PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s rugby for a cause. An annual tournament funds scholarships to help inner-city kids learn to swim.
A few hundred rugby players, dressed in everything from Santa suits to reindeer outfits, took to the Edgely fields in Fairmount Park for the ninth annual “Apple Pie” 7s.
Organizer Bill Sharp says the tournament raises money for water safety programs at North Philadelphia’s Kroc Center of the Salvation Army, in memory of a popular athlete who died in 2009.
“A young man by the name of Josias Sterling, who played rugby at St. Joseph’s Prep and Temple, drowned in his freshman year of college in a riptide off of Ocean City. And, unfortunately, Josias had never learned how to swim,” Sharp said.
“We all remember him dearly, and kids that are younger than us that didn’t know him then, they know his name now,” said Kevin Campbell, a classmate of Josias. “And they recognize the importance of doing stuff like this, and taking part in the community a little bit.”
The competition is called the “Apple Pie” tournament because of Josias’s fondness for apple pies.