Thursday, April 6, 2017

Findlay Rugby Scholarship to Help Send Players to College

In recent years, rugby has gained more recognition and credibility across the United States. With this increased notoriety – rather than the infamy normally attached to the scene – have come investors. People started to see the value in rugby and, likewise, players and programs. This movement led to programs being elevated to higher levels on high school and college campuses.

Scholarships have also started to pop up to help players gain access to the higher levels of play that exist at colleges and universities. The Findlay Rugby Football Club is the most recent organization to put financial backing behind its youths and invest in the future of the sport coming out of Northwest Ohio.

The club started to move towards offering support for its young talent in 2016 when it applied for 501(c)(3) status. Once that application was approved, the club moved to have itself recognized as a charitable organization. Once the ink dried on the paperwork confirming the team’s special status, the urge to give grew among the club’s leadership.

We have a very civic minded leadership team, led by Carl Bowers, our President,” said James Haughn, the team’s Treasurer. “We looked over our finances and decided that we could we could start with $500 to devote to two scholarships.”

Once the team decided to create the scholarships, Haughn and the club drafted up criteria and flyers and distributed the information to coaches and guidance counselors in the area.

Before the team could crack open its coffers and help send some lucky students to college, the matter of raising the money had to be addressed. Without hesitation, the membership from Findlay set out to grab up every dollar possible. From raffles and golf outings to the team’s annual Teapot Dome Scandal tournament, adding some money – even a few dollars – to the scholarship fund was always on the team’s mind.

These scholarships are in their first year of existence and are open to juniors and seniors attending area high schools and playing rugby. These opportunities are open to boys and girls and – in addition to a short essay - take three areas of applicants’ lives into account. First, applicants will be judged on their academic achievements. Then each applicant’s contributions to the community will be assessed. Finally, those pursuing a scholarship will be judged on their achievements in the realm of the sport. Qualified players must also be registered with USA Rugby, playing with a local rugby club and enrolled in a two- or four-year post-high school program by Fall of 2017. In the end, two players will receive $250 scholarships.

Findlay’s new scholarships are just one endeavor in an all-encompassing aim for the club. The team’s overall goal is to promote an image of the sport that connects its membership with service to the community.

We, as a club, are really excited about this because it gives us a chance to give back to the community and help kids with the ever-increasing costs of a college education,” Haughn said. “Mostly, it's gratifying to be able to give back to our beloved sport.


A link to the scholarship information can be found on the team’s Facebook page. Applications are due to the club by April 15 and can be sent to James Haughn via e-mail.

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