Allison Aichinger (98) in a lineout against Emerald City
Once upon a time ...
The Summit High Girls Rugby Team began in the Spring of 1997 thanks to the persistence of student Alison Aichinger (’98) for a women’s sevens team. By the following spring the Summit Team had tripled in size. After matches against high school, college and even women’s club teams, our girls travelled to the USA Rugby High School National Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana where they defeated Divine Savior (WI) to win the 1998 National Title. From that initial student vision, a tradition was born that has thrived in Summit County for many years.
Phase 1- Recreational League (1997 - 2005)
Summit Rugby started through a partnership with the Town of Silverthorne's Recreation Department that offered the initial women’s 7s rugby program and provided the practice facilities (Rainbow Park). The program grew along with other competing High School programs in the Denver Metropolitan area (Regis, Chaparral, Fort Collins, Douglas County). Soon after, the season shifted to fall as Coach Barth coordinated play with Denver area schools and out-of state play. As the program grew and evolved, the girls spent more time training at the High School.
Phase 2 – Partnership with Summit School District (2005- 2013)
Summit Rugby moves to the High School and our young women’s program continued to thrive, in part due to school program cuts that left gaps for female athletics.
2006 - Summit Rugby was granted official Varsity Club Status through the Summit School District. Official school participation was, and continues to be, limited because women’s Rugby is not recognized by the Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA). As a result, all funding for our rugby programs are provided through donations. grants and other fundraising activities.
2004 - Parent boosters step up to play a critical role in supporting the program operationally and through fund raising efforts, including an oversight board of boosters to assist with the team’s administrative and fund-raising activities. This collaborative group of parents, working with the coaching staff, met several times during the year to plan and implement strategies to fund raise, increase travel opportunities and grow the sport.
Phase 3 2013 – Present
Due to the programs tremendous success, both on and off the field, students from all walks of life have been encouraged to participate. Our High School program regularly supports 45 to 55 players while our burgeoning Youth Programs will see many more. With that growth, Summit Rugby recognized the need to evolve from that informal collection of parents & coaches, to a more robust organization.
June 25, 2013 - Summit Rugby formally organized as a nonprofit corporation.
August 11, 2014 - Summit Rugby received its official 501(c)(3) designation from the Internal Revenue Service.