From Rugby Canada
After a successful week during the HSBC Canada Sevens in Vancouver, Rugby Canada turned its attention to Vancouver Island for the next round of community visits on April 27-28 as part of the Community Visit Program.
Rugby Canada’s Development team organized two full days of Rugby activities for school-age kids from the Victoria and Langford areas in the lead up to the HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens.
With help from the James Bay AA, Westshore RFC and Castaway Wanderers RFC, BC Rugby and six of the international women’s teams who took to the field in Langford for the HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens event on April 30 and May 1, Rugby Canada was able to showcase the game of rugby to hundreds of kids.
COMMUNITY EVENTS DESIGNED TO INSPIRE
On Wednesday April 27, a grade five class from Happy Valley Elementary welcomed the national women’s sevens team from Mexico to their school. The Mexican women brought their entire team along and spent over an hour running the kids through a variety of games and teaching them core rugby skills.
“After their experience from today, I hope that the kids can understand that there are lots of different sports they can be involved in. They do not have to choose one of the standard sports. It is all about having fun.” Rupert Gadd, teacher at Happy Valley
That same morning, the Brazilian national women’s team was onsite at Journey Middle School in Sooke, BC. Teachers allowed all the students who participated in the school’s rugby program to miss class to attend the hour-long session.
In the afternoon, Canada’s Senior Women’s Sevens team visited a group of students from both W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Secondary School and ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School on the unceded and traditional territories of the Tsartlip First Nation. Canadian athletes were greeted with a traditional welcoming and exchanged gifts with the local Indigenous leaders and school board members.
“This was unbelievable. To be welcomed on these lands that we know we are visitors on and to be able to connect with the community this way. We are really grateful that the school was able to take the time to meet us and to play some rugby with these kids was really fun.” Elissa Alarie, member of the Canadian team
On Thursday April 28, the national teams from Spain and France paired up to participate in various rugby activities with a group of kids from École John Stubbs Memorial School. In the afternoon, students in the rugby program at Claremont Secondary School took to the field with the women’s team from Fiji.
“One thing I have a passion for is coaching and developing the female teams at the school. I thought it would be a great idea for the girls to rub shoulders with some of the greatest athletes in the world. I hope it motivates them and continues to grow the game.” Eric Slade, rugby coach and teacher at Claremont
Rugby Canada is committed to holding more of these events across Canada. These community visits are designed to inspire the next generation of athletes to play rugby and connect them with their local club.