Presenters Confirmed for Spring 5in15 Professional Development Program

February 15, 2017 - Following the launch of the “5in15” professional development program, First15 is proud to announce the finalized roster of presenters for the first live tour of seminars taking place in locations across the U.S.  The purpose of each seminar is to provide accessible and affordable learning opportunities for individuals interested in increasing game knowledge in a variety of disciplines.  Topics ranging from digital sports marketing to team culture are on tap for the 2017 spring season, with a diverse array of professional and volunteer practitioners stepping forward to share their knowledge.  

Charlotte, North Carolina is the featured location for the first seminar including several coaches covering the spectrum of roles from high-performance youth to women’s senior club competition.  Brendan Keane, recently named Associate Director of the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, will be discussing optimization of training time, along with Amanda Watkins and Frank McKinney, who will focus on diversity within rugby, and athlete development respectively.  This seminar will take place at Alexander Youth Network on Monday, February 20th.  

Next location on the 5in15 tour features a panel of presenters assembling in Appleton, Wisconsin on March 11, 2017.  The Wisconsin Rugby Football Union will serve as host to several game development initiatives taking place in one weekend.  World Rugby coach educator, Shannon Bustillos, will be providing insight on the coaching process, along with a segment from Bob Jafferis discussing critical aspects of team culture.  Jessica Burda rounds out the roster with a knowledge contribution focused on using digital tools to enhance marketing and recruitment.  

“I’m excited to be part of Wisconsin’s first 5in15 seminar, and looking forward to sharing ideas on recruiting and promotion with our rugby community,” said Burda, the Director of Digital Content for the University of Wisconsin Badgers, and a longtime rugby player and coach. “The 5in15 seminars are a welcome addition to rugby educational opportunities in our country, and definitely needed as we all work together to grow the game.”

The month of April features a 5in15 visit to San Diego, California and the Institute of Rugby at EXOS to offer knowledge sharing on a variety of topics on Sunday, April 2, 2017.  Hannah Lockwood, who currently leads the San Diego Girls Rugby Program, will provide valuable information based on her experiences in increasing sport participation among young girls.  Richie Walker, current USA Rugby Women’s 7s head coach, will follow this theme by offering details on the journey to becoming a rugby Olympian.  Physical preparation for athletic development will also be featured with instruction from USA Rugby and Olympic speed and performance coach, Les Spellman.

Last stop for the 5in15 spring season travels cross-country to Life University located in Marietta, GA.  USA Rugby awarded coach of the year, Rosalind Chou, will team up with Atlanta Harlequins head coach Phillip Theil, and high performance referee, Kat Roche, to share a broad range of valuable information.  The importance of coaches serving as role models, evolution of the tackle area, and how attitude influences selection will all be addressed at this event.  The 5in15 seminar will take place on campus with support from Life University Rugby on Friday, May 26, 2017.                                             

All participants earn USA Rugby professional development credits for attending a live seminar at any location.  To find out more information about any of the scheduled 5in15 seminars, and to register to attend, visit for complete details.  Questions, comments, and inquiries about hosting or presenting at a future seminar can be directed to First15’s Director of Performance, Katie Wurst, at  For additional event updates, and to view presentations follow First15 Sport Performance on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to the Youtube channel.