Pat Fleck (L), Brad Skene (R)
VANCOUVER - The first ever British Columbia U18 women's sevens provincial team will be coached by Pat Fleck and Brad Skene, the BC Rugby Union announced today. The coaching duo will lead the squad to Nevada where they will be competing in the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens, set to run February 7-10, 2013.
Managing the tour will be newly-appointed BC Rugby Girls Youth Development Officer Marlene Donaldson with Victoria-based Dr. Matt Mortenson named as an Apprentice Coach and Team Doctor.
"With the coaches we selected for this program there is a great balance as each of them bring different strengths to the table," Donaldson said. "Brad has a wealth of experience working with age grade women's programs and is deeply immersed in the high school rugby scene, while Pat has a strong High Performance background and has worked extensively with the national sevens and senior women's provincial programs."
Fleck is a former Canadian national sevens and 15s player who has been a Regional High Performance Coach for the BC Rugby Union since 2006. For the past two years, Fleck has also been head coach of the Canadian Maple Leafs, the national men's development sevens team. He was also head coach of the Women's Canadian Maple Leafs at the 2011 Dubai Sevens. This past July, Fleck coached the BC senior women's provincial team to a silver medal finish at the National Women's League Finals in Quebec.
Based out of Duncan, Skene has coached at the club, school, provincial and national levels in recent years and currently runs the rugby program at Cowichan Secondary School. Skene coached the UVic Vikes women's program during two different stints in Victoria and has also served as the Canadian U19 women's team coach in 2004 and '05 as well as an assistant coach in '05 and '06 with the senior women's national team. This past April, Skene led Cowichan Secondary to a third place finish at the 2012 BC High School Girls Provincial Sevens championship.
Dr. Mortenson is currently the head coach of the Velox Academy in Victoria and has recently built up the rugby programs at Edward Milne High School in Sooke. Mortenson is also a qualified Chiropractor and Sport First Responder and has served as a BC Winter Games Medical Chair as well as a team and tournament doctor for several programs in BC and Alberta.
"This is the inaugural year for a provincial age grade sevens program and everyone is excited to be a part of this team," added Donaldson. "We have assembled the coaching staff and now the next step is to select the team. There is a lot to look forward to over the next few months."
The coaching staff will be running a trial this Saturday, December 8th in Nanaimo and this Sunday they will be in Burnaby. The final camp ahead of the trip to Las Vegas will see the team assemble from January 12-13, final location to be determined. For more information on this weekend's trials, please see the release below.
U18 Girls Rugby Sevens Provincial Team Trials
Who: High School Girls (Ages 14-18 as of January 1, 2013). Experience in Sevens Rugby not required. Open to all athletes.
• Sat. December 8 – Artificial Field 2, Beban Park, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island (8am-11am)
• Sun. December 9 – Field 5, Burnaby Lake Sports Complex West, Burnaby (9am-12pm)
There will be a $20 player fee that can be paid by cheque to the BC Rugby Union.
Please PRE-REGISTER with Marlene Donaldson, BC Rugby Girls Youth Development Officer, via email firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know which session you will be attending.
Participants are required to bring mouth guards (mandatory), shoulder pads and scrum caps (optional), water bottles and weather appropriate rugby and training gear. The Nanaimo and Burnaby sessions will be on turf and participants are required to bring multipurpose cleats, while the Kamloops session will be held indoors and will require running shoes.
BC Rugby would like to acknowledge the support of the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada and viasport for making this program possible.