TrueBlueŽ to title sponsor BC Rugby Mini Rugby Jamborees
Published Wednesday, February 22, 2012 5:00 am
by Andrew Smith, BC Rugby Communications

Vancouver, BC: On Sunday, February 12th, the Canadian senior men's national sevens team triumphed 19-17 over Australia in a historic Bowl Final at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas. A Canadian roster headlined by some of British Columbia's finest talent were beaming on stage as they lifted the Bowl in front of a packed house at Sam Boyd Stadium. For one BC product and former Capilano RFC Mini Rugby member, Harry Jones, this was just the latest step in a decorated rugby career.

Jones has excelled at the club, provincial and national level since his early days as a Mini. Jones now plies his trade with the UBC Thunderbirds program and has represented BC at the age grade level and went on to Captain Canada's Under-20 team at the 2009 Junior World Championship in Japan. Like many coming through the system in BC, Jones was introduced to the sport at a young age.

"[Mini Rugby] was a great way to get used to the game before I got into playing at the high school level. I played a lot of soccer and baseball growing up, and the transition to rugby was a bit of a shock. But doing it through Mini Rugby was a lot more manageable than jumping into it in high school or at a later age," said Jones. "Mini Rugby is a very important step to develop the sport in BC. For it to be a mainstream sport, it needs to start at the roots, with younger kids and build from there. Working on very basic skills from a young age really pays off in the long run."

As Jones progresses at the national and university level, the clubs in BC continue to introduce the next generation of players to the sport.

Recently, BC Rugby welcomed TrueBlueŽ on board as our latest sponsor. The partnership, a six figure multi-year sponsorship, will provide funding and other support to BC programs including Mini Rugby. With the support of TrueBlueŽ, BC Rugby can aid clubs in producing more players of Jones' caliber as Mini Rugby continues to teach basic skills and foster the love of the game in a fun and inclusive age grade program. The motto for the innovative partnership is TrueBlueŽ Tackle the World™.

"We are excited about this partnership as we want to encourage the next generation of rugby players to dream big and achieve their goals," said Ralph McRae, CEO of Vancouver-based Canadian company Leading Brands, Inc, the owner and distributer of TrueBlueŽ. "Rugby is a sport that mirrors our corporate values of teamwork, respect and excellence."

Dave Brown, BC Rugby Provincial Coach and Development Manager was pleased to have the support of TrueBlueŽ for the minis program, an important step in the Long Term Athlete Development model for local players.

"The TrueBlueŽ Mini Rugby Jamborees will provide opportunities for very young players to learn to play the game through adapted versions of rugby," Brown said. "These events provide opportunities to acquire rugby and athletic skills in a fun and safe environment."

Four TrueBlueŽ Mini Rugby Jamborees will be hosted across the Lower Mainland by Capilano RFC (February 19th), Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (March 4th), UBCOB Ravens (April 1st) and the Year End Jamboree at UBC (April 22nd). Vancouver Island will play host to two jamborees this season. The first will be an all girls jamboree hosted at Windsor Park in Victoria on March 4th. The Vancouver Island Rugby Union jamboree is slated  for April 1st at Shawnigan Lake School.

For the upcoming season, True BlueŽ Minis are players who were born in 2001-2006. Mini dues are $62.00 and registrations are due before players step onto the field of play. For more information on the True BlueŽ Mini Rugby programs please contact Dave Brown at 604-737-3067 or by email at dbrown@bcrugby.com.

TrueBlueŽ Mini Rugby Jamboree Dates:
February 19th - Capilano RFC (Klahanie Park)
March 4th - Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (Burnaby Lake Sports Complex)
March 4th - Castaway Wanderers (Windsor Park) All Girls Jamboree
April 1st - UBCOB Ravens (Jericho Park)
April 1st - Vancouver Island Rugby Union Jamboree (Shawnigan Lake School)
April 22nd (changed from April 15th) - Year End Jamboree at UBC (Wolfson Fields)

TrueBlueŽ is owned and distributed by Leading Brands, Inc. [NASDAQ: LBIX]. To learn more about BC Rugby’s newest partner visit www.LeadingBrandsInc.com. TrueBlueŽ is built upon a commitment to quality.  TrueBlueŽ is "all natural" and formulated to comply with the most strict health food requirements and with 30 percent fewer calories per serving than most other juices.   


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