2021-22 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Recipient: Amelia Dellamano
Born to a British mother and an American father, it was never a doubt Amelia Dellamano would take interest in the sport of rugby. Dellamano was introduced to the sport at a young age while living in England, but after moving stateside she assumed that her days on the pitch would be over. However, Dellamano’s father founded the South Suburban Rugby Club for youth players in the surrounding suburbs of Chicago, Illinois which reignited her interest in the sport. She would joke with her family and friends about lacing up her boots again and eventually that joke became a reality.
From 2018 to 2021, Amelia tirelessly recruited new members and pioneered the girls high school league in her region of Chicago. She served as both the co-founder and team captain of the South Suburban Rugby Club girls’ team and helped grow the club to become the largest youth rugby organization in the state of Illinois. Not only did she help lead practices, but she also helped lead her team to undefeated seasons in 2019 and 2021. In 2019, she was a part of the South Suburban team that would earn the Lakefront 7s Plate Championship. “What impressed me the most about coaching Amelia was watching how committed and determined she was. Amelia made it a priority to attend all practices and games while balancing other after school activities and maintaining a great standing in school. Not only did she make it a priority to show up, but she also came to practice and games ready to learn and do the best she could do. This energy was infectious and would bring the other girls to have this same energy benefiting the team. Amelia’s true character shined on and off the field,” said Brigid Murphy, South Suburban Rugby Club coach.
Off the pitch, Amelia excelled in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. She graduated from Lincoln-Way West High School in New Lenox, Illinois with a 4.0 grade point average. As an active participant in Girl Scouts, she dedicated many hours of service to volunteering in her local community and earned awards for her philanthropic work at the Girl Scout Ambassador level. She served as the vice president of the Best Buddies club, forming friendships with, and creating opportunities for students with special needs at Lincoln-Way West High School. In addition, she was also a four-year member of the student council and science club.
Dellamano was a multi-sport athlete, earning four-year varsity honors as a member of the Lincoln-Way West High School girls swimming team and three-year varsity honors for the Lincoln-Way West High School girls water polo team. She also swam for the Lincoln-Way Swim Association, earning conference and regional qualifying times each season. Amelia will attend Florida State University, where she will play for the Seminoles and major in communication sciences and disorders. She is determined to become fluent in American Sign Language and obtain a master’s degree in speech pathology. Her ultimate career goals include becoming a speech pathologist with hopes of eventually opening her own practice, where she could coordinate speech services and developmental and occupational therapies for those with developmental delays.
At the collegiate level, Amelia is determined to facilitate a welcoming and inclusive team environment while simultaneously focusing her full efforts on improving her own skills. “She has been very quick to not only acclimate herself into college life but also become a part of the team. She works extremely hard and in a very short period of time has shown that she is willing to do whatever it takes to help us win. She currently plays prop on our 1st side and is versatile enough to play any spot in the forwards if we need her to. She will be a cornerstone player for us moving forward as both her game and our team continue to grow,” said Florida State University Women’s Rugby Head Coach, Ashford Evans-Brown.