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The 2008 Youth Conference on the Game: A Weekend to Learn, Play and Honor
Date:12/12/2008

hletes and administering a league.

The wide range of topics provided a little something for all in attendance -- some first-time participants and others three-year veterans of the annual conference launched in 2006. More importantly, the event gave them an opportunity to network with others in similar positions and exchange ideas and best practices, each taking away their own unique set of tools to benefit their respective programs moving forward, with special emphasis on the newly launched Rookie Rugby program.

First Time Around

First-year attendee Thomas Van Trees, who joined his father Mark in representing Florida Flag Rugby at the conference, found great benefits in listening to the diverse range of speakers. The Van Trees family has worked hard to utilize the core characteristics of Rookie Rugby in combating childhood obesity among the Florida youth and aims to grow their program in 2009.

"I had a great weekend. The most important thing was hearing about how different people approach situations within their programs. You kind of get stuck in your ways -- but you hear from people spanning from California to New York and learn about so many different pathways you can try and new ways of going about teaching children new things," the younger Van Trees said.

Likewise, fellow conference newcomer, Glendale Youth Rugby Coordinator Jenna Anderson took away a plethora of great ideas from long-time members of the youth rugby community that she can implement in her own programs.

Anderson, a veteran of the college club system at Illinois State University and former Women's National Team age-grade participant, is relatively new to the youth rugby community and gained valuable insight from the variety of presentation subject matter.

"The topics were great because you had a choice between the dual tracks and if one didn't necessarily correlate with
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SOURCE City of Glendale, Colorado
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