The Nashville Grizzlies Rugby Football Club auctioned off several of its hot eligible bachelors at Tribe on Friday, April 13, to raise money for its upcoming trip to the sixth Bingham Cup in Manchester, England.
“We’ll be traveling to Manchester, England in less than two months for our third Bingham Cup,” said club Vice-president Jeremy Dykes. “Practice has been focused more on strategy and tactics and less on basic skills the closer we get to Bingham. While we always welcome newcomers to the team, our focus on Bingham has meant we’ve spent less time this year recruiting and more on retaining and developing the players already on the team.”
“Our coaches, led by David Glasgow, do a good job of balancing a practice with a cardio component, strategy lessons and planning, and then drills and scrimmages to put what we have learned into practice,” said Grizzlies Social Chair Todd Shelton. “This season we have really stepped up to a new level of experience and it has been fun to see the strategy sessions improve with our abilities.”
With 30 to 40 teams attending, the Grizzlies will not know exactly who they will be playing against until they get to Bingham, although they have a good idea of many of the teams that will be at the tournament.
“We’ve played a lot of the US teams like Charlotte, Chicago, Minneapolis, Dallas and Madison during our regular season and at tournaments other than Bingham,” Dykes says. “Our matches against non-US sides from cities such as Melbourne, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Sydney and Paris are much more limited due to distance.”
Dykes goes on to say that one of the greatest things about rugby is the friendships formed not just within his own team but with guys from clubs all over the world.
“Most of us have friends on ten or more teams that we keep in touch with,” he says. “We’re always excited to see our brothers from the Charlotte Royals.” The Royals helped the Grizzlies form in 2006 and have been Nashville’s favorite clubs to host and visit ever since.
Shelton is most excited just to be competing in the Bingham Cup.
“I am more focused on the Grizzlies and what we need to do to succeed in the tournament,” he says. “There are some great teams competing, and we just need to be ready to show what we have learned since the last Bingham.”
The Grizzlies are looking forward to what comes after Bingham as well.
“We’re looking forward to showing a lot of new guys how to play rugby!” Dykes says with enthusiasm. “After Bingham is over, the team will shift its attention to recruitment and training a big crop of new players.
“We’re also working on scheduling some great home matches for the fall that we hope our fans will come out to enjoy,” he adds.
“We host a traditional ‘third half’ party after each home match,” Shelton says, “which is a great time to socialize with our team, the opposing team, friends and fans. We also host a few other social events throughout the year such as our holiday party and summer party.” There are also the fundraisers too.
“On Saturday, May 5, we’ve got a carwash at Lipstick Lounge, as well as a yard sale up the street,” Dykes says of the upcoming events to raise money for Bingham. “We’ll hold our annual Grizz Glee show at PLAY on Friday, May 18, and that’ll be our last big fundraiser before the team travels to Manchester.”
Find out more about the Nashville Grizzlies and how you can help them compete in the Bingham Cup at www.grizzliesrugby.org.