USA Rugby Women's Sevens Coach Announces Plan for 2009

Newly hired head coach of the USA Women’s Sevens Team, Sue Parker, has announced a plan for 2009 that is geared towards building a strong foundation for the Women’s National Seven’s Program.

Coach Parker recognizes that, with four years until the next Sevens World Cup, and hopefully seven years until the first Olympics for Rugby Sevens, a solid foundation for the future must be in place.

The 2009 plan includes specific goals for player identification, player development, performance, public relations and fund raising; the most important aspect of which is to identify athletes.
“We have already scouted at the high school championships, collegiate championships, and National All-Star Championships,” Parker said. “We also plan to scout at the Under-23 All-Stars and Sevens All-Stars.  We will scour the country for, not just the best rugby athletes, but the best athletes we can find.  We will teach them how to play sevens and hopefully they will fall in love with the game.”
As for player development, players in the pool will be given training programs to improve fitness, rugby skills, mental skills, and guidance on elite athlete lifestyle.  The program will include objective criteria for periodic self-assessment in each facet of development.
In addition, in July, the Women’s Seven Program will pilot a three week USA Women’s Sevens City-Based League (“CBL”).  The goals of the league are to create an enhanced player development environment by providing players with an elite sevens coaching experience; to provide high-level competition for players; and to create an entry point for cross-over athletes.
Parker believes that a four team CBL will provide an additional high-level sevens experience in addition to what the Territorial Unions (“TU”) provide. She believes that conducting this city-based league in 2009 will provide lessons for players, coaches and administrators that can be applied in the future.
Parker plans to work with each of the CBL coaches so that players on each team receive training consistent with what will be expected of national team pool players. Further details on the City-Based League will be out shortly. Parker will also reach out to the TU coaches in an effort to provide them with similar guidance and information.  In addition to competing at 7s NASCs, TU teams are encouraged, but not required, to play at Cape Fear Sevens in Wilmington, NC on July 4-5, 2009.
In addition, an Under-23 USA Sevens team will compete at the Sevens National All-Star Championships (NASCs) in late August, and a team will compete at either the NAWIRA Sevens Championships or Dubai Sevens in the late fall.  Prior to each of these competitive events, there will be a training camp for invited players from the pool.
In its effort to generate excitement, interest and support, the Women’s Sevens Program will communicate regularly with players, fans, supporters, and potential sponsors.  The Program will continue use of a Sevens National Team website and a blog, and will establish a monthly newsletter.
Invitation into the Women’s Sevens National Team player pool will be through one of the following three methods: (1) being seen by Sevens Team coaches at one of the national championship or All-Star events listed above; (2) participation on one of the local USA Rugby Women’s Sevens city-based teams; and/or (3) through a coach’s recommendation.  If a player is, or aspires to be, in the Women’s Sevens National Team Pool, then participation at the Sevens NASCs will be mandatory unless specifically excused by the Head Coach.
For more information, please visit: www.usarugby.org/goto/womens_sevens or email Sue Parker at sparkeratusarugby [dot] org.">sparkeratusarugby [dot] org.