By Jen Boren
WARSAW – Warsaw High School girls rugby will soon display a little extra fancy in their footwork, hosting the first Rugby Charity Prom on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Rugby fans may expect to witness tackles in taffeta, sequined scrums, and lacy lineouts as participants don formal attire while engaging in play, set to begin at 1 p.m. on the Lady Tigers’ home field at WCHS.
Along with obvious elements of recreation and sportsmanship, the Rugby Charity Prom was created as a way for the team to give back to their community, raising funds for a local charity through both player and spectator fees. According to head coach Trevor Cracknell, players voted on charities to support through the event, with youth ministry organization Chain-Breakers winning the majority. An extension of 2nd Mile Adventures, Chain-Breakers defines their mission, “To show youth the love of Christ and challenge them in service, adventure, mentorship and character building.”
Chain-Breakers was formed in 2017 as an investment in the lives of local young men and is now working to develop a similar program for young women, an expansion the Lady Tigers were pleased to endorse.
The Warsaw High School girls rugby program has experienced substantial growth in recent months, with many rookies joining the team to learn the sport during this fall season. Assistant coach Stephanie Coates has described continued goals for team conduct as “ladies off the field and beasts on the field,” and a unique melding of the two is sure to be demonstrated at the Rugby Charity Prom. While many players have welcomed the opportunity to repurpose their own pre-worn prom dresses, a portion of the formal wear for use at the event has been generously donated by From This Day Forward, a non-profit wedding and events ministry located in Ft. Wayne.
Invitations for participation in the Rugby Charity Prom have been extended to high school teams affiliated with both Rugby Indiana and Rugby Michigan, and the Lady Tigers have high hopes for a great turnout of players and spectators alike on the 16th. The event will be held at the Warsaw High School Girls Rugby home field, adjacent to the main entrance of WCHS on SR 15, with gates opening at noon and play scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. There will be an admission fee of $5 for spectators, and all proceeds will directly benefit young women in the Warsaw area through the Chain-Breakers program.