Island and Mainland Players Come Together in Senior Women’s Development Team
Vancouver, BC – October 28, 2019: Last weekend, the BC Selects XV travelled south of the border to take on Seattle Saracens at Western Washington University in Bellingham, winning the match 29-15. Darcy Patterson provided the following report after the game:
BC Rugby is proud to be supporting two regional development groups based out of Vancouver and Victoria. These groups are supporting athletes who have been identified through the Ruth Hellerud Brown Cup, the 2019 BC Blue and BC Gold program and USport CanWest Rugby. The intent of these groups is to provide a competitive training environment during the Fall that build towards two showcase games. These types of training and game opportunities will help compliment the work done by many coaches, players and clubs to help prepare athletes for the representative level of either BC or Canada.
The Island training group had the great opportunity to play against the Hong Kong National Team at Westshore RFC, supported by Barbara Mervin and the Westshore club. They have also had the pleasure of being coached by several high level coaches that reside on the island including John Tait, Aaron Takel, Adam Kleeberger, Barbara Mervin, Nanyak Dala and Robin McDowell. The Mainland training group has been working hard with an average of 14 athletes out at training sessions run by Dean Murten and Brian Moylett. These sessions have players from across the Lower Mainland attending.
The two training groups came together this past weekend playing the Seattle Saracens who have been dominating the Lower Mainland Tier A competition. Travelling with a mix of experience, youth and new players to the BC program, the team was excited to get on the pitch. It is always a challenge playing a game with players you haven’t trained with, but this group was extremely adaptable and just played the game. It was amazing to see the talent on display with the likes of Canadian Internationals Laura Russell & Amanda Thornborough leading the team. It was also wonderful to see the Levale sisters back in action playing together again. The sisters both graduated out of the BC Age-Grade programs directly into the National Sevens Program.
It was a great opportunity for athletes to showcase themselves at this level as well as integrate some junior BC players who have recently graduated to Senior Rugby. Carolyn McEwan was a great asset working with this group, providing guidance and coaching for the forward group. These types of experiences for young athletes, to work with experienced coaches and players, is a huge piece for development.
“The more time and games we have together at this competitive level, the better we can be,” said Cowichan RFC player Laura Russell “For this group to come together without training and play was a testament to the foundation of these athletes.”
This was the start of something BC Rugby is looking to continue and build on in 2020 and towards the 2021 World Cup. This game was a measure of where we are currently and gives insight into the areas that need development to help build the Women’s game in BC and Nationally.
If any players are interested in pursuing representative rugby and are looking to get involved in these training groups, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org