One of BC’s oldest sporting rivalries enters a new era in Week 3 of the BC Rugby Senior Spring Leagues.
For the first time in the history of James Bay Athletic Association and the Vancouver Rowing Club’s long rivalry, their respective Senior Women’s teams will battle it out for the newly established Yano Cup this Saturday.
James Bay AA and Vancouver Rowing Club, both established in 1886, have been meeting on BC Rugby fields since 1908. Aside from World Wars and a global pandemic, the two Clubs have held yearly Rugby matches with Senior Men’s teams traditionally competing for the Cox Cup and Ferguson Cup.
However, 2022 brings further prestige with a Senior Women’s Cup competition featuring for the first time.
The recently revitalised James Bay AA’s Senior Women’s side faces Vancouver Rowers in Women’s Division 2 for the Yano Cup. The Cup is named after former James Bay AA player Nicole Kikuye Marlene Yano, who sadly passed away in 2019 following a two-year battle with cancer.
Last week, James Bay AA’s Senior Women’s returned for the first time in over 10 years and scored six tries in a 60-30 defeat at Comox Valley Kickers. Head Coach Jen Ross believes this is the start of great things to come.
“It’s a big step forward. James Bay is a historical Club with a great history of Championship teams. They realise the value of having a well-rounded program and having women involved,” said Ross.
Ross added: “Over the past couple of years, the Club has embraced a new ethos towards family, inclusion and positivity spearheaded by [Senior Men’s coaches] Sean White and Tony Healy. There is that value placed on family and inclusion for all players. The Club itself is moving in a positive and delightful direction. Having a Women’s side is a natural part of that.”