Major League Rugby to Support XV Foundation Virtual Fundraiser

DALLAS (August 26, 2020) — With just over a year before Rugby World Cup New Zealand 2021, Major League Rugby (MLR) today announced they will be the title sponsor for the XV Foundation’s, ‘Building the Champion Mindset‘ global fundraiser. The virtual event will be broadcast on September 18 at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be hosted by Phaidra Knight, World Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee, Women’s Sports Foundation Board of Trustees member and member of the USA Rugby Board of Directors.

“Building the Champion Mindset” will feature championship insight from the best of the best with Olympic athletes and World Cup winners. The goal of the event is to raise the profile of the women’s game and raise money for the USA WNT as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup in 2021 in New Zealand. Athletes who have reached the podium in their sport, including two-time FIFA World Cup Champion Julie Foudy, 1998 NBA Champion Scott Burrell and 1991 Rugby World Cup Champion Maryanne Sorensen will be part of the star studded line-up which will also include players in the current Woman’s National Team pool — Captain Kate Zachary, Jordan (Gray) Matyas and Kaitlyn Broughton.

“We’re incredibly excited to kick off our virtual event ‘Building the Champion Mindset’ and to carry our fundraising momentum into the fall,” said Kristine Sommer and Alycia Washington, founders of the XV Foundation. “The outpouring of support from MLR has shown how passionate the rugby community is (at all levels) about the Women’s Eagles and we couldn’t be more thrilled to grow this network with a panel of inspiring speakers. As Rugby World Cup 2021 approaches, we are committed to ensuring Team USA can prepare at the highest level and build on its semifinal finish from 2017.

Alycia Washington at Old Glory International Women’s Day game March 8, 2020

 Under Sommer’s and Washington’s leadership the XV Foundation has dedicated itself to  raising money for the Women’s National XV Team to support travel expenses, tournament  fees and other essential expenses so players can solely focus on improving on the pitch.  Money raised from “Building the Champion Mindset” will go directly support the National Team for the World Cup.

“This was a no-brainer for Major League Rugby to support the XV Foundation,” said MLR Commissioner George Killebrew. “We want the sport of rugby to grow across North America and globally so supporting the Women’s National Team is something we felt we needed to do. These players are representing our country and we want to give them every chance to succeed. We also know that you have to have a Champion’s Mindset to play in the MLR as well as being
successful in your daily life.”

Interested viewers and fans can register for the September 18 event for $25 per person or make a direct donation to the team at xvf.givesmart.com. There will be a silent auction in conjunction with the broadcast via Zoom. The XV Foundation will also be announcing three youth groups during the live event that will be selected to receive rugby “Starter Kits” from the World Rugby Store which will include rugby balls, bibs, cones and ruck shields.

About Major League Rugby

Major League Rugby is a professional sports league entering its fourth season and represents the highest level of rugby competition in North America. The League evolved from seven teams in 2018, to 13 teams in 2021, featuring 12 from the United States and one from Canada. Matches are televised on CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports 2, and ESPN+, among other national and local market platforms. All matches are available on Facebook Live for international fans. MLR prides itself in fostering intense and high-stakes competition, while bringing together a passionate community built on the values of Respect, Inclusivity, and Tradition. For more information about MLR, visit www.MajorLeague.Rugby.

About XV Foundation

XV Foundation (XVF) is a not-for-profit organization created to establish diverse and sustainable funding sources for the USA Women’s National Rugby Team. XVF was founded in January 2020 by two current women’s national players with the goal of removing the team’s ‘pay-to-play’ model. XVF is dedicated to increasing funding, creating complete financial transparency and a professional playing environment, establishing sustainable revenue, and providing financial
stability for players in assembly. Since the creation of the foundation, XVF has raised over $100,000 for the women’s national team. Continued fundraising opportunities will support the pathway to Rugby World Cup, which will be held in New Zealand in 2021. For more information about XVF, visit www.xvfoundation.com.

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