The Nashville Grizzlies are hot off their most successful season in club history and are gearing up for tournaments in St Louis and Philadelphia this Spring. The team is focusing on building on the progress it made this Fall and continuing and furthering our commitment to community service.
In May 2016, the Grizzlies hosted the Bingham Cup, the world championship of gay rugby, here in Nashville. The tournament came at the beginning of our tenth year and gave us the opportunity to play teams from around the world. The tournament, won by the Melbourne Chargers, was an historic success for the Grizzlies — not only did it win its first solo trophy (previous wins were with combined teams) but interest in the event helped with recruitment and practices.
Last season, the team was even more successful. The team won its first ever tournament outright at the Charlotte Queen City Crown, competing against other gay rugby teams from across the southeast and mid Atlantic. The wins in Charlotte helped push the team's record to 11-3, the best ever in club history.
"We want to build on our successes on the field last year. We are working on teaching our new players basic skills while also developing finer technique with our veterans" said Jimmy Arredondo, head coach.
"We look forward to competing at our tournaments in St Louis and Philadelphia and believe this will be our most successful season yet.
Community service has always been important to the team. This year, we are volunteering as a club at Launchpad, a shelter for LGBT youth here in Nashville, and will be holding a joint fundraiser for Tennessee Equality Project this April at our tenth anniversary celebration.
The Grizzlies next social event is a beer bust Friday February 17 at Tribe from 8-11 pm. The team practices at the Vanderbilt intramural fields every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9 pm. All levels of experience and all sexual orientations are welcome!
The first home game is against the Charlotte Royals on March 11 and will take place at 2132 Lebanon Pike. Kick off is at 3:30pm.
Photo by Angelina Castillo