Leodes Van Buren ’18 recently traveled to Chicago to watch the premier of a new documentary about him and other high school rugby players from South Los Angeles. The film is the third in a series that follow the young rugby players as they travel to tournaments around the world.
Van Buren said the students in the film are unusual players. “Rugby is an unusual sport in America still,” Van Buren said, “and you don’t often hear about African Americans playing rugby.” He explained that he first got involved in the sport through an English teacher at his school in Los Angeles, View Park High School, a small charter school. The teacher, Stuart Krohn was a former champion rugby player.
The movies chronicles the players, both girls and boys, as they travel to New Zealand, mainland China, Hong Kong, England and France. Many of them were traveling out of the country for the first time, and they had to fundraise to pay their way. The documentaries show them playing the sport and competing against foreign teams. Along the way, the narratives reveal the young people’s lives, including some of the challenges they’ve overcome.
“The movie inspired a lot of people,” Van Buren said. “Especially young people.”