Roots Rugby The Liberty 9410 “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ― Robert F. Kennedy
n the playing fields of New York City’s Randall’s Island under the foot of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, a new and somewhat unique team of local and international players unexpectedly captured the Men’s Premier Division Cup Championship at the 60th Annual New York Rugby Sevens Tournament. With relatively little practice time, and having never fully come together as a team prior to gathering Saturday morning for the tournament on Randall’s Island, this team of men representing the African Diaspora went on an undefeated 5-0 run through their tournament competition. Although this year was the first time the Liberty 9410 competed in the Men’s Premier Division, Liberty 9410 squads had previously participated in the NY7s Men’s Social Division. The teams, branded as Liberty 9410, were founded and are coached by Hayden James, the former Head Coach of the Columbia University Men’s Rugby Club, and named after the 9410 Foundation established by James in memory of his son who was tragically killed eight years ago and The Liberty NYC, a Manhattan bar and restaurant that provides financial support to the team. Serving as the team’s Head Coach along with Hayden James was Koma Gandy Fischbein, who also serves as Head Coach of the All Navy Men’s 7s squad. Coach Fischbein, a Navy surface warfare officer, served three deployments to the Arabian Gulf and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
22 | November-December 2018
November-December 2018 Issue