Rugby builds positive character in local youth

By Robin Loving Rowland and Elena Padilla

Rugby has a reputation that its players strive to win at whatever cost to anyone else on the field. Injuries result. “In my time, I’ve had my knee out, broken my collarbone, had my nose smashed, a rib broken, lost a few teeth, and ricked my back; but as soon as I get a bit of bad luck, I’m going to quit the game,” said J.W. Robinson, a famous rugby player.

Rotary Club Presentation
Rugby Builds Positive Character in Local Youth
Tue, Jul 22, 12:30pm
Hotel Misión el Molino
Salida de Queretaro 1

Nevertheless, rugby seems to have more proponents than critics, saying that the game enhances health and builds camaraderie, respect and loyalty, just the sorts of characteristics essential to a program to turn at-risk youth into the types of citizens who can build a safer community built on discipline and respect.

Jeffrey Pendergraft began the SMA High School Rugby Program with this in mind. “The SMA High School Rugby Program wants to attract teenagers to engage in rugby rather than roam the streets looking for trouble,” said Pendergraft. The program reaches out to teens to teach social and moral values, good sportsmanship and teamwork.

Pendergraft will present the SMA High School Rugby Program to the Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende – Midday Tuesday, July 22, at 12:30pm at Hotel Mision el Molino, Salida a Queretaro 1, across from Salon Los Pinos where La Pulga is held. Admission will be free.

Pendergraft is the coach of the San Miguel de Allende Rugby Angels, a two-year old youth empowerment organization. When not on the rugby field, he is a self-defense instructor. His experience includes working with youth football, soccer, and T-ball. A gifted professor, he has attracted more than $6 million dollars in grant funding, including funds to mentor Hispanic youth.

Rotary meets the most pressing needs of the world by working in the most efficient way to produce sustainable solutions with global impact one precious life at a time. For more information, contact President Tony Ronci at

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