Currently in the pilot stage in British Columbia, Let’s Play Rugby presented by NFP aims to encourage more youth ages 13-16 to try girls rugby in a non-contact, inclusive environment across the country. The program builds social connection, empowerment, self-confidence and choice for all participants through school, community and club rugby.
In its current form, the Let’s Play Rugby program spans 10 weeks, with the initial introduction starting at a local school before concluding at the location of a local rugby club. Rugby Canada staff will lead the sessions, with additional support from local clubs and schoolteachers.
Let’s Play Rugby participants will develop interpersonal and rugby skills through connection activities and a game-based coaching plan. Each session will provide participants with the choice of how the session will develop, opportunities to build social connection with other players and empower them to be their true selves.
“The ideal goal of the program is to have more players participating in inclusive rugby within our clubs across Canada with a girls structure. The program will also function as the bridge for participants who enjoy the introduction to rugby and want to continue playing at the club or community level. We really believe the program will advance the women’s game across Canada.” Steph Veal, Women and Girls Rugby Project Coordinator for Rugby Canada
“The purpose of the program is to grow the game in Canada by providing individuals across the country the opportunity to play. Girls rugby in Canada is thriving illustrated by the success of Canada’s Senior Women’s 15s team. The Let’s Play Rugby presented by NFP program will be a tool we use to increase the number of individuals playing girls rugby. By incorporating different elements of our game into this program and equipping participants with skills they can use in everyday life, players will take what they learn from this program and apply it within their communities, thus growing as a player and a person.” Paul Hunter, Senior Director of Community Rugby and Rugby Development
In addition to the pilot program this fall in BC, Rugby Canada will host three more pilot locations in the spring of 2023 in Alberta, Quebec and New Brunswick.
“We hope to provide this program to all clubs and communities across the country. When the program is ready, we will provide the proper resources so schools, clubs and community organizations can deliver it by themselves or with our support.” Steph Veal, Women and Girls Rugby Project Coordinator for Rugby Canada