Northeast Academy has partnered with leading Academy videographer and promoter Next Level Rugby to produce an intimate documentary depicting the Academy experience.
Academy Director John McGeachy said, “This new partnership enables us to connect with the rugby community through the medium of film. It is a valued opportunity for us to tell our story both on and off the field and hopefully for people to experience the family like culture that both drives and unites us. We look forward to working with Ryan and team and delivering a high quality product that they are known for.”
Next Level Rugby, led by Ryan Ginty, has been a primary promoter of the Academy since the 2014 New York 7s Tournament. On YouTube and Facebook, the production company posts countless videos highlighting the talents of the Academy’s players, allowing them to receive national (even international) praise and to grow their careers.
Former Academy Director and head coach Sean Horan approached Ginty at the most recent New York tournament in November 2016 to discuss more in-depth coverage of Academy competition and players. This arrangement ultimately led to Next Level Rugby’s commitment to filming the Academy’s performance and behind-the-scenes preparation at the upcoming Las Vegas 7s tournament March 2-5.
“Next Level Rugby is excited to be working with Northeast Academy,” Ginty said. “It’s cool to be able to encourage players to play better, to motivate them, but to also get them attention through video.”
Specifically, Ginty and his partners strive to promote the reputations of players and clubs through their popular highlight reels and match videos. “I don’t want to say that our videos cause social action, but that’s something we really pay attention to,” he explained. “Next Level Rugby is the personal side of rugby. We try to bring the emotion out of the game, to get across the emotions of the sport.”
Ryan Ginty and Next Level Rugby may film from the side of the pitch, but they are no strangers to the physical and mental demands of the game. Ginty, an Air Force veteran, picked up rugby in upon his return from the invasion of Iraq in 2003. After playing for the Hartford Wanderers and touring sides during the summer, he ultimately developed a passion for coaching. In 2011, he began his coaching career with the University of Hartford women’s rugby teams. The following year, he became the head coach, and in his third year, he led both the Hartford women’s and men’s teams. Today, he remains the men’s head coach.
According to Ginty, Next Level Rugby began as a strategic coaching tool; a way to get a closer look at players’ performances, while also developing his own work schedule and supplementing his finances. Originally, he and his original partner, Charlie, produced only match footage for personal use.
Next Level Rugby’s true breakthrough came in 2012, specifically at the New Haven 7s tournament. There, the production company evolved from small-scale match coverage to highlight videos and performance clips from a wide variety of clubs and players across the nation.
Unquestionably, Next Level Rugby produces beautifully captured and edited video; their reels tell stories of the game that amaze and inspire rugby novices and veteran alike. Yet, the company’s true talent—the reason it has become and is increasingly so successful—lies in its respect and passion, in its commitment to the fundamentals of the game and the brotherhood it creates.
“We are all rugby players and have an appreciation for the sport,” Ginty said. “We know what it’s like to play. We are passionate about it. The same way you approach a team to play, we approach it to film it. We treat it like we’re a team on the pitch too.”
The Northeast Academy is a National Development Academy sanctioned by USA Rugby as the official designated pathway to the USA Eagles National Team selection for both Men and Women in the Northeast of America. With training locations in New York City, Boston and Buffalo, the Academy offers development in three distinct areas: elite player advancement; coach education; and local union enrichment; and has the ultimate goal to augment the skills of players and coaches alike, growing the game within the EMPIRE and NERFU Unions.