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Helena Youth Rugby Club set to kick off season after seeing participation rise

Local youth rugby numbers continue to grow this year
Helena Youth Rugby Club
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Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 21, 2024

HELENA — Since its first season back in 2009, the Helena Youth Rugby Club has been growing in numbers every year since.

This year, the program features about 70 athletes including both boys and girls teams ranging from ages 8 to 19 years old.

One of those athletes, 18-year-old Patrick Culpon, has been playing rugby with the program now for five years. He started playing in the younger age groups and has now made his way up the ladder.

“You know, it's amazing. When you are little and playing U14s looking up at the bigger kids and looking up to them, now I am one of them, it's exciting. It is a lot of fun, I love it,” said Culpon.

The club was first created in 2009, just six years after high school rugby made its first appearance in the Treasure State, and it includes both seasoned players and rookies. One of those rookies is team member Katie Steinhoff, and she encourages her fellow females interested to get in the scrum and give it a try.

“It’s so much fun — like, you are not gonna find another sport that is really this fun and also this physical, so I would say definitely come join us," said Steinhoff.

Head coach Cody Maykuth used to be a team member himself, and he has now been coaching the club for four years. During that time, he’s seen the program continue to grow and evolve.

“We went from around 30 to 40 players when I played to now I think we have about 80 registered players this year. We are constantly growing, constantly evolving, so it is really nice to see it come along," said Maykuth

Coach Cody Maykuth

Despite all the teams beginning their season on Saturday, they are still looking for members to join the club, no matter the age group or how much rugby experience one may have.

“It’s really inclusive, we got spots for little guys, spots for big guys, spots for slow guys, spots for fast guys, it is a very inclusive sport, there is a spot for everybody," stated Maykuth

To find the remainder of the club's schedule or for more information on the program click here.