Vancouver, BC – January 14, 2019: The BC Rugby Elite Youth Sevens Girls’ Program has just completed a busy and successful weekend of trials to kick off the year. Head Coach Darcy Patterson provided a digest of the action that took place at St George’s School and UBC’s Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre.
“This was a monster weekend for the Girls’ Program, with 80 athletes (both U18 and U16) taking to the pitches of St. George’s School on Saturday and UBC on Sunday. The girls faced a varied program including agility, tackling and handling drills, along with some testing for the U18s. All of the athletes showed fantastic character and there was a really positive vibe around the camp all weekend.
In coordination with the BC Rugby Conference, which was taking place at the same venue, the U18s were able to get direct coaching from Russell Earnshaw, RFU Coach and co-founder of The Magic Academy. These sessions gave the group some really valuable experience and the players were complimented on their attitude and enthusiasm by Russell and the other coaches.
The highlights didn’t end there though, with both age groups receiving an inspirational talk from Leslie Cripps who was being inducted into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame that evening. Cripps, a former captain of the Canadian Women’s Rugby Team who played in three Women’s Rugby World Cups, was bowled over with the number of girl’s attending the camp (when she started playing, there was no age-grade girls rugby full stop).
The athletes had an array of talent and experience guiding them during the two-day camp. Many past BC Rep Team players and recent Elite Youth Sevens Program graduates were involved in the delivery of sessions. These coaches created a fantastic camp environment for the girls, fostering growth and a love for the game while providing them with great coaching. Brittany Waters and Glen Sharpe were notable lead coaches for the camp, along with many current and past UVic, UBC and UFV student-athletes.
Coaches were blown away with the skills of the U16 group in particular. The growth of numbers in girl’s rugby is clear, but what is just as evident is the increase in the level of play. This has come about by the coaching these players are receiving through high school and club rugby, coupled with the age-appropriate game experience through the BC Rugby club system. It is amazing to see the system working so well and the volume of talented athletes that are coming through.
I now have the very challenging task of selecting players for a number of tournaments including Western Championships (U18), Las Vegas Invitational (U16) and the Vancouver Sevens Invitational (U18 & U16). The players definitely did their jobs and have made selections a very difficult prospect for me
Without the National Championships this year we have had to alter our U18 program but we are thankful for the various opportunities, including the elite 7s series, these athletes will get during the 2019 cycle.
I am very pleased with the level of play exhibited throughout the weekend. I would like to extend a tremendous thanks to all players, coaches, referees, and volunteers involved in the BC Rugby system. Without their work, we would not be at the level we are at today. I would also like to thank the parents as well for the support they provide, giving these athletes the opportunity to flourish.”
Further updates on final selections and matches will follow in the coming weeks.