Upcoming World Games in Houston offers officers many competitive sports opportunities, even rugby

Tom Kennedy

It seems like sports teams made up of HPD officers still have time to enter the upcoming World Corporate Games hosted by the Houston Harris County Sports Authority on Nov. 16-19.

The games will include entries from all over the world and are strictly amateur and include corporate employees, colleagues, families and friends.

They will feature a full range of sports such as rugby, basketball, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, table tennis and flag football. More information is available at the wcghouston.com. Deadline for entries is Oct. 26. The normal entry fee is $125 per team but that amount is only $99 if you enter as a non-profit – and HPD or HPOU would be considered as such.

The Games were founded more than 25 years ago and to date more than 170 Games have been held in cities from throughout the world. They were initially founded to spotlight corporate wellness programs in businesses throughout the world. Large corporations are a mainstay; for example, Deloitte has entered more than 80 Games worldwide, while Ernst & Young and IBM over 70.
Dave Yeoman, a long-time Houston area rugby player and rugby club leader, recently discussed the idea of HPD teams getting involved with the Badge & Gun, while in hopes of generating some interest in the sport, which currently draws hundreds of players across South Texas.

Yeoman contacted retired HPD sports guru Freddie Joe Pyland to gauge the interest. Yeoman said he wants to drum up interest in forming rugby teams but stressed the overall opportunity for police officers, who have a natural tendency toward competitive events. He also said he wasn’t sure officers were familiar with the competition opportunities offered by the Games.

A West Point graduate and military veteran, Yeoman discussed his love for rugby and pointed out he thinks it would be “an easy sell for police departments, fire departments and the military.

“They have a mindset for service, they are more athletic on their feet in an engaging-type career and, I believe, are also people who would be interested in rugby.”

Yeoman (no relation to famed University of Houston football coach Bill Yeoman) detailed the opportunities availed by the upcoming World Corporate Games, which is offering non-contact coed rugby for the first time in program history.

He said he wants to help any potential teams, rugby or otherwise, in every way possible. Here is his contact information:

 

president@houstonrugby.org

or

david.yeoman@gmail.com

 

In his interview with the B&G, Yeoman admitted that besides promoting the Games and getting the word out that many HPD officers might want to field teams, he also wanted to focus on a sporting opportunity after the Games are over.

The opportunity: rapidly forming rugby clubs and competition. Yeoman posed the question: Does HPOU have any members interested in forming a non-contact, coed rugby team?

He pointed out that recently policewomen from League City have put together a team – which consists of a minimum of eight people, half of them males and half females.

“If there are officers who want to form teams and don’t quite have enough players,” Yeoman said, “I’ll be happy to fill in the teams with players from my club. We also will be happy to explain the rules and how the game is played.”

Yeoman, a longtime contact rugby player, heads Houston rugby club that features 80 men and 20 women. He said there are two inner city clubs as well as suburban rugby clubs in Kingwood, Clear Lake/Galveston, Katy and The Woodlands.

“There’s at least 200 or 250 rugby players actively playing,” he said. “The Galveston club just celebrated its 50th anniversary and at Texas A&M the women’s rugby will be playing at the varsity level.”