Download the full BLRC Lighthouse 7s schedule (pdf)
The 2012 edition of the BLRC Lighthouse Sevens tournament this weekend will welcome BAYSIDE Sharks, Burnaby's next door neighbour from South Surrey for the first time onto the shores of Burnaby Lake.
The Bayside story is a little different. “We’re here to play for fun” says team co-ordinator Petaia Usakilakeba. “Sure”, counters tournament Manager, Roko Kapaiwai, knowing full well that they’re here to win this thing. Bayside is another team with a lot of connection to the Islands of the South Pacific, specifically Fiji, where Sevens is a religion. They have some very good players with potentials, but their approach to the game is a little different. If you have been to tournaments that they play in, you will notice that they have the biggest contingent of fans, even outnumbering the village that follows the Burnaby Lake Teams around. They look at it as an opportunity to get the Fijian Community together and find ways of giving back to not only their communities here but more importantly, their communities back in Fiji.
The team has an ‘Adopt A Program’ project in place, and are partnering with Wings Restaurant to help disadvantaged kids back in Fiji. Every year, when the Sevens season wraps up, they donate their jerseys and playing kits to a team that needs it in Fiji. They have also been able to give some of these kids an opportunity to come up to Canada for a couple of years to experience the Canadian way of life. They also use these tournaments to reach out to other Clubs willing to help or contribute to their cause
A worthy cause indeed!
Now, back to the tournament…..
“We’re not coming with high expectations,” says Petaia. “But we will be ready. Whatever the result, we’re happy. Rugby is about family and friendship, we rough each other up on the field and give each other a big hug after the match.” It definitely is a winning formula when you look at the busloads of fans having a picnic on the sidelines.
Rest assured though that they’re not trekking up to the Lake this weekend just for the fun of it or that they have finally figured out where the bus stop is, they are here to play and with the talent and experience that they have, they might just surprise everyone and haul the coveted Lighthouse down to the beach at White Rock. A fitting place indeed for it, don’t you think?
Bayside’s first game is at 10.42 against powerhouse OPSB1 from Seattle. Predictions?........
Come on down to BURNABY LAKE SPORTS FIELDS on Saturday. It’s Sevens Heaven and you wouldn’t want to miss it