VANCOUVER, BC - Returning head coach Brad Skene will lead the BC under-18 women's provincial seven-a-side program in their second annual trip to Las Vegas in January, 2014. New additions to the coaching staff include assistant Jodie Cornell as well as mentor coach Julia Sugawara.
The coaching staff will be holding two trials in the coming weeks with a Vancouver Island session set for Saturday, December 7th and a Lower Mainland trial to be held on Sunday, December 8th. (Full details TBC)
The U18 program will be looking to improve on their tournament debut in 2013 where the squad placed third overall at the Las Vegas High School Invitational. The 2014 edition of the Vegas Invitational is set for January 23rd-25th and will be played alongside the USA Sevens international rugby tournament.
"We had some very good candidates and chose to go with individuals who have a strong background working in the context with young female athletes," said BC Provincial Coach and Development Manager Dave Brown. "Brad Skene has a proven record at the school, club, regional and provincial level and was involved in the Las Vegas event last year," Brown added.
Skene has been the head coach of Cowichan Secondary's girls rugby team since 2003 and this past Spring led the program to a pair of provincial titles in sevens and 15s. Currently Cowichan's U18 women's club coach, Skene also recently held the role of Vancouver Island's senior Crimson Tide coach during the 2013 Ruth Hellerud-Brown Cup.
Skene also has experience at the national level having served as the Canadian U19 women's coach in 2004 and '05, as well as assistant coach in '05 and '06 with the senior women's national team.
"Jodie Cornell has worked at both club and school level as well as being involved with the last two BC Summer Games with the successful Fraser Valley U17 women's teams," Brown added. "We will also have Julia Sugawara working in a mentor coach capacity as she is still involved with the senior women's national team and currently looking to transition into coaching."
Langley-based coach Jodie 'Buffy' Cornell was recently assistant coach of the BC under-16 women's provincial team that took Gold at the 2013 national championships. Cornell has also been heavily involved with Fraser Valley's rep programs that have captured three gold medals at the Provincial Regional Championships (15s) as well as two straight Gold medals at the BC Summer Games.
Skene and his coaching staff will be announcing full details for the upcoming trials shortly. Please check back to www.bcrugby.com for updates.