Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District students recently had an opportunity to learn and play non-contact rugby.
Rugby NY, in partnership with USA Rugby and sponsor AIG, brought the Rookie Rugby program to the district through in-school instruction and a special nighttime clinic, followed by the Bellmore-Merrick Fall Rugby Classic last week.
Students at each of the district’s five schools participated in rugby instruction during their regular physical education classes. Rugby NY Youth Development Officer Pat Laczkowski reviewed the basics of the sport, ran drills and reviewed ball handling, passing and scoring.
More than 2,000 students from the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, participated in the physical education class instructional clinics.
On Friday, 75 students from all three of the high schools in the district competed in the Bellmore-Merrick Rugby Classic at Mepham High School.
Before the start of the matches players practiced skills and drills with members of Hofstra University men’s rugby team and former national team USA Eagles players Michael Laczkowski, Glenn Gawronski and Kevin Fegan.
Saul Lerner, director of physical education, athletics, driver education and health, said that the program provided benefits to the district.
“We have tried to keep the physical education curriculum fresh,” Lerner said. “Every time you add something like this it brings excitement – the kids are excited about the new items in the curriculum. It is also an opportunity for us to bring kids from all three buildings together in a positive atmosphere so they can have fun. We may also look to create a rugby interscholastic program.”