The United State Olympic Committee (USOC) has declared August 8th Olympic Day in Des Moines. Previously held on June 23rd, the USOC granted this special recognition in conjunction with the first day of the 2015 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championships. The championships will be held on Aug 8-9 at James W. Cownie Soccer Complex.
The USA Rugby 7s National Championships will feature the top 16 men’s and top 16 women’s teams from across the nation playing Olympic style rugby. With both the USA men’s and women’s teams qualified for the 2016 Olympics, this tournament allows spectators the final chance to watch 384 players compete for a spot on Team USA.
“We were thrilled to learn that USA Rugby will be holding the 2015 Men’s and Women’s Club 7s National Championships in Des Moines,” said Greg Edwards, President of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission. “This is another first-time event for our metro and will bring 32 teams and 1,200 to 1,500 visitors to Des Moines. A great example of our local Des Moines Rugby Club, Des Moines Area Sports Commission and Des Moines Parks and Recreation teaming together to make this happen.”
The addition of Olympic Day recognition means The Rugby Foundation and Iowa Youth Rugby Association are teaming up to introduce rugby to hundreds of kids throughout the metro on August 5-8 at local YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Des Moines Parks and Rec camps. Every kid who participates in one of these outreach events will receive a free pass for August 8th and play on the main field during one of the breaks in the action.
“Iowa is unique in its commitment to Olympic rugby,” USA Rugby Board Member and Host Committee Co-Chair Jeremiah Johnson said. “It is an honor to see USA Rugby partnering with the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, Des Moines Rugby Foundation, Des Moines Rugby Club and the Iowa Youth Rugby Association. We are thrilled to bring our nation’s top Olympic rugby teams to one of our nation’s best cities just weeks after both of our men’s and women’s teams qualified for the 2016 Olympics.”
This is the first USA Rugby Championship event to be held in the state of Iowa, and the Host Committee believes it could be one of many.
“Iowa has a history of producing some of our nation’s best rugby talent,” Iowa Youth Rugby Association Chairman and Host Committee Co-Chair Chris Draper said. “It is fitting that the path to Olympic Gold now runs through the world-class city of Des Moines.”
About Olympic Day: Olympic Day features more than 700 events taking place nationwide between June 14 and 30. The events, designed to engage youth and promote the ideals of the Olympic movement, feature athlete appearances, family-friendly activities and interactive learning experiences. Around the world, more than 160 countries take part in the annual celebration. Olympic Day, created in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games, focuses on the Olympic values and ideals such as fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. In the U.S., Olympic Day events range from small gatherings to large, city-wide events.
About USA Rugby: Founded in 1975, USA Rugby is the national governing body for the sport of rugby in America, and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Rugby Board (World Rugby). Currently headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels and has over 115,000 active members. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and high school All-American sides, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes.
About the rugbyDSM Festival: The rugbyDSM Festival includes all events leading up to and including Olympic Day and the 2015 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championships. It is led by the Host Committee representing The Rugby Foundation, the Des Moines Rugby Club, and the Iowa Youth Rugby Association. This is the first year of the rugbyDSM Festival planned for August of each year.