary School, the German International School of Silicon Valley and Graham Middle School. Prizes were awarded to individuals for completing challenges, such as solving clues that led them to a hidden "golden rugby ball," or kicking a rugby ball a given distance into a plastic bin.

Lynch is originally from Belfast, Ireland, where he grew up playing rugby. The sport isn't as popular in the United States as it is in his homeland, but that doesn't mean it can't be more popular than it has been, he said. Since founding the league, he has worked hard to increase participation.

Lynch has established one local rugby club, the Mountain View Bobcats, which allows children of a variety of age groups to play against other rugby teams in the Bay Area. He aims to start another club in Sunnyvale in 2013.

More information on the AYRU can be found at ayru.net or by contacting Lynch at paul@ayru.net.

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