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[WRCRA] Jackson Wins Inaugural Flores Tribute Award

  • 07 Jul 2022
Lisa Jackson rugby

WRCRA (original post) – The Women’s Premier League, in partnership with the U.S. Women’s Rugby Foundation Kathy Flores Memorial Fund, presented the first annual Kathy Flores Heart of the WPL Award at the 2022 WPL Championships. The award honors legendary coach Kathy Flores, one of the founders of the WPL and long-time player and coach for the Berkeley All Blues.

The award nominees were selected based on the following criteria:

  • A passionate advocate for women’s rugby and a lifelong student of the game
  • An educator and mentor who builds strong, sustainable relationships on and off the field
  • Someone who works to elevate the women’s game and best represents the ideals of the Women’s Premier League.

Ruggette rugby2022 Recipient: Lisa Jackson

“The 2022 winner, Lisa Jackson, has been an unwavering advocate of women’s rugby,” WPL co-commissioner Kittery Wagner Ruiz shared. “She has the respect and affection of the entire women’s rugby community for her fierce commitment to building relationships within and across communities. Lisa exemplifies the best of qualities of Kathy Flores and the WPL, her passion for the game – her commitment, care, compassion and generous nature are standards for all.”

Home team: Atlanta Harlequins Rugby Club
Age: 37
• USA U23 Forward Coach
• USA ID Camp Coach
• USA U23 Regional South Harlequins Forward Coach
• USA Rugby South All-star Coach
• Rhino Rugby Coach
• Raleigh Rugby Club Men/ Women & Youth Forward Coach
• North Carolina State University Men’s rugby Coach
• ROOTS Rugby Coach
• USA Rugby Level 200 (World Rugby 100) Certified
• Scrum Strong Coaching Accreditation
• Eagle Eye Scout
• Zone Representative East | USA Rugby
• Raleigh Rugby Football Club: Event & Sponsor Director, Board of Directors, 2016-2020

Lisa Jackson rugby

Lisa Jackson / Photo: Calder Cahill

2022 Nominees

Jackson was selected from a field of eight nominees, all of whom exemplified the ideals of the WPL.

“The 2022 nominees represent the very best of the WPL community,” Wagner Ruiz added. “In addition to working tirelessly to grow women’s rugby at every level, the nominees have demonstrated a commitment to growing and honing their own physical, intellectual and emotional skills. They lead by example and in doing so encourage others to raise their game.”

Kristin Aliberto rugby

Kristin Aliberto (tackler) / Manish Gosalia Photography

New York Rugby Club
Age: 38
• Philadelphia RFC Coach
• Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union Developmental Program Coach
• WPL Player Development Board
• Rugby for All Contributor
• La Salle Women’s Rugby Coach (former)
• MARFU U23 All Star Program Assistant Coach (former)
• Philadelphia RFC Player (former)
• MARFU Senior All Star Program Player (former)
• USA WNT Pool
• EPRU Board Member
• MARFU Board Member

Jeanna Beard rugby

Jeanna Beard (right-side hugger) / Photo: Alexis LaFave

Colorado Gray Wolves
Age: 36
• WPL Liaison for COGW, 2020-present
• WPL COVID Committee, 2020-present
• Colorado Rush, IGR Men’s Club Head Coach, 2019-present
• Rocky Mountain Rugby Women’s & Men’s Selects Coaching Staff, 2021-present
• All Colorado High School Girls’ Selects Coaching Staff, 2018-2020
• USA Senior Club Council Governance Committee, 2021-present
• Rocky Mountain Rugby VP of Operations, 2022-present
• Rocky Mountain Rugby VP of Communications, 2019-2021
• Rocky Mountain Rugby Women’s Director of Rugby & D1 Women’s Rep, 2017-2021
• Glendale Raptors/Merlins Rugby Women’s Recruitment Chair, 2016-2020
• Glendale Raptors/Merlins Rugby Women’s President, 2014-2016
• Washington Women’s RFC (DC Furies) VP of Recruitment, 2010-2013
• Member of the Inaugural Women’s National Rugby League Squad & Leadership Committee Member, 2021-2022

OBD rugby

Olivia Benzan-Daniel / Photo: Calder Cahill

Beantown Rugby Club
Age: 30
• St. Mary’s HS Girls’ Rugby Coach
• Brandeis University Women’s Rugby Coach
• New England Free Jacks Community Coach
• Beantown RFC – President
• College Rugby Association of America Women President
• American College Rugby Association Administrator
• Rugby Northeast Vice Commissioner (women’s college D2)
• Northeast D1 Commissioner (women’s college D1)
• Women’s D1 College Council Representative
• USAR Audit & Risk Committee College Representative
• World Rugby Coach Educator
• L1 Certified Referee
• Volunteer Coach at various youth clinics

Ali Gillberg rugby

Ali Gillberg / Photo: Alexis LaFave

Twin Cities Amazons
Age: 34
• Director/Co-Commissioner of WPL, 2016-present
• Manager of all WPL operational functions
• Active in WPL leadership, 2012-present
• Twin Cities Amazons Match Secretary, in Amazon leadership since 2011
• Twin Cities Amazons Player
• MN U23 Assistant Coach, 2018-present
• University of Minnesota Women’s Rugby Assistant Coach, 2014-19
• US WNT World Cup Player Pool Top 100, 2014

Evan Hoese rugby

Evan Hoese / Photo: Calder Cahill

Berkeley All Blues
Age: 33
• Harvard RFC Captain
• D2 Collegiate National Championships MVP
• NERFU U23 Team Captain
• Beantown RFC Captain, 2013
• US WNT World Cup Player Pool, 2014
• Berkeley All Blues D2 Team Coach, 2017-2020
• Berkeley All Blues Captain
• NCRFU Exec Committee Member, 2017-present
• USAR Competition’s Committee Chair & Women’s Division Representative
• US WNT Tour, 2018

KJ Johnson rugby

KJ Johnson (levitating) / Photo: Bob Hosker

Twin Cities Amazons
Age: 30
• USA U19 Team (at age 14)
• Rugby World Cup Sevens, 2013
• Team USA, 2016 Olympics
• Rugby World Cup Team 15s, 2021
• Fought and won for a bonus structure for USA women’s 7s
• USA 15s Player Rep
• WPL Development Board Founder
• Coached K-12 youth rugby
• Organized donations for youth rugby balls for gym classes

Sam Luther rugby

Sam Luther / Photo: Calder Cahill

Colorado Gray Wolves
Age: 31
• University of Rhode Island Captain
• Beantown Rugby Club Captain (2nd place finish in 2017 D1 Nationals)
• Glendale RFC, 2018 & 2019
• Glendale RFC Player Board Member (restructured program into the Colorado Gray Wolves)
• International Athlete Representative for USAR’s Bankruptcy Process (advocate to ensure that the women’s program was included equitably throughout USAR’s restructure)
• WPL Board Member
• XV Foundation Board Member
• World Cup Player Pool, 2017 & 2021
• WPL Development Board, 2020

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