Gypsy Rugby joins Ruggerfest

  • Fort Lauderdale Ruggerfest 39th Annual - Gypsy Article

We are excited to be hosting GYPSY RUGBY, INTERNATIONAL in three divisions of the tournament this year – premier, women and old boy. Below is a brief history, spotlighting this storied side.

Gypsy Rugby, International: A legacy in the making.

An idea:

Gypsy Rugby was an concept that was framed early in 2004 by 7 individuals, many of which came from military backgrounds both in USA and overseas. They looked to replicate the camaraderie that comes from serving their country and playing rugby for your clubs, armed forces and country. The idea was to find like-minded individuals together and have some fun playing rugby at as high a level as they could without detracting from the ultimate goal of having FUN.

The first tournament that we attended was Mardi Gras in New Orleans in 2004. The team consisted of 17 active players along with wives and of course the obligatory “pickups. “ The goal was to play, have fun and survive. Liam Hutchinson, founding member and now president of Gypsy Rugby International states: “I don’t believe we started a game with 15 players on the pitch yet, we still managed to have a winning record at the tournament although to be fair it was a blur. Within that squad were 10 Serving or ex forces personnel from Canada, England and USA covering off all services.”

The third tour came with further expansion of the club: the introduction of our womens team and it has been our biggest step. The ladies began with 20 women predominately from the Northeast USA, within their ranks were serving personnel with the US armed forces. The ladies have been the driving force at times and the glue that has patched holes within the fabric.

In March of 2014, we celebrated our 10th Anniversary with a revisit to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. We had 150 players and 45+ partners/social members. At this anniversary we took another step, inaugurating our “old boys” side. Every teamsall went undefeated and we were able to bring in over 300 players for the gathering held in Louisiana. The gypsy’s now have over 480 members spread all over the world from the 33 states within the United States, 8 Canadian provinces, Wales, Great Britain, Ireland , Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and France to South America and now Africa. We have over 200 active members within the armed forces and currently actively serving their countries.

The crest; the “g” in the crest is always small. This is to remind us of the humility and charity of the gypsy cause. The colors are royal blue, black and white.

Gypsy Rugby was started by: An Airman, A Soldier, A Marine and A Sailor. We stand by our commitment to our Armed Forces, Coast Guard, Fire Service, Police service, Marshall Services, Drug Enforcement and Ambulance Services, we celebrate the victories and remember the losses.