December 28, 2021

Happy Holidays from Our Club to You & Yours

Dear all,

2021 is nearing the end and I wanted to reach out and provide a little storyline of how the Club did this year with our successes and struggles on and off the field.

We are proud that many of our current members are engaged with the local rugby community outside of Seattle Rugby Club. I would like to mention a few people who contribute their time to our rugby community.

  • John Clavin, Aaron Lee, Lauren Barber, and Jone Naisoro, who have or currently are working hard as the new leadership in 2021 for youth rugby on Rugby Washington’s board.
  • Players such as Emily Barber, Halleluiah Tiauli, Ian Adams, Erica Legaspi among many others have and continue to volunteer their time regularly for youth rugby in our region.
  • Player Sania Leuelu has been paramount in starting rugby programs at Boys and Girls Club and putting on camps for youth in South Seattle.

I would also like to mention some of those in our program who have been recognized for their hard work in 2021.

  • Men’s head coach Ryan Youngman was awarded the Club Challenge Coin #9 this year for his work with the Club and supporting our veterans’ programs. Ryan is an Army Veteran himself.
  • Erica Legaspi represented the Club, playing for the Philippines National SevensTeam in Dubai.
  • Jennine Detiveaux and Kristine Sommer having contracts in the UK and are regularly starting playing for US National XVs team.
  • Lauren Barber and Kelsi Stockert were recognized by the USA Women’s Rugby Foundation as 15 Under 30 Award receipients for their contribution to the sport on and off the field.
  • Taylor Krumrei signed a contract with MLR’s NOLA Gold.
  • Men’s player Kyle Ferguson being called up to play for USA Pathway Academy.
  • Lauren Barber, Pate Tuilevuka, Carly MacKinnon, David Enright all continuing on or taking new roles from management to community to marketing for the Seattle Seawolves’ 2022 season.
  • Sydney Shoop signed with MLR’s Austin Gilgronis.
  • Six Seattle players/alumni (cannot name yet) are in camp with the Seawolves at this time.

This year we also continued to be engaged with so many community programs and events. We also forged many new relationships in our community.  I would like to highlight just a few of these:

  • Continued to work with the Soldier Readiness Unit {SRU} and this year our players were lucky to use the gym, play wheelchair rugby and partake in archery at the SRU gym. The club also hosted a barbecue for soldiers in the SRU on another occasion and it was a fun day had by all.
  • We worked with the VA to support families of veterans who have cancer. We managed to get some much-needed equipment to a Marine Corp Veteran earlier in the year and will be helping other veterans and their families through the VA over the holidays
  • Made a new connection with Everyone for veterans who help veterans with dental care. After the meeting, the club was able to connect the organization directly with our contacts on Fort Lewis to help those exiting the Military.
  • The club and the rugby community supported fine dine front line right up to the point where they are slowing down their deliveries due to Hospitals minimizing food coming in. Over 18 months approx. 18,000 meals delivered and a vast majority of them delivered by many players and members of the Club. A huge shout out to Scott Dean who spearheaded deliveries and volunteers over that whole time.
  • Three of our members Sequoyah Burke Coombs, Isaiah Chinen and Dion Crowder ventured on building out a charity based around art and clothing. Sales provided funds back to groups they wanted to recognize and support in the community by creating an organization called the Canvas Collective.
  • Player Stefan Layanto has recently joined a group called to help clothe those who are homeless in our community and get players to donate clothing to the cause.
  • It's so good to come to games and see our friends from the Seattle Slam Wheelchair team at the games supporting us and I am pleased that our relationship is still strong.

Rugby successes this year are simple for the most part but there are some other developments.

  • The main win was that we got to play some rugby in 2021!
  • The club joined the XV Series and managed to play high caliber games that provided opportunities for players and staff to experience the next level and hopefully prepare them to play, coach, manage, and/or referee at a higher level of rugby.
  • Seattle along with PNRFU and the WAC hosted the US National Rugby Sevens Championship this year. It was a huge success with nearly 2,000 tickets sold and a great step in the right direction. I was proud to see so many of our Club players playing for different teams but also so many members of the club coming together to help make the tournament a success.
  • In November, a Military exhibition team formed that will play every couple of years called the Flying Tigers. I was very honored to be named their Director of Rugby and for Seattle Rugby Club to be the team they played after a 25-year hiatus. It was a groundbreaking event with veterans being allowed to play in the team. Although the score did not go the Club’s way, the overall result of the event was an enormous success and we look forward to playing more military teams in the future.

And last but not least, I'd like to end with a massive thank you!
I’m not sure where to start but to the people who never had a rugby background who volunteer for us on the weekends at games and event. The Jacobsen’s, Blakely’s, Layman’s, Craig Riley, Tony Ursino and the list could go on…thank you!

I would like to thank all those who have donated and sponsored the team as we would not be able to do any of the above without you PPC and the Penington Family, Old Peculiar, the Martyn Foundation, MTI Physical Therapy, Phoenix Lining, Raymark Plumbing, MPUG, USI, Western Tugs, the Bruck family, Mike Girton, John Saul, Isenberg Dentistry, Anessa Dobberstein, Shane Carew, John Mead and this list also goes on and on.
Thank you.

My last and my biggest thank you is to the unsung heroes. The Managers, Coaches, Treasurers, Secretaries, Medical Team, iur Board, Marketing, etc. You all give the most valuable thing of all…your time. You continue to be my strength to continue the journey to support rugby and people in our region and beyond.

All this said and all the accolades I would say the biggest accomplishment for me is seeing how by helping others and providing opportunities for others changes those within our own program. I have seen firsthand young men and women change their outlook on life because of rugby, the Club, the people in it, and our mission to help others. Those people who have changed have in turn changed others. Thank you all for your support and truly living by our club motto: TSPDS (The Sh*t People Don’t See)

I accept the challenges that lie ahead, and I accept them because I know people like yourselves are in the journey with us. See you in 2022!

Yours in Rugby,

Kevin Flynn
Seattle Rugby Club

About the Seattle Rugby Club

Established in 1966, Seattle Rugby Club (formerly known as Seattle OPSB and Seattle Saracens) is an adult rugby union club focused on the fifteens code of the global game. Seattle Rugby proudly promotes the sport of rugby in North America both on and off the pitch through community-focused efforts as well as performing on game day. The club provides opportunities for men, women, and young people to engage with rugby at all levels.