Since we're talking world, you might be interested to know that Rugby is the world's most popular amateur game, played by millions of club, college, and high school players on every continent and on many islands. Just like soccer, a World Cup is held every four years. The 1999 world cup is being held in Wales. Rugby is played by about 100,000 Americans on 1,400 rugby clubs, hundreds of high schools, and is the most popular participant club sport on college campuses.
While Rugby was "invented in England in 1823 and came to the U.S. in 1874 when Harvard faced off against Canada's McGill University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rugby in Fort Collins is very much a virgin sport. The Fort Collins Flamingos Rugby Club was established in 1978 by a group of Colorado State graduates. Don't ask how we came up with the Flamingo as our mascot, except that the original membership included a warped, transplanted Californian with a strange sense of humor.
The current membership includes 30 "active" members (who put the boots on every Saturday) and another 37 social members (expect them at the party after the game). A large majority of the members are college graduates working in a broad spectrum of skilled professions. Athletic abilities range from ex-collegiate football and rugby players to any newcomer willing to learn the game from scratch. The key is the will to train hard and a love of team sports. Most of our members are in their late 20's but ages vary from 18-45. As a truly international sport, rugby brings together many diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Our club is enriched by a number of international players from England, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. In the community, we proudly sponsor and provide coaches to the Fort Collins Youth Rugby program. Fort Collins finished first in the state 1994-1996 and 4th, 5th, and 6th in the nation respectively. The bottom line is that through the competition and camaraderie of our club, rugby has become more than just a game, Rugby is a Way of Life!
The Flamingos are members of the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union, a union of about thirty clubs in five divisions (Premiere, Division 2, Collegiate, Women, and Youth). Fort Collins is one of 6 Division 2 clubs which includes teams from Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and Glenwood Springs. Our schedule also includes matches with Premiere Division clubs and the new "Super League" clubs in Denver and Aspen. The season is split into a Fall (September/October) and Spring (March/April) schedule with each club playing each other twice a year. The championship team advances to Western Regionals in May, culminating in a national Final Four Championship in early June. Our union's Super League clubs have both reached the National Final Four with Denver winning the National Club Championship in 1992 and Aspen winning it in 1997. Aspen also won the inaugural Super League Championship in 1997 reflecting the high caliber of play in the ERRFU Union.
Besides our Division 2 and Premiere matches, other matches are scheduled with collegiate and mountain clubs such as Steamboat, Breckenridge, and Vail. We also participate in a number of tournaments which have included an annual visit to Las Vegas the last 6 years, participation in the Aspen Ruggerfest, one of the nation's most prestigious and competitive tournaments, and our annual summer visit to Steamboat for the more laid-back COWPIE. We also host our own Flamingo 7's tournament held the second weekend in May. In other words, Flamingo Rugby is pretty much a year round affair.
As an extremely young club relative to the other clubs around the country, we are proud of the Flamingos progress to date. Our vision for the future in terms of members, competitiveness, and community impact, however, stretches far beyond where we are today. A club membership of 50 active players, a regional and national championship, and representative players on the national team are just a few of our goals. In addition, long term goals include plans for our own pitch and clubhouse similar to the clubs of Europe and a youth program that extends into the elementary schools. Just as important as our competitive and social success, however is our desire to have a positive impact on our community. Community outreach is an intergal part of the Flamingo agenda. These goals won't be accomplished without commitment and resources.
We have the commitment. We need your help with the resources. Our current annual budget runs in excess of $4500 per year, covering our Union Dues, jerseys, training equipment, awards banquet, promotion, post game celebrations, and community outreach. You can help in a number of various ways. Any individual or business who contributes $100 or more will be recognized on our Golden Egg Plaque on display at C.B. and Potts Family Sports Bar and Restaurant. You will also be included in any Flamingo promotional materials or club T-shirts as an official sponsor of our club. We also accept any product donations (sports equipment, jerseys, Gatorade, beer, etc.). Any donation in excess of a $100 value will be recognized in the same manner as a cash donation. You can expect no less than our sincerest thanks, promotion, and club patronage of your business establishment.
We are also currently in search of one major sponsor in excess of a $3,000 sponsorship. This sponsor would be recognized as such on our jerseys and in all promotional material and media coverage. Your business will be recognized on banners at our field, all club promotions (golf tournaments, Flamingo 7's, etc.), and on our club T-shirt. In return you can expect no less than a reciprocal agreement to use and actively promote your product or service, and most of all our sincerest thanks for helping us make this a club of our dreams --- you might call it our "Field (Pitch) of Dreams."
please feel free to contact one of the following.
Or send your donation or interest to:
Fort Collins Rugby Club Ltd.
P.O. Box 955
Fort Collins, CO 80522
Fort Collins Rugby Club is a Tax-exempt, Nonprofit, Charitable corporation.