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New Program Designed to Identify Top Prospects

Date: February 4, 2016


At the 2015 Provincial Regional Championships (PRC's), the Thompson-Okanagan U18 Men's side was outscored 134 - 8 in four games.  The Thompson-Okanagan U18 Women were outscored 45 - 27 in three games.  The Thompson-Okanagan U16 Men were outscored 127 - 0 in five games.  The Thompson-Okanagan U16 Women were outscored 47 - 20 in three games.  We did not field any U14 teams. 

We are better than this.  We have the athletes who can play at a rep level.  We have the coaches in our community who can put together very competitive teams.  But we are unorganized.  We do not attract the involvement of our best players and coaches.  This needs to change.

To deal with this issue, the City of Kelowna and CORE are co-sponsoring a program designed to improve the performance of Thompson-Okanagan teams at PRC competitions.  Beginning in February, three PRC Leaders will establish relationships with all youth rugby coaches in the Thompson-Okanagan region.  The U14 PRC Leader will work with Grade 8 Rugby coaches, The U16 PRC Leader with Junior Rugby coaches, and the U18 PRC Leader with coaches of Senior Rugby teams.  A database of prospects will be developed for boys and girls at all three age levels.  Parent contact information will be collected for all prospects and parents will be offered the opportunity to receive ongoing rugby prospect information prior to the 2016 PRC tryouts and competitions.

Imagine five top prospects identified from each of the 20+ Thompson-Okanagan senior boys rugby programs.  A pool of 100 quality U18 athletes from Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton, and other interior communities would be invited to any of four different tryout camps held throughout the region.  With this PRC Leader assistance, coaches would be free to coach - running the camps, making selections, and preparing the team for the PRC's.   This can happen at all age levels.

Two of the three PRC Leader positions have been filled already.  Judah Campbell has agreed to be the U18 PRC Leader.  Liam Grogan has taken responsibility for development of the U14 prospects.  In the next couple of months, they will compile a solid list of local age-level prospects and will maintain constant contact with parents and coaches about the PRC readiness process.  

"We have reached the low point in our performance at regional rep competitions," said Doug Manning, CORE President.  "Thanks to the efforts of Judah, Liam, and the many age-level coaches, we'll become better organized for prospect identification and readiness.  This can only be good for our PRC results." 

CORE is still looking for a qualified U16 PRC Leader.  Anyone interested in the U16 position should contact Doug Manning (4dougmanning@gmail.com).   

 
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