Philadelphia, PA, January 30 – Maccabi USA Rugby Chairman, Erik Dollman, is excited to announce that Aaron Davis and Dallen Stanford have been selected as the coaches for the 2015 Pan American Maccabi Games. The Games will be held from December 26, 2015 – January 5, 2016 in Santiago, Chile. Like the Maccabiah Games, this event takes place every four years.
“I’ve always had a passion for Jewish community and for rugby. This is an amazing opportunity to give back to both the Jewish community and the sport I love.” said Dollman, who serves as Rugby director for the Albany Bootleggers RFC.
Head coaching duties will fall to Aaron Davis. Aaron started his Rugby career at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and after re-locating to Los Angeles joined the Santa Monica Dolfins RFC. Davis was a part of the famous Division I National Championship squad during 2005 and 2006, and through his dedication and leadership was awarded the club’s prestigious Craig Sweeney Award in 2013. The mobile lock forward also represented the US Falcons in the North America 4 competition in 2005. Davis has participated in three Maccabiah Games, winning medals for rugby 15s in 2001 (silver), 2005 (silver) and 2013 (bronze).
“The Maccabi family has been such an important part of my Rugby career and I’ve made lifelong friendships that have transcended the pitch. I’m honored to have been chosen to help continue the tradition of growing this program and competing at the highest level,” said Davis.
Joining Davis on the coaching staff as assistant coach and 7s player/coach, is Dallen Stanford. Aaron and Dallen became best friends during the 2013 Maccabiah Games, with Stanford captaining the squad and Davis appointed vice-captain.
“My coaching style is, of course, from the perspective of a forward. In my eyes, games are won up front, where the hard yards take place. One can expect our play to be calculated and fundamentally hard. I’ll leave the fancy footwork to Dallen,” Davis said with a broad smile.
Coach Davis is referring to Stanford’s Rugby 7s career, which saw him represent the USA Eagles from 2006-2009 in 13 tournaments on the World Sevens Series, including the 2009 Sevens World Cup. Stanford also won National Championships with Belmont Shore in 2007 (15s) and 2009 (7s), while finishing runners-up at the 2008 and 2010 7s Nationals. The South African born Stanford played his first Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2013, captaining the 15s side to a bronze medal and the 7s side to an historic gold medal finish.
“I had an unbelievable experience being a part of the Maccabi squad in 2013, and after seeing the dedication and passion head coach Shawn Lipman had for the program, it inspired me to help where possible,” said Stanford, who manages the Los Angeles program for Play Rugby USA, which uses Flag Rugby as a vehicle for social change in 125 schools.
“Since the program’s inception, we have rarely played outside Israel. This has put us at a significant disadvantage, as the nations of Israel, Australia, South Africa, England, and Chile are able get on the pitch together with much more frequency, due in large part to geography. I believe this tour plays an important role in our overall goal to achieve program success. The intention in Chile is to create a bit of continuity in our program, have fun, and win,” Davis reflected.
The Rugby competition at the Pan American Games will include XVs and 7s – with the Rugby squad able to take up to 40 players. The other countries taking part in Rugby at this stage include: Argentina, Australia, Chile and South Africa.
Davis added, “Our goal now is to recruit players that are able to join the tour. The expense and commitment are significant, but the reward lasts a lifetime. There will not be a trial, per se. We will be relying upon coach recommendations and a player’s Rugby resume, in determining the squad. Ultimately, one must believe in themselves as a class player, on and off the field.”
Maccabi USA is seeking Jewish Rugby athletes who are interested in representing the USA at the 13th Pan American Maccabi Games in Chile, 2015/2016. Interested candidates should visit https://maccabiusa.com/sports_main/rugby/ to fill out an application. All athletes will be responsible for raising $5,900 to take part in the event. The Maccabi USA organization has prepared a robust fundraising plan to aid players in securing their funds for the trip. For more information please contact Rugby Chairman Erik Dollman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the organization:
Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs. The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, and the Pan American and European Maccabi Games, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America. As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.
MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities. It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings. MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport. Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.
Maccabi USA has been selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as a Multi-Sport Organization (MSO). The nonprofit organization becomes one of 35 MSOs nationwide to be recognized by the USOC for its ability to cultivate a national interest in sport and increase opportunities for participation internationally, nationally and at the grassroots level.