Striving for Excellence in Rugby

Thomas Ray discovered the sport of rugby late in life, but it hasn't taken him long to make up for lost time. In less than four years of playing Rugby Union, In 2013 Thomas was given the 16th man award for his versatility on the field as an offensive and defensive player, he has been named Man of the Match several times and helped the Hawaii Harlequins to achieve victory in the Rugby Hawaii Union Championship in 2013. In this game, Thomas played the entire eighty minutes and made the final tackle which caused the opposing team to kick the ball out of their territory and out of bounds ending the game. Though he was not selected, Thomas was a member of the USA Tomahawks player pool in 2011 and has been considered by the Tomahawks as a potential addition to the USA Tomahawks in future games.

Thomas has devoted much of his life to being a student of the game. He discovered the game after six years in the U.S. Navy, where he was a Search and Rescue swimmer and Hull Maintenance Technician. Thomas was awarded the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal in 2008 for providing irreplaceable humanitarian aid to over 70 Somali refugees stranded at sea for six days. He is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University, and is currently working towards his MBA with a concentration in finance at Hawaii Pacific University.

Recently, his talent caught the attention of Murray Mexted, a former captain of the world-renowned New Zealand All Blacks. Murray has invited Thomas to spend the better part of 2014 living, training and playing rugby in New Zealand. The training will include a three-week high-performance course at Wellington's International Rugby Academy of New Zealand (IRANZ). Several IRANZ graduates have gone on to play for the U.S. Eagles, most notably team captain Todd Clever (the first American to score a try in Super 15 Rugby, the largest professional rugby union in Southern Hemisphere).

But world-class Rugby Union training does not come cheap. We are reaching out because Thomas's initial training and boarding will be quite expensive: about $6,000 (US) for the IRANZ tuition fee and nine months of lodging alone will total another $4,000. Thomas plans to wait tables in his spare time and take on other jobs, but any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated. Won't you help Thomas reach his dream of representing the State of Hawaii and the United States as an ambassador and elite Rugby Union professional?




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Organizer

Thomas Ray 
Organizer
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