Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 organisers announced on Tuesday the recipients of the 'Try Makers' recognition programme, seven young people and seven adults who were selected for the positive impact they have individually made on the local rugby community.

As part of the Impact Beyond programme in celebration of Rugby World Cup Sevens coming to San Francisco in July 2018, 'Try Makers' was developed to showcase the contributions of local members of the rugby community.

“The 'Try Makers' programme has reinforced to our team what makes rugby so special; it’s a community of people who seek to make a difference every day in their communities,” said Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 General Manager, Rosie Spaulding. “We are excited to recognise these individuals at the tournament and celebrate how the values of rugby have come to life through their actions.”

The 'Try Makers' awardees are:

  • Deven Allen – Elsie Allen Lobo Rugby Club, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Bill Battista – University of San Francisco Women’s Rugby Club
  • Heidi Campoy – Renegade Rugby Club, Cameron Park, CA
  • Kiley Carter – Alameda Girls Rugby 
  • Kye Doran – San Jose Seahawks Rugby Football Club
  • Kate Forman – River City Rugby Club, West Sacramento, CA
  • Yasha Ghaffarzadeh – Oakland Warthogs
  • Ronnie McElligott – San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club
  • Gavin Monroe – Danville Oaks Rugby Club
  • Siosiua Nisa – East Bay Rugby Academy, Hayward, CA
  • Noor Raja Bisharat – Sierra Foothills Rugby Club
  • Alan Petty – Elsie Allen Lobo High School, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Kurt Scagliola – Marin Highlanders, Marin County, CA
  • Naomi van Zandt – San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club

Awardees include coaches, volunteers, staff members and youth participants and were selected from a pool of nominations submitted by their peers. The awardees will receive a VIP experience for two to Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 at AT&T Park. 

In addition to the 'Try Makers' programme, the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 tournament looks to leave a legacy that extends beyond the stadium walls through the Impact Beyond initiative. The programme has focused on leveraging the international tournament to expose local youth to rugby and the sport’s values – integrity, respect, solidarity, passion and discipline.

In partnership with Play Rugby USA, USA Rugby Academies and Playworks Northern California, Impact Beyond was introduced earlier this year and has been available to more than 80 schools, nonprofits and after-school programmes across the Bay Area through lesson plans, and a series of events and tournaments. By the time Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 is played in July, more than 22,000 local children will be impacted. 

“While the tournament in San Francisco will inevitably come to a close in July, the lasting impact of American rugby will continue on through these amazing individuals,” said USA Rugby Interim CEO, Ross Young. “Having been selected by their peers shows the positive effect they have in their community and I’m excited for them to represent rugby next month.”

Nominations for the 'Try Makers' recognition programme were accepted online, and were open to any member of the rugby community living in one of the nine Bay Area counties or the Greater Sacramento area.