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BC Rugby Pathways & Programs

BEWARE THE BEAR

How do you become a BC Bear? What does it take to represent BC at a Provincial level? What player pathways are there to the National team? Whether you play 15s or 7s, BC Rugby offers programs to help develop your game to the next level.

Click on the relevant topics below to explore more about the BC Bears:

Who are the BC Bears?

Your Rugby Journey

Pathway for Boys and Men

Pathway for Girls and Women

Other Programs

BC Bears Selection Policy

Financial Assistance

BC Bears U17 Boys Huddle

WHO ARE THE BC BEARS?

BC Rugby is proud to be part of a long tradition of developing elite Rugby players and supplying our National Men’s and Women’s Teams with world-class talent.

The BC Bears are the Provincial Representative Teams across Senior and Age-Grade levels in both XVs and 7s formats. These teams compete at Championships and Tournaments which are attended by Rugby Canada Coaches and Selectors. Over the years, we have been successful in having many BC Rugby players invited to participate in Rugby Canada National Teams after their performances playing for BC Rugby.

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BC Bears Senior Women

YOUR RUGBY JOURNEY – AN OVERVIEW

Every Rugby journey is different. Some players might start as early as five years old at one of the many Mini Rugby Jamborees held throughout the Province. Others might only pick up a Rugby ball for the first time during High School.

BC Rugby is here to help develop your game and give you the best chance to progress and enjoy the sport at all levels, whatever format you play. 

Our Programs are aided by several regional competitions that are attended by BC Rugby Provincial Representative Team Coaches. These competitions, such as our Provincial Regional Championships, give young players the chance to impress in front of our coaches, in their bid to be selected for the BC Bears. 

There are also Open Identification Sessions held throughout the Province in the Spring (Seniors) and Fall (Age-Grade) to help BC Rep Team Coaches recognise talent. These sessions are free of charge to attend for all players.  

Representing BC Bears for Provincial level is a pivotal step towards representing Canada at National and International Level. Learn more about Rugby Canada’s Player Development Model here.

PATHWAY FOR BOYS AND MEN

ENTRY LEVEL

Once you have found your new Club or high school team and are registered to compete within BC, your Rugby journey begins.

DEVELOPMENT

Players may be selected for Regional teams that compete throughout the Province in competitions such as the McKechnie Cup (Senior Men) or Dunbar Keg (U23 Men). Attending BC Rugby programs, such as our High-Performance Academy/Camps, Elite Youth Sevens (Age-Grade) or Next Gen Sevens (Senior), allows players the opportunity to impress any watching BC Rugby Provincial Representative Coaches. Players can also tryout at one of our many Open Identification Sessions throughout the Province.

The BC Rugby Elite Youth Sevens Boys’ Program is focused on identifying and developing talent for Rugby Sevens events. The program includes a talent identification process, followed by regional training and selection camps leading to final team selections. Selected teams will have the opportunity to represent BC in tournaments such as the Canadian National Sevens Championships, Vancouver Rugby Festival and Las Vegas Invitational. The Elite Youth Sevens Boys’ Program is available to players in the U16 and U18 age groups. The program seeks to take the best pool of talented athletes and develop them into high-level Rugby Sevens players.

BC Rugby’s High-Performance Academy is for talented age-grade rugby players identified as potential future National XVs and Sevens Rugby Team players. The program offers players skill training around Rugby Canada’s National Key Themes, as well as a variety of enhancement programs delivered by BC Rugby coaches and international-calibre professional sport consultants. The Academy focuses on developing a potential National Team player.

Open ID Sessions are available for both Age-Grade (Fall) and Senior (Spring) players. The sessions are free of charge for all players.

BC Rugby’s NextGen Sevens Program, sponsored by Marcon, is focused on identifying and developing senior talent for Rugby Sevens events. The program is open to U19 male and female athletes. The program includes a talent identification process, leading to final team selections and training sessions. Selected teams will have the opportunity to represent BC in tournaments such as The Vancouver Sevens Invitational and Las Vegas Invitational.

PROGRESSION

Being selected for Provincial Representative Level teams in National competitions helps further develop Age-Grade and Senior players. Representing the BC Bears and playing against other Provinces can lead to selection for National Programs and Canada’s National Teams.

Provincial XVs Rep Teams compete during the summer months and against other Provincial or Representative Teams. Opportunities to represent the BC Bears are available from U14 all the way up to BC Rugby’s Elite Men’s and Women’s teams. Senior Men’s XVs Teams are selected from Open ID Sessions, as well as observation at matches in the BC Rugby Senior Leagues.

PERFORMANCE

The next step after representing your Province is being selected for National Programs and Canada’s National Teams. Canada has several National Programs, from the U18 National Boys’ Side right through to Elite Men’s Teams. Players might hope to make the U20 Men’s Team and qualify for the World Trophy, or progress to Canada’s U23 Program and Senior National XVs side – from there, the Rugby World Cup beckons! Sevens players will hope to progress to Elite Level events such as the HSBC World Series, furthering the opportunity to be selected for the Olympic Sevens Team.

