Seventeen new faces stepped into Headquarters on the morning of Monday, July 6th, as the first members of Rugby ATL’s Summer Residency Camp of our new youth development program, Pathway 404. College players from all around the Eastern Seaboard and the midwest made their way down to Marietta over the weekend, to take part in the franchise’s first-ever development program tailored for collegiate players.

In what began with a Sunday onboarding session, the new group of players from schools like American International College, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s University, Central Washington University, and Kennesaw State all came in force to headquarters with a desire to #PushthePACE. The boys met with ATL’s Head Coach Scott Lawrence, Vice President of Operations Kevin McCorry, and the two professional players who will serve as Head and Assistant Coaches of the camp, Neethling Gericke and Kurt Coleman.

The first full day of camp consisted of: a tour of the new space, orthopedic screenings and biomechanics assessments, followed by discussions on athlete performance from our director Matt Dallow, baseline tests of speed and aerobic capacity, and a skills session to end the day with a rugby ball in hand. In each activity, player groups were split in order to optimize social distancing, and each athlete was acquainted with the precautions we are currently taking with our players and staff, in both the training environment and at home, to continue to do our part to contain the transmission and spread of the COVID-19 disease.

For the coming weeks, our new team members will get to experience what life as a professional athlete means here at Rugby ATL. They’ll live in our player housing, use our equipment and facilities daily, and rub elbows with (metaphorically speaking) members from all realms of the organization: trainers, coaching staff, contracted players, and current members of the Senior side of the 404 development team. By the time each camper has to go home, he will be returning to his home, university, and club with an invaluable experience; he will bring back with him the core values of our organization, and will continue to #PushthePACE.