Ann Arbor, MI- University of Michigan Rugby has a strong history of traveling to exotic locations for their annual Spring Break tour and this year is no exception with their trip to Cuba. While this is not a conventional location for a Spring Break tour, the historical significance and the chance to experience a new country as a team was too exciting of a chance for U of M rugby to pass up. The team will leave this Sunday Feb 26th and spend 4 days on the island to experience the culture, sights, and share their rugby experience with the Cubans.
“It has been a two year process to make this trip happen” said Head Coach Brandon Sparks “Our tour manager and alum Chening Duker, our advisors in the school Lexi Chaput and Steven Karasewski and the University of Michigan as a whole deserve all the credit for working so hard to make this historic trip happen.”
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Since 2009 restrictions have been gradually repealed by the US government for Americans to travel to Cuba. While the restrictions have been lifted it doesn’t mean the trip has been an easy one to organize. Chening Duker, who was tasked with the organization of the trip, says “The process has been slow going at times. It was a challenge to make sure all of the visas were fulfilled, but in the end both governments approved our itinerary and the trip is a go.”
The squad is aware of the historical significance of this trip and is committed to representing University of Michigan, the United States of America, and the sport to the highest of standards. “This is a great group of young men who appreciate the opportunity they have been given to tour Cuba. We have a team motto of leaving a place in a better condition than you found it and we plan to put that motto into action during our time there” added Sparks. While the thirty man touring party is there they will participate in community service, work with the local rugby teams, and experience historical monuments like the Morro Fortress.
Michigan Rugby had a send off party this weekend at Buffalo Wild Wings in downtown Ann Arbor during the USA v Chile match.
This is American Rugby, February 27, 2017