VICTORIA, BC - The inaugural High School girls rugby sevens season for the lower Victoria tri-districts (Sooke, Saanich, Victoria) came to a close last Monday, May 13 with an IRB style mini tournament. Teams from established programs at Stellys, Reynolds and Edward Milne participated along with new entries Belmont, Claremont, Glenlyon Norfolk, Spectrum and Oak Bay.
The final event was hosted by Oak Bay High school under inclement weather with conditions testing the dedication and toughness of players, referees and spectators alike. This was the culmination of a month of weekly Friday jamborees between these teams which saw coaching clinics with Rugby Canada women combined with sevens games refereed by the same Rugby Canada Women. This was the finale of a successful launch of a girls league which saw over 120 girls participating in the game of rugby with many of them experiencing the game for the first time.
At the final tournament, teams were pooled and as with IRB style tournaments, there was a Cup, Plate., Bowl, and Shield to compete for by each school team. OBHS and Stellys were able to field 2 teams and the 10 teams played through their pools ending with finals for each of the IRB trophy categories with the results as follows:
1. Cup Winners – Reynolds
2. 2nd Place – Edward Milne
3. Plate Winners - Stellys 1
4. 4th Place – OBHS 1
5. Bowl Winners - Spectrum
6. 6th Place – Belmont
7. Shield Winner – Claremont
8. 8th Place – Stellys 2
9. 9th Place – OBHS 2
10. 10TH Place – GNS
A big thanks to all of the volunteer community coaches from local clubs Castaway Wanderers, Velox-Valhallians, Ebb Tide and UVIC. Of course, this league would not have been possible without the support of LVISSAA, sponsor teachers and administration in each school and the Rugby Canada women with their coaching clinics and refereeing. Special thanks to the VIRU refereeing society for supplying referees for final event.
With two schools just missing the cutoff for the league this year, we are very optimistic that the league will see future expansion next year.
Girl’s rugby has definitely arrived in the lower island and we look forward to the growth of the girl’s game in the lower Victoria schools and with the existing girls youth program at Castaway Wanderers and other Victoria clubs.