With the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series completed, Matt Hawkins and his Eagles are ready to start preparing for next year’s cycle. The Eagles finished the Series in London with 41 points, leaving them in 13th place. Though the Eagles are disappointed with their finish they have a bigger picture in their mind—the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games. Next year’s Series will determine the Olympic Games participants. In 2009, Rugby Sevens was added to the Olympic Program for the first time since 1924 – when the 15-a-side version of the game was last seen in Paris, France. Since then, USA Rugby has taken crucial strides in preparation for the Olympic Games. In a partnership with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), USA Rugby allowed select rugby sevens athletes to receive full-time training contracts at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The residency program started with 15 men, eight women, and two coaches and has grown to 43 athletes split almost 50-50 between men and women thriving under a full staff of coaches and trainers, including Serevi’s own Hawkins and Richie Walker.
“Preparing for next year’s series means preparing for the Olympics,” said Eagles Head Coach Matt Hawkins. “We are looking for young talented players to be integrated into the program with the ability to preform in the 2015 series and peak as athletes at the 2016 Summer Olympics.”
Serevi Rugby’s partnership with USA Rugby and the creation of the USA Rugby Academy training camp allows for national team coaches to be exposed to the talent of rugby players from across the country. Hawkins and Walker are two of the participating coaches at the Academy Training Camps, which Hawkins uses as his principal recruiting tool, especially the exclusive Serevi Resident Camps.
“Serevi Athletes who attend the resident camps prove they are committed to their development as rugby players,” Hawkins explained. “They invest in themselves, save money, fundraise, and then spend a week of their summer vacation practicing all things rugby. It’s a demonstration of their perseverance and dedication.” Walker, who works closely with both the Women and Men’s Eagles as a backs and skills coach, will be coaching at three of the four Resident Camps this summer.
Although at first glance the Resident Camp cost may seem steep, Serevi Rugby has introduced various payment plans, fundraising options, and commuter rates. With the camps right around the corner, Hawkins, Walker, and the rest of the premiere Serevi coaches want to emphasize the accessibility to high level rugby training to athletes local to the camps held in San Diego, Calif., and Glendale, Colo. With a discount of over 30 percent and little to no travel expenses for local athletes, the five-day rugby camp and the exposure to professional rugby environments and national team coaches is too accessible to pass up.
For more information about the Serevi Resident Camps click HERE.