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CHARLOTTE, NC – The Queens University of Charlotte Department of Athletics and the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) are pleased to announce that the Queens women’s rugby team has achieved varsity program status beginning their 2019 fall season.
“I can’t overstate how thrilled we are to welcome Queens University of Charlotte as our newest NIRA member,” NIRA Commissioner Amy Rusert commented. “Through the visionary leadership of Cherie Swarthout and Katie Wurst, Queens women’s rugby has seen tremendous growth and success as a relatively new club program, and with this same visionary leadership they will bring both programmatic excellence to the NIRA and untold opportunity to champion the NCAA Women’s Rugby initiative in the Southeast.”
The Royals join American International College, Brown University, Long Island University, Molloy College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Sacred Heart University, and West Chester University in the NIRA’s Tier Two competition structure.
“This is a progressive forward step as we continue to grow opportunities for young women to compete in intercollegiate athletics,” Queens University of Charlotte athletic director Cherie Swarthout commented. “When we named Katie as the leader of our rugby program this is exactly what we envisioned, and with support from Amy we know their collective expertise and passion for women’s rugby will have a positive, lasting impact on Queens’s athletics.”
Queens is the 19th NIRA/NCAA program to be added to compete against some of the nation’s well-respected academic institutions.
“We are extremely fortunate to have such incredible support from our entire athletic department and the Queens-campus community, to pursue the opportunity to compete in women’s rugby as an NCAA program,” Queens director of rugby Wurst stated. “Our coaching staff and student-athletes are completely humbled at the welcoming response from NIRA teams and administrators who have worked tirelessly to make this important step a reality.”