Central Pennsylvania, get ready for a unique twist on the newest sporting opportunity coming to your community in April 2021. Girls Rugby is expanding its programming to the eastern part of the United States with a new program in the Harrisburg/Hershey area. This program is just the beginning, as a new partnership with the Joy of Sports Foundation will look to expand the reach into Derry Township later in 2021.

Girls Rugby’s mission is to empower girls to reach their potential through sport by offering flag rugby programming paired with a leadership and values-based curriculum for girls in grades 2-8. These community programs aim to introduce girls to a new sport, give them a platform to be active, learn valuable life skills, make new friends, and have a fantastic sporting experience. The first program in Pennsylvania kicks off in April in the Harrisburg and Hershey areas with support from the Harrisburg Rugby Club and Rugby Pennsylvania. More information is available at www.girlsrugbypa.com.

To fulfill the goal of increasing accessibility and creating more opportunities for girls to be active and have a positive sporting experience, Girls Rugby has partnered with the Joy of Sports Foundation. This partnership will help Girls Rugby expand their reach and create more opportunities for girls in and around Derry Township, PA. The mission of the Joy of Sports Foundation is to expand and enhance athletic opportunities for all youth in Derry Township with an emphasis on getting them playing and keeping them playing. It is the hope that this strong partnership between both organizations will contribute to the number of active and healthy children in Central Pennsylvania.

“It is an incredible opportunity for our organization [Girls Rugby] to partner with a foundation such as Joy of Sports.” said Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Girls Rugby, Erin Kennedy.

“To be able to align with an organization dedicated to creating more opportunities for young people to participate in sport is exactly in line with our mission. We are excited to bring Girls Rugby to Derry Township and work with Joy of Sports to help make this program a success.”

“Generally, our model has been to offer various recreation options ourselves directly or to support the expansion of offerings by existing rec organizations already established within Derry Township,” said Terry Singer, founder and Chairman of the Joy of Sports Foundation.

“However, when we learned of Girls Rugby and examined the background of its founders, its leadership and values-based curriculum, its partnerships with the Harrisburg Rugby Club and Rugby Pennsylvania, our board felt it was the perfect opportunity to not only offer a novel sports experience, but to help establish a new rec program that will provide great opportunities and experiences for girls for years to come. ”

Following the success of the Spring 2021 program in the Harrisburg/Hershey area, Girls Rugby and the Joy of Sports Foundation will offer an introductory summer camp in Derry Township as a way to generate interest in the community. Following the summer activation, a Derry Township location will join the Harrisburg/Hershey program, further providing opportunities for girls to lead and succeed through sport.

And, adding additional excitement and anticipation, the Hershey High School (Derry Township School District) Athletic Director has assisted with getting the word out about these upcoming opportunities, and has noted getting rugby underway within the District is something that can be further explored for the future.  “We’re always open to exploring new sports opportunities, both at the middle and high school,” said Scott Govern, Athletic Director at Hershey High School.  “Whether we start with girls or boys, club or interscholastic, rugby is a growing sport that is now being played at an increasing number of school districts, so I’m pleased to be part of this collaboration.”


For more information on Girls Rugby Pennsylvania and to get signed up for the upcoming Spring season in Harrisburg/Hershey, visit www.girlsrugbypa.com.

For more information on the Joy of Sports Foundation, please visit www.joyofsportsfoundation.org.