Rugby calls itself the fastest growing sport in the country. To support the interest, Harrisburg Rugby Club is building the first full-sized Olympic rugby field on the east coast.
Harrisburg Rugby Club was founded in 1969 and its players have been bouncing around from field to field ever since. They’re excited to create a space rugby players and other athletes can enjoy.
Players are thrilled that construction has begun.
“We’re hoping to have the first what they call the premiere pitch on the east coast, which will be full Olympic-sized with Olympic-sized posts,” said Jeffrey Cook, the chairman of the Harrisburg Rugby Club.
Sunset Park in Londonderry Township will be the club’s first permanent home.
“It’s been super exciting,” said Georgia Goodman, a Harrisburg Rugby player.
A rugby field is longer and wider than a football field.
The club currently sets up posts on other sports fields to play.
Planners say once this project is complete, other teams will be able to play on its fields too.
“This was all woods and trees and they cut down all the trees and now they dug up all the stumps and roots,” said Cook.
The club is partnering with the township for the million dollar project.
Londonderry will still own the land, but the club is making capital improvements.
There will be practice and playing fields for games and tournaments, plus a clubhouse.
“In the clubhouse would be showers, bathrooms and a community room, which we would let the community use to play cards or have a banquet,” said Cook.
“Great opportunity to engage the local community,” said Goodman. “Gives others the opportunity to see the love and camaraderie that we see in rugby.”
It’s a unique camaraderie for a growing sport and a growing community.
“A lot like a family, super close, tons of fun and we support each other,” said Goodman.
The club is still fundraising for parts of the project, but the goal is to start playing on the field next spring.