Garrett Hofer CT has dedicated his life and career to uplifting others. Among his various charitable contributions, he is a mentor with the American Corporate Partners Veterans Mentor Program, where he helps veterans transition from military to civilian enterprises. He also co-founded the Shoreline Spartans Rugby Team.
The program was founded in 2017 by Garrett Hofer of East Lyme and Michael Meyer of Clinton. The Program is a reflection of two of Garrett Hofer’s greatest passions: sports and giving back.
Co-founder, Michael Meyer, has a long history with the sport of rugby. He played at Southern Connecticut State University and was a captain. He also played in several adult leagues, including the Connecticut Grey. He was the head coach at Mitchell College rugby for eight years. His experience coaching college students with some cognitive and physical disabilities helped inspire Michael to provide an athletic program to support younger children with similar challenges.
“We set up a youth program that allows young girls and boys to play rugby no matter their ability,” Michael Meyer of Clinton stated. “We have some children with autism, Aspergers, cognitive disabilities, and physical disabilities that all get considerable playing time.”
The team’s first practice was on April 5, 2017. The program started with seven kids but has since reached about 40.
The program has garnered much excitement and support in the community, so much so that the Spartans also now have a high school program with about 20 players.
In 2019, the Spartans hosted a rugby tourney with three high school teams and four youth programs on the same day at the same location, Garret Hofer CT recalled.
“It was such a success that the other teams in the state asked us to do it again,” he said.
Garrett Hofer East Lyme knows firsthand the benefits sports can have for kids and teens. As an athlete since age 8, he played two years of Club Rugby at the University of Wyoming and now loves sharing the sport with the next generation of players.
Both founders’ kids play for the Spartans. “We are very proud of the community that has formed around these young athletes. We have parents who knew nothing about rugby and now love it. We have players that were not excelling in other sports but now get to play a sport they are good at and love,” Michael Meyer said. “At every practice we teach: sportsmanship, anti-bullying, self-worth, teamwork, and the knowledge that a person can accomplish great things if they give 100 percent. We believe because of these teachings we created a great organization.”
This summer, the Spartans plan to launch a one-week summer rugby day camp for youth. The goal is to make it affordable for all participants and to focus on leadership, sportsmanship, and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
Garrett Hofer and Michael Meyer also plan to launch an adult rugby team with fun events such as beach rugby. Within the next two years, the Spartans hope to have a women’s high school division as well.
Shoreline Spartans Youth Rugby is pursuing nonprofit status to pursue financial stability as the program grows and so that companies/sponsors can support kids sports and the community and also receive some charitable benefits.
Connect with Shoreline Spartans Youth Rugby via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShorelineSpartansRugby/
Connect with Michael Meyer at [email protected]