Pacific Pride is a national high-performance men’s program aimed at preparing young emerging Canadian players for professional rugby at the highest level. The academy program is based at the Rugby Canada Al Charron National Training Centre in Langford, BC. It runs for approximately 10 months of the year and, in 2019, fielded its first team in the BC Rugby Men’s Premier League division.

PATHWAY FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN

ENTRY LEVEL

Once you have found your new Club or high school team and are registered to compete within BC, your Rugby journey begins.

DEVELOPMENT

Players may be called up to Regional Teams that compete in competitions such as the Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup. Attending BC Rugby programs, such as our High-Performance Academy/Camps, Elite Youth Sevens (Age-Grade) or Next Gen Sevens (Senior), allows players the opportunity to impress any watching BC Rugby Provincial Representative Coaches. Players can also try out at one of our many Open Identification Sessions throughout the Province.

BC Rugby Elite Youth Sevens Girls’ Program is a program designed for aspiring top-level Rugby Sevens players in BC. Available to players in the U16 and U18 Age-Grades, the program seeks to take the best pool of talented athletes and develop them into high-level Rugby players. The U18 program has previously competed in the Western Championships, Vancouver 7s Invitational and featured an Elite 7s Series stop alongside CanWest 7s. The U16 program previously competed in the Vancouver 7s Invitational alongside the HSBC Canada 7s in March. 

BC Rugby’s High-Performance Academy is for talented age-grade rugby players identified as potential future National XVs and Sevens Rugby Team players. The program offers players skill training around Rugby Canada’s National Key Themes, as well as a variety of enhancement programs delivered by BC Rugby coaches and international-calibre professional sport consultants. The Academy focuses on developing a potential National Team player.

Open ID Sessions are available for both Age-Grade (Fall) and Senior (Spring) players. The sessions are free of charge for all players.

PROGRESSION

Being selected for Provincial Representative Level teams in National competitions helps further develop Age-Grade and Senior players. Representing the BC Bears and playing against other Provinces can lead to selection for National Programs and Canada’s National Teams.

In 2019, the structure of Senior Women’s Provincial competitions was changed to reduce costs and stage more frequent games. The traditional CRC for Senior & U20 Women’s teams is being replaced with a 4-team competition between BC and Alberta. 

Senior Women’s XVs Teams are selected from Open ID Sessions, as well as observation at matches in the BC Rugby Senior Leagues. 

PERFORMANCE

The next step after representing your Province is being selected for National Programs and Canada’s National Teams. Canada has several National Programs, from the U20 National Women’s XVs (as well as U15 and U18 levels) through to the Elite Women’s National Teams. Players might hope to be selected for the Youth Olympic Games (U18 Level) or progress Canada’s U20 and Senior National XVs side. Players could then go on to represent Canada at the Women’s Rugby World Cup! Sevens players will hope to progress to Elite Level events such as the HSBC World Women’s Series, furthering the opportunity to be selected for the Women’s Olympic Sevens side, which won Bronze at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

OTHER PROGRAMS

RBC Training Ground

RBC Training Ground is a talent identification and athlete funding program designed to find young athletes with Olympic potential, and provide them with the resources they need to achieve their podium dreams.

With the belief that high performance sports should be accessible to all athletes that are talented, qualified and have the will to compete, this program travels the country searching for athletes between the ages of 14 and 25 that will fuel the Canadian Olympic pipeline.

BC BEARS SELECTION POLICY

Click on the boxes below to read the relevant Selection Policies for Senior and Age-Grade BC Bears teams:

Selection Policy Senior

Read the BC Bears Selection Policy for Senior Players.

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Selection Policy Age Grade

Read the BC Bears Selection Policy for Age-Grade players.

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FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE/CARDING

By virtue of its status as a “targeted sport” within the British Columbia Integrated Performance System (IPS), BC Rugby Union is eligible to nominate selected athletes and their coaches for enhanced programs and services support through the Canadian Sport Institute and the network of Regional Centres in BC.

Canadian Sport Institute Pacific, through a partnership with the Province of British Columbia (BC), viaSport, the network of PacificSport centres and BC Rugby, collaborates to deliver programs and services to place BC athletes onto National Teams, and ensure athletes and coaches have every advantage to win medals for Canada.

The partners work jointly to encourage sport excellence and increase podium performances in communities throughout BC. Through the above partnership, and with the above purpose in mind, BC Rugby may nominate athletes and their coaches who meet specific criteria for Canadian Sport Institute Pacific/PacificSport athlete or coach registration.

Upon registering, athletes and coaches can engage in enhanced programs, benefits, and selected support services through Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and the network of PacificSport regional centres in BC. Canadian Sport Institute Pacific and PacificSport athlete support is tiered across four levels based on performance, each with a slate of designated benefits.

For more information on eligibility, please visit the CSI Pacific Website

Students

Receive High School credits for participating in a Regional Elite Athlete Development Program.

BC Bears U20 Women