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Give Blood, Play Rugby

By Chris Dublinski, Naperville Warriors Rugby Club, 04/11/17, 10:30AM CDT


Naperville Warriors Kickoff 2017 Campaign with Blood Drive


Naperville Warriors Kickoff 2017 Campaign with Blood Drive

Naperville, IL – The adage ‘give blood, play rugby’ has been around since the seventies. The Naperville Warriors

high school rugby club took the saying literally when it hosted its first ever blood drive with Heartland Blood

Centers March 18th.

The club, preparing for its 17th season, hosted more than 50 friends and family for lunch and exceeded their blood

donation goal for the drive. Held at the Naperville DPW facility, attendees were invited to eat and watch live

championship rugby after making their donations. Heartland helped simplify planning by sending a ‘mobile coach,’

one of several coach buses they have converted into mobile donation centers.

“Hosting a blood drive is an idea we’ve been working towards,” said Chris Dublinski, coach of the Warriors, “my

coaches encouraged philanthropy, and valuing community is engrained in rugby culture. I’m glad we could

reinforce these lessons by starting a new Warriors tradition.”

Heartland jumped at the idea of partnering with the team, and along with American Rugby Outfitters, co-
sponsored event shirts which donors received for participating.

Heartland Blood Centers are the single source blood supplier for hospitals in Naperville and the surrounding area,

and in constant need of donors to fulfill demand.

“I’m proud of the way our young men embraced the cause once they learned how it would help our community,”

said Dublinski.

Despite anticipation for the event, a few players still needed added encouragement to participate.

“Some of the guys had reservations about the needles,” said Sean Bridges, junior captain from Naperville Central.

“The coaches reminded us since we’re all tough enough to play rugby, giving blood should be easy.”

With a majority of the team and several alumni participating, the Warriors hope to capitalize on the popularity and

grow the event next season.

The Warriors kickoff the 2017 season at home against the West Suburban Bulls at Nike Sports Complex Friday,

April 7th at 6pm.

The Naperville Warriors are members of Rugby Illinois, the state’s governing body for youth rugby, and primarily

comprised of student athletes from Naperville North, Naperville Central, and Benet Academy. Rugby is the fastest

growing sport in the United States. Those interested in playing for the Warriors can find more information at