This past weekend I went to PHILLYYY for USA Rugby’s National Development Summit. Of course a big part of why I wanted to go was to hang out with my friends in Philly! The rugby was cool too. The entire weekend I had this song, “The World is our Playground“, stuck in my head and I had to keep myself from singing it at the top of my lungs in a mix between my opera & Adele voices whenever someone said “Philadelphia”. I think I’ve particularly taken to this song because I can see myself reffing in all those cities & countries mentioned in the song :) -Neeeeew York, LA, London, Tokyo, Brazil, Sweden, New Zealand, Mexico, Dubai, Atlanta, Houston, Egypt, China, Russia, and of course Philly.
Before the jump, here’s a pic of me before leaving for work the Monday after a redeye bus back from Philly (left) and before leaving on a jetplane for Atlanta the week before (right). I wake up so much earlier for rugby than I do for work… btw it’s a complimentary Canterbury hat I’m wearing. We also got free World Rugby Shop scarves at the NDS, among other good freebies :D Thanks USA Rugby for a great weekend!
Reflections from my days at NDS:
- It was great meeting people, new and “old” (read: semi-familiar) !
- At the Meet and Greet I talked, met, and greeted
- Michelle Wong, Erin Kennedy, Kurt Weaver, Karen Fong-D, Sudo (Sue Whitwell), Emil Signes, Sudo’s coach friend, Richard Ashfield, Richard’s friend (owner of Rugby Imports), Alex Williams (SoCal youth), Richard every, Brad Kleiner
- Screening of The Rugby Player
- Heavy. Incredible story though. So many feelings. Definitely worth watching and deserving of more good words and praise than I’m giving it here.
- “Heterosexual privilege” Damn… had to leave the movie early for my ride
- Also talked to Richard Every about Nationals 2011…
- Those games must’ve shortened my life by at least 8 years. The held up try after 10 additional minutes after time expired, and losing by 1 pt in overtime the next day. Whew!
- I love rugby :) :) :) (drew a much bigger smile in my written notes)
- Meeting people is always fun, humanizing, exciting
- Glad I was familiar with enough friends to wander around
- But I still took strategically timed bathroom breaks like those nights at Gallery…
- Talks I attended:
- Technology in Reffing, Youth Development, the Don Morrison Scholarship Experience, Winning the Collision, Referee Empathy and Changing Behavior, Concussion Updates, Developing Grassroots Refereeing
- Also visited the Exhibition Hall, where we spent lunchtime watching the ENG v IRE Six Nations game
- Short highlight of my reflections:
- Soloshot – COOL
- Youths – word. nods. mhm
- Ref Empathy and changing behavior presentation by the director of ref education in Australia was really good!
- I reeeeeally need work on my technical understanding!!!
- I want to do a million things but can’t prioritize them ALL
- Time is a limited resource… sighhh I have too many big dreams
- Went to “Development School” for Youth Development after the conference ended for an extra 5 hrs of learning
- Tweeted, “…hopped down a green pipe when the piranha plants weren’t looking and warped to a bonus level: youth development workshops!”
- Also felt the potential benefits of tweeting so I finally jumped on that bandwagon
- Meeting new people and talking with them is energizing! Even on little sleep…
- Traveled home on a redeye bus -> went straight to work! Coffee isn’t working right now.
Good bye for now, Philly!