Kelowna, BC – July 24, 2018: BC Rugby is proud to announce that it will be hosting the U16 Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna from July 26-29. The event will see Boys’ and Girls’ XVs Teams from BC go head-to-head with teams from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The tournament has the goal of developing youth talent from each of the provinces, with a focus on maximising player involvement while expanding horizons for the young athletes.
The tournament is set to take place at Parkinson Recreational Park over four days, with three days of rugby action and a rest day on Friday. To avoid exposure to the worst of the high temperatures, all the games are scheduled to take place in the morning of each day. A total of five teams will represent BC, girls’ and boys’ sides in the U15 and U16 age brackets, with two U16 Boy’s teams. They will meet opposite numbers from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatoon, with a total of eleven teams scheduled to challenge one another. BC’s U14 Boys’ camp, already underway in Kelowna, will also participate in two exhibition matches against one another as part of the event schedule.
BC Rugby’s Senior Manager, Rugby Growth & Development, Dean Murten, has worked closely with opposite numbers from the other participating Provinces to ensure that the tournament will benefit all those who attend. “We’re looking to maximise engagement and time on the ball at this young age” said Murten. “It’s not about running up high scores and getting kids worried about leagues and standings, we want to create an opportunity for the players to focus on the core principles of Rugby and face new opponents, all while taking pride in being able to represent their Provinces in the process”
The teams that will represent BC have been selected through a process stretching back through the Spring, with player ID sessions coupled with scouting at High School Championships, followed by observations at the Provincial Regional Championships (PRCs), the largest youth rugby tournament in BC. Players were then invited to attend training and selection camps based at UBC where coaching staff whittled down their rosters. Over 250 boys and girls from right across the Province attended these camps, which also comprised of some inter-squad matches as well as games against touring sides including the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy (EIRA) from the USA.
Alongside the inter-provincial action, Kelowna will also be hosting the Centre of Gravity Festival, a huge sport and music festival that is set to feature the first leg of the BC Rugby Summer Sevens Series. Match play at the U16 Western Canadian Championships in Kelowna gets underway on Thursday July 26 at 8:30am PT. To view a complete schedule, use the link below. You can also see the individual team announcements for each of the U15 and U16 BC XV Teams taking part in the tournament. For updates from the tournament, stay tuned to BC Rugby’s website and social media channels – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
BC Rugby’s Provincial Rep Team Hub – (quick reference for all team rosters)