#snapshots Rugby comes to Riverton
#snapshots, brought to you by Rendezvous Dental, is a series highlighting amazing athletic and competitive achievements from across County 10.
(Riverton, Wyo.) — If you don’t know it, learn it. Rugby is the fastest growing team sport in America and one of the biggest sports in the world. The gist? It was born from soccer and gave birth to football, basketball and other sports we claim as our own. While there are a few versions played throughout the world, 15s is the most popular — pitting 15 players v. 15 players with no pads, no helmets, and no stopping between every play like football.
The most famous and dominate team in the last couple decades are the New Zealand All Blacks who begin each match with a ceremonial “haka” — a war dance designed to intimidate their opponents.
WATCH THE HAKA:
This past week, kids from Fremont County and surrounding towns gathered to participate in Riverton’s first ever Youth Rugby Camp, coached by two veteran rugby players from Riverton.
“This sport is so infectious. It gets in your blood and it stays with you. Wherever life takes you, there will likely be rugby there,” explained coach and camp organizer, Jason Kintzler who formed the local Speedgoats Rugby program years ago.
As a rugby player, I’ve had the opportunity to travel and meet people from all over the world. I’ve had job opportunities and made lifelong friends — all from one of the most incredible sports I’ve ever played.
Kintzler played all sorts of sports growing up including football and basketball and says there’s nothing that compares to the comradery and life lessons of rugby.
That’s why he and teammate, Dan Ladd, a Riverton police investigator, decided to begin introducing the sport to local youth.
“This is something they’re not going to forget,” said Ladd, “Exposing the sport to them at this age will leave a lasting impression.”
The camp, sponsored by County 10, was part of the R Recreation program and was available for kids ages 8-14. Kintzler said they were excited to get 18 kids out considering things like baseball and other summer programs competed for kids’ attention.
He said based on the excitement of the kids and especially their parents, they’ll likely be running another camp before the summer is out.
“We’ve even had parents asking for a league with a season,” he said, “We’re just happy to be out here sharing a sport that’s given us so much and continues to.”