Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester Partners with New England Free Jacks to Launch Inclusion Rugby Initiative

Youth with physical and developmental disabilities from Dorchester and surrounding towns are invited to participate

Dorchester, MA…Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester (BGCD), a leading youth service organization in Boston, today announced that it will partner with New England’s professional rugby team, the New England Free Jacks, to launch an inclusive rugby league at the Club.

The fully immersive program is designed to teach the basics of rugby to youth with physical and developmental disabilities over an 8-week period. Participants will build a base knowledge of the sport by learning and drilling new skills and competing in games. Starting on April 10th, sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 6-7 PM at the Marr Clubhouse for youth aged 8-14. Families from Dorchester and surrounding towns who are interested in participating are invited to contact Erin Ferrara ( 

The inclusion rugby league is the newest initiative within Project BIND, BGCD’s renowned inclusion program. Project BIND also houses the Club’s Challenger Sports Program, a groundbreaking initiative created in partnership with the Martin Richard Foundation that allows young people with developmental and physical disabilities to enjoy the full benefits of sports including soccer, basketball, baseball, and swimming in a safe athletic environment structured to their abilities. Next month, Project BIND leaders will host the Metro Regional Disability Inclusion Summit. 

“BGCD’s inclusion program is widely respected for its innovation and breadth of services,” notes BGCD CEO Bob Scannell. “We look forward to working alongside the New England Free Jacks to bring another exceptional inclusive program to life.”

The league will be coached by Thomas Grant, who leads the Free Jacks Academy. This initiative was created to support one of the team’s founding principles: to help  build better local communities through inclusive, fun, and sustainable live events, motivate people, and bring them joy. The Free Jacks Academy provides participation development opportunities at local schools and youth organization across New England. In 2023, more than six thousand children participated in Free Jacks community and academy events.

“Rugby is a sport for everyone, regardless of ability,” says Grant. “We are excited to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester to elevate our community impact and introduce more youth to this incredible game.”

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester

Established in 1974, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester (BGCD) is dedicated to making a positive impact on the youth and families of the Dorchester community. Inside BGCD’s three clubhouses is a place for Dorchester’s young people to learn, explore talents, play, and make friends. A beacon of hope, BGCD is known for welcoming and connecting young people and families to opportunities that embrace diversity, nurture growth, and inspire success. Today, members between ages five and 18 have access to 200+ activities for just $5 a year.

About the New England Free Jacks

The New England Free Jacks are greater Boston’s first Professional Rugby team, representing all the greatness of the six New England states on and off the field. The Free Jacks were named as an expansion franchise of Major League Rugby on September 20th, 2018.

The Free Jacks are an aspiring and innovative live events, media, and consumer products organization. The core brand in the portfolio is The New England Free Jacks–the humble, hard-working, free-spirited professional rugby team competing in the emergent and exhilarating Major League Rugby (MLR), the premier North American professional rugby competition.

Written By:

Hannah Kunze

Goodwin Consulting

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