A record-setting 43 interior athletes were invited to try out for U14, U15, U16, U17 and U18 men's and women's provincial rugby teams in June. 22 of those athletes were from the Central Okanagan. As a result of excellent team play in the Provincial Regional Championships (PRCs) and outstanding performances at the ID camps at UBC a week later, 16 Central Okanagan athletes were selected to play for BC in summer rugby competitions.
Congratulations to the following Central Okanagan athletes for making their respective provincial teams:
This is a record-setting number of Central Okanagan athletes making provincial rugby teams. Most of these players will compete in the U16 Western Canada Rugby Championships, being held in Kelowna from July 26 - 29 at Parkinson Recreation Center. The best U15 and U16 male and female rugby athletes from Western Canada will enjoy several days of rugby in the Okanagan sunshine.
"This huge number of local athletes selected to provincial teams was not an accident," said Doug Manning, local organizer of the U16 Western Canada tournament. "Many of these athletes have had a rugby ball in their hand since they were 6 years old, as part of the mini-rugby program run by George Curran. They graduated to a quality Touch Sevens program run by Ken Boe and Derek Worrall, took off-season training in their teens while at Barry Ebl's CORD Academy, and benefited from excellent coaching from people like Leana Marton and Chris Hill. These players have worked hard to make these BC teams. It's important to recognize that they have received a lot of high quality help along the way."
The U16 Western Canada Rugby Championships begin Thursday, July 26. The first games are at 8:30 AM as Alberta Black takes on BC Gold (Field 1), Alberta White takes on Saskatchewan (Field 2), and Manitoba takes on the BC U15s (Field 3). Spectators are welcome. Check out the tournament schedule to select the games you'd like to watch.