The winner of the 2023 Kamil Patel Memorial Scholarship is Mia Popp of Orchard Park Girls Rugby.
From Mia's essay,"Rugby means everything to me. I genuinely don’t think I would be who I am today without rugby. I have always wanted to play contact sports. I wanted to wrestle and play football, but my parents never let me and there is very limited opportunity in these sports for women. I had a friend tell me to try out rugby and even though I knew absolutely nothing about it, I attended a practice. From the very first day, I fell in love with it."
"Mia is so devoted to the team on and off the pitch. She is the first to arrive for any community service event - whether it is helping the Town of Orchard Park at Santaland or Winterfest at Chestnut Ridge Park, teaching rugby to local youth and "try rugby" days or setting up baskets at the club's fundraiser. Mia is the type of athlete that every coach wants on a team" - Lisa Henrich, Coach Orchard Park Girls Rugby
Mia will be continuing her rugby this fall at St. Bonaventure University.
Other 2023 Nominees
Michael Sample nominated by Matthew Persanis, Head coach Pelham High School
Anthony Zambrano nominated by Cynthia Kouril Coach Fresh Meadows Rugby Academy
Finn McArdle nominated by Cynthia Kouril Coach-FMRA
Jayden Johnson nominated by Robert McGee Head Coach Corning Rugby Club
Alex Vega nominated by William Schell Rugby Coach Brooklyn Tech Rugby Club
About the scholarship
The Buffalo Rugby Club and the Patel family have established The Kamil Patel - Buffalo Rugby Scholarship dedicated to honoring the memory of Kamil Patel. The scholarship was created in the spring of 2018 to assist high school rugby players who plan to continue their education in college while playing rugby. Scholarships of up to $2000 are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited institution of the student's choice. Read More
RugbyNY is the governing body for youth and high school rugby in the state of New York. They are a member of USA Youth & High School Rugby's Northeast region and are an officially recognized State Youth Rugby Organization (SYRO) by USA Rugby.
RugbyNY is registered with the New York State Department of State as a not-for-profit corporation and is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.