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Caleb Pattillo said he didnt know much about rugby before being introduced to the sport by the Columbus/Fort Benning Cruise-A-Matics and the D.A. Turner YMCA in Columbus.
He referred to it as the sport where people get their ears ripped off.
Caleb, who said his regular sport was hockey, scored his first try during a scrimmage at a youth rugby camp June 26 at the YMCA.
Its nothing like (hockey), he said, except for the passing.
In an effort to develop a knowledge and passion for rugby at an early age, the YMCA has adopted Rookie Rugby, part of USA Rugby, into its summer camps. The camps are on Tuesdays at the YMCA and are hosted and coached by members of the Cruise-A-Matics, a local rugby club, predominately made up of Soldiers.
Sam Lindsay of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, who played his first season with the Cruise-A-Matics in the spring, said the sport teaches teamwork as well or better than any other sport.
Teamwork is such an important concept how someone can sacrifice themselves for the greater good, Lindsay said.
Because rugby will become an Olympic sport in 2016, USA Rugby is making a push to teach the game to more youths, Cruise-A-Matics head coach Gary Kent said. According to the USA Rugby website, rugby is one of the fastest-growing sports among youths.
Some of these kids may end up playing for their country, Kent said. Maybe not in four years, but in eight years, possibly.
Rookie Rugby, which has a 7-on-7 format, is completely non-contact and designed to introduce beginners to the sport. Kent said with USA Rugby programs, contact is not implemented until kids reach high-school age.
It has specific rules to take away elements that might lead to injury, he said.
He said there are more sports that statistically cause more injuries than rugby.
Fred Gramling, physical director of the Turner YMCA, said rugby makes for the perfect sport for kids.
Its a sport the YMCA has expressed interest in, Gramling said. Its different than other team sports because every kid gets a chance to handle and pass the ball and have a chance to score.
The next clinic will be held Tuesday at the Turner YMCA on Warm Springs Road.