Charlotte Junior Rugby Association (CJRA) was born after an overwhelming response from players, parents and coaches in two touch rugby pilot programs at Elizabeth Lane and Ballantyne Elementary Schools.
The PE teachers at those schools, Matt Henry and Trevor Young, realized that Charlotte area kids were hungry for rugby and the options were few. They wanted to bring the positive impact that rugby has on student athletes to as many schools as possible in the greater Charlotte area.
The first couple of years of the association's existence, CJRA focused primarily on two-hand touch rugby at the elementary school-age level. As players began to get older, transitioning to middle school and craving more, CJRA transitioned with them. In Winter 2012 CJRA launched a middle school 7`s tackle league with four teams. This league continues to grow and compete with other teams from around the state.
CJRA is true to its roots. While the middle school tackle programs continues to attract new schools and new players, the two-hand touch programs in elementary schools are our bedrock. Our philosophy is to build fine young men and women rugby players by bringing them up, gradually and developing skills and an understanding of the game at a young age.
CJRA is operated by a dedicated team of educators, coaches, parents and volunteers who all realize the impact properly run athletics can have in a child's life. While there are many sports that teach character, sportsmanship and competition, we feel that for many kids, rugby is the best choice. By the very nature of the laws of the game, everyone gets the ball, everyone plays offense, everyone plays defense and above all, a group of individuals will always be defeated by a TEAM.
Globally, rugby has a reputation of hard play and hard competition while maintaining maximum respect for your opponent and officials. That's a great life skill our student athletes will carry with them off the field and into life.
Besides, life skills and physical fitness, CJRA wants rugby to be one thing more than anything else for our players…FUN!!!