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The Daily Wildcat


$1 million donation set to bolster Arizona rugby


The Arizona rugby team lines up with their hands over their hearts for the national anthem. (Photo courtesy of Linda Brothers)

The University of Arizona’s rugby program was endowed with $1 million that will now provide new scholarship opportunities to its student-athletes, consolidate recruiting efforts and foster the amplification of the organization.

The serviceable donation was gifted by Jason Figley, the parent of former and current UA rugby members.

According to a UA press release, half of the benefaction will be contributed towards creating a base to fund men’s program scholarships through the Front Foot Scholars program, which was just recently created. The leftover money is designated to coaching funds and for revamping the soon to be renamed Front Foot Training Center that facilitates all UA club sports in honor of Figley’s support.

Rugby program director and UA men’s rugby head coach Sean Duffy said the gift will allow them to continue to strive to be the best program in the country.

“A rugby scholarship signals to prospective athletes that we’re serious about rugby here. We want our program to grow, and we want to support you as part of our team,” Duffy said.

An additional $23,000 subsidy was also granted by Figley for the efforts in supporting the current demanding needs of scholarship funds to fortify this year’s recruiting cycle.

“Club sports like rugby teach students the importance of resilience and perseverance, lessons they can carry with them throughout their lives,” UA President Dr. Robert C. Robbins said. “Through his generous gift, Mr. Figley has shown his commitment to ensuring the success of our rugby players on the field, in the classroom and wherever their path takes them after graduation.”

Arizona is amongst the 67 NCAA Division I-A rugby programs.

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