Ciel Arbour-Boehme (L) and Gurpreet Dhaliwal (R) were among the 12 players selected
VANCOUVER - The first ever BC U18 provincial women's seven-a-side team has been selected ahead of the 2013 Las Vegas International Sevens. After a series of trials held in Nanaimo and Burnaby, 12 standouts made the cut and preparations are now underway for the tournament set to run February 7-9, 2013.
The 12 players will represent their province in the Las Vegas Invitational High School Girls Sevens division against teams from across Canada and the USA. The young women will also have the opportunity to support the Canadian senior women's national team and witness first hand the international sevens experience amongst thousands of fans at Sam Boyd Stadium.
BC provincial teams have fared well at the Las Vegas Invitational, with the BC Elite Youth Sevens men's teams sweeping the Elite and High School divisions in 2012. This is the inaugural year for the women's program, however, and with the recent hire of BC Rugby Girls Youth Development Officer Marlene Donaldson, further emphasis is being placed on seeing both programs provided with opportunities to compete.
"This team was selected from over 45 athletes who attended the trial camps. The selections reflect the strength of club and high school girls programs in Cowichan and the Fraser Valley as well as the pockets of talent that are emerging in areas like Houston and Lower Vancouver Island," Donaldson said.
Sophia DeGianni (Abbotsford), Gurpreet Dhaliwal (Abbotsford), Autum Garrett (Abbotsford) and Chelsea and Mackenzie Fowler (Mission) were all members of the Fraser Valley BC Summer Games U17 Girls program which finished in 1st and 2nd this past summer in Surrey. Adrienne Saari (Duncan) also played for BC's U18 provincial 15s team and took home bronze this past August from nationals.
"The enthusiasm and talent of the athletes who attended the trial camps makes what we do worthwhile," added Donaldson. "To further develop our sevens programs we need these players playing more sevens and observing sevens rugby at the highest level. That's why the Las Vegas sevens tournament is such an important event to implement into the pathway for these players."
Donaldson will be BC's tour Manager and will make up the team staff along with two of the province's elite coaches in Pat Fleck of Vancouver and Brad Skene of Duncan. Fleck has been head coach of the BC senior women's provincial 15s team and has also served as head coach of both the men's and women's Maple Leafs, Canada's senior national team development programs. Victoria's Dr. Matt Mortenson will serve as both Team Doctor and Apprentice Coach.
For more information on the Las Vegas Invitational visit the tournament's website (click here)
BC U18 Roster
Club / High School / Hometown
Ciel Arbour-Boehme (Cowichan Rugby Club / Brentwood College / Victoria)
Jamie Beck (Houston Secondary / Houston)
Sophia DeGianni (Abbotsford RFC / Yale Secondary / Abbotsford)
Gurpreet Dhaliwal (Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford Secondary / Abbotsford)
Autumn Garrett (Robert Bateman Secondary / Abbotsford)
Chelsea Fowler (Abbotsford RFC / Heritage Park / Mission)
Mackenzie Fowler (Abbotsford RFC / Heritage Park / Mission)
Brittany Reid (Cowichan Rugby Club / Cowichan Secondary / Shawnigan Lake)
Samantha Rumney (GP Vanier / Cumberland)
Adrienne Saari (Cowichan Rugby Club / Cowichan Secondary / Duncan)
Leah Theobold (Cowichan Secondary / Duncan )
Allie White (Cowichan Rugby Club / Cowichan Secondary / Victoria)
Sophie De Goede (Castaway Wanderers RFC / Lansdowne / Victoria)
Darien Hobday (Cowichan Rugby Club / Cowichan Secondary / Cobble Hill)
Alexa Martin (Bayside AA / Elgin Park / Surrey)
Morgan Walker (Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford)
Coach - Pat Fleck (Vancouver)
Coach - Brad Skene (Cowichan)
Manager - Marlene Donaldson (Vancouver)
Apprentice Coach/Team Doctor - Dr. Matt Mortenson (Victoria)
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.