BC Rugby is delighted to welcome two new Affiliate Members to the organization in the Aurora Wolves Rugby Union and Vancouver Highlanders.
The addition of these exciting new Affiliate Members to the BC Rugby family will help fulfil our purpose of growing and developing Rugby throughout the province.
Headlining an exciting new high-performance program, the Vancouver Highlanders will compete in the BC Rugby summer season against high-profile opposition and showcase the best of Senior Men’s Rugby in BC. With their mission of advancing the personal and professional development of the person through Rugby, the Highlanders will raise the profile of Rugby in our province and ensure that BC is the destination for players to live, play and train.
Spearheading Northern BC, the Aurora Wolves Rugby Union will be vital in growing the sport in the upper regions of the province. The Union will work closely with BC’s Northern Clubs to introduce our sport to new audiences, as well as growing youth programs and competing in BC Rugby events such as the Vancouver Sevens Invitational and Provincial Regional Championships.
BC Rugby CEO David Newson said: “We are pleased to provide affiliate memberships to the Aurora Wolves Rugby Union and the Vancouver Highlanders, and look forward to working with both as we continue to develop Rugby throughout British Columbia. We have already seen growth within our sport over the past year, and in welcoming these two new affiliates, we are excited to see the positive impact they will have on their respective communities and the province as a whole.”
Vancouver Highlanders co-founder Ralph McRae said: “Our mission is to advance the personal and professional development of the person through Rugby Union. Our immediate goal is to compete at the highest levels of the sport in North America. That will necessitate us working closely with clubs across the province in relationships that see us being net contributors to all we engage. For a century, BC has been the center of rugby excellence in the Americas. British Columbians have consistently formed the backbone of successful national programs and we look optimistically forward to working with the BC Rugby team to achieve our common goals. Focusing our collective strengths will then undoubtedly lift our country to increasingly higher levels internationally. We also want to infuse some extreme fun and entertainment into our matches, so look for news on our Rugby Players Challenge Summer Series, scheduled for May through August 2024.”
Vancouver Highlanders co-founder Curry Hitchborn said: “The Highlanders provide an opportunity for players to pursue the sport they love in a professional environment without having to sacrifice their off-field careers. We are making a commitment to support these men as they embark upon a new chapter in their lives. We simply cannot do that without the contributions of our rugby community at large. Several of our skilled players are already seeing the benefits of playing with local clubs. Through these relationships we look to elevate the personal and playing experiences of those who want something better from rugby; something they cannot find anywhere else in the world, but here, with all of us.”
Aurora Wolves Rugby Union’s Katie Gordon said: “Aurora Wolves Rugby Union (AWRU) is a regional team helping create pathways for northern athletes in BC Rugby. We are excited to represent the Northern-Cariboo region, clubs and schools, to provide more opportunity to the youth community and grow northern Rugby! We are very excited for BC Rugby to hear the howl of the North.”