Haggis Rugby celebrates holiday with annual matches | ParkRecord.com

Haggis Rugby celebrates holiday with annual matches

Multiple contests between local clubs to take place at City Park

Nick Von Haagenfels of Park City Haggis Rugby leaves opponents behind during a Fourth of July tournament at City Park two years ago. Rugby will return to City Park on Tuesday, beginning at 10 a.m. Haggis will play a match and there will also be an Old Boy All Comers match for players over 35.

To no one's surprise, the Fourth of July is expected to be a busy holiday this year with activities scheduled to happen all over town.

The sporting schedule is no different on July 4. Along with the Fun Run and the Doubles Volleyball tournament, the Park City Haggis Rugby club, founded in 1974, will host its own slate of matches at City Park on Tuesday.

Haggis Coach Jason Hoke is looking forward to another year of expected fun.

"We are really excited," Hoke said. "It is something our guys look forward to all year round. It’s a great opportunity to play in front of friends and family and people who have never seen the sport before."

The first match to get underway will be the women's match, starting at 10 a.m., followed by a round-robin-style tournament between Haggis, the West Valley Lions and Mana, a club from Salt Lake City. The event will finish with the annual Old Boys All Comers match for participants 35 and older.

The tournament matches are competitions, so Haggis will want to win as many games as possible. The Fourth of July event, however, is also about having a good time.

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"It's definitely more of a fun atmosphere than [a competitive one]," Hoke said. "We try to get everybody involved on the day."

Rugby typically isn't viewed as an American sport, and as far as Hoke is concerned, Tuesday's matches will be the only rugby played in the whole state of Utah on the Fourth of July.

Even so, Haggis, who typically attracts a decent crowd for the annual event, is excited about the prospect of remaining a part of Park City's annual celebration of the national holiday.

"It’s awesome to see the same people come out year after year to support the club," Hoke said. "We just love Park City and the Fourth of July. We are thankful that we play a part in the tradition that makes the Fourth of July in Park City so great."

The holiday matches are also crucial in terms of the program's fundraising efforts.

"It is essential to the club's existence," Hoke said. "[We are] really grateful that our club has an activity like this that our club can raise the funds to remain competitive."

The first matchin the slate is tentatively scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at City Park. The remaining contests will follow in a timely manner, though no official times have been set as of Friday morning.