Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
San Diego, CA – The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) Rugby team held its first ever Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 16th at the Little Q in San Diego, CA and they pulled it off without a hitch.
Over $2,500 was raised for each of the Wounded Warrior Project and the Navy SEAL Foundation. The day couldn’t have been more pleasant as a cloudless sky with temperatures in the mid 70s and a slight breeze greeted the estimated 700 spectators that came out for what is hoped will be an annual event.
They were treated to a well orchestrated performance by the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, The Leap Frogs, who dropped out of the sky from a Night Hawk helicopter with the match ball and a huge American flag. Also on hand was a U.S Navy Color Guard unit who presented our nation’s Colors. With the Colors presented and the giant American flag cascading downward, the fans listened as 11-year old Natasha Partnoy sang our National Anthem.
While OMBAC engaged Santa Barbara in a Southern California Division One game, a match OMBAC would eventually win 81-10 to improve their record to 9 wins versus 3 losses, fans had the opportunity to take part in a raffle which consisted of nearly 50 prizes or to put in a silent bid for one of the 22 camouflage OMBAC rugby jerseys purchased specifically for this match.
Many spectators could also be seen wearing the specially created Military Appreciation Day t-shirts. The monies donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Navy SEAL Foundation came from the revenue from the admission, t-shirt sales, concessions and the silent auction.
The day’s events had kicked off early that morning when OMBAC’s Division Three team faced a very strong Combined Military Services team and continued on into the night with live music from The Beach Woods band.
Military Appreciation Day brought out the best of the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club as club members and current and former players worked side by side to raise money for two worthy organizations. OMBAC Rugby would like to thank all those who assisted in this great first time effort and is already looking forward to next year’s Military Appreciation Day.