"May the 4th be with you." It's been a good calendar joke since Star Wars exploded into our culture in 1977. Hosts of a senior high sevens tournament in Kelowna are challenging teams to dress for galactic domination on May 4th, when the tournament plays out at UBC Okanagan. Will tournament officials allow Darth helmets on the pitch? Will Obi-Two Kenobi (Obi-Wan's twin brother) make an appearance? How many people will say, "Yoda man!" to passing strangers? You can only know by attending this competitive and fun-focused tournament on May 4.
325 young rugby athletes participated last weekend in Week One of Central Okanagan spring touch rugby programs at the Parkinson Rec Centre. This is a 39% jump in enrollments over 2017. 333 boys and girls in 16 local elementary schools are also getting ready for their first week of touch rugby play; league play begins this Wednesday. This rapid growth has not surprised local touch rugby enthusiasts.
The BC Secondary Schools Rugby provincial organization has announced Round Two of their provincial Stadium Series. The series promotes cross-regional play in the run-up to the provincial finals. 19 games have been scheduled for May 4th, 5th, and 6th. Four of them feature schools from the Fraser Valley travelling to Kelowna Secondary School to take on four interior schools.
On May 12, the Kelowna Crows rugby club, in conjunction with TORA, CORE, Therugbyshop.com and the Priest Valley Vicars, is hosting a large rugby day at Parkinson rec center. All rugby groups, teams, clubs, players, supporters and ruggers of other categories are invited to join us for all or part of the festivities.
The Okanagan Rugby Union (ORU) has been around since the 1970's. In recent years, it has focused on operating a summer league for men's teams in the Okanagan. Penticton, Vernon, and Salmon Arm have been the mainstays of this league. Kelowna's focus has been on lower mainland leagues, where rugby is played for 8 months (September to April) and long-distance travel is part of the game.
16 local elementary schools will participate in the SD23 Elementary Touch Rugby program this spring, up from 14 schools in 2017. An estimated 300 boys and girls in grade 4 - 6 will enjoy the fast, fitness-oriented game of touch rugby.
In touch rugby, teams get six 'touches' to move the ball down the field to score a 'try'. Defensive players must be back five yards to be able to make a touch. The team with the most tries wins.
A projected 800 Central Okanagan rugby athletes from 4 to Over-40 will enjoy touch, sevens, or XVs rugby over the next two months. Add another 200 adult touch rugby players this summer, 50 men’s and women’s UBCO rugby XVs sides, and around 150 in the fall-operated Grade 7/8 league, and we project that over 1200 athletes will enjoy some form of rugby in the Central Okanagan in 2018.
As young rugby players prepare for another great spring season of play, we would like to recognize those local businesses that make the game affordable for kids.
For the fourth year in a row, three local businesses will contribute $3,000 to fund the local mini-rugby, elementary touch, and community touch sevens programs. Their contributions have made the mini-rugby, elementary touch, and community touch programs very affordable for over 500 young players. Local rugby thanks the following businesses for their touch rugby support:
You may remember the 1996 movie 'Tin Cup', when fictional pro golfer Roy McEvoy (played by Kevin Costner) takes a 12 on the 18th hole of U.S. Open to lose a tournament that was his to win. He did not lose because his nerves got to him. He lost because he refused to 'lay up', which is playing conservatively, positioning the ball in a spot that is less than the maximum distance he could have reached. In Roy's wee wooden head, the ethics of being true to himself, playing gutsy and memorable golf, was more important than any win would be.
Rugby Canada faced a similar situation on Saturday in their 2018 Canada Sevens game against a key rival - the USA. After a 19 - 19 tie with Australia earlier in the pool, a second tie for Canada versus US would have assured us at least a 2nd place finish in our pool. This would have put us into the top-8 side of the tournament and anything could have happened on Sunday.
Over the past several years, the Thompson-Okanagan Rugby Alliance (TORA) rep rugby teams have been improving their performance at the Provincial Regional Championships (PRCs). In 2017, these improvements included the TORA U18 Girls winning gold and the TORA U14 Boys winning bronze. More than 1000 athletes on 48 regional teams from B.C. compete annually at this provincial tournament. Youth provincial teams are selected from the athletes who participate in the PRCs.
The coaches for 2018 have been identified and are listed below. We are very pleased that the following coaches will be coordinating TORA teams on June 30 - July 2 at Burnaby Lake this year.
Ten rugby coaches, most of them from the Okanagan, completed the World Rugby Level 2 coaching training on Friday and Saturday of last week. BC Rugby coaching specialists Conan Cooper and Darcy Patterson delivered the training, which included the coaching process, designing a practice, coaching core rugby skills, and functional role analysis and selection.
The City of Kelowna has released its Activity and Program Guide for Spring 2018. Parents of young touch rugby players can register their children beginning March 6 at 7:30 AM. Parents are encouraged to register right away to assure a space for your child in these popular programs.
You can register in a variety of ways. Online registration can be done here, beginning on March 6. Just type in the keyword 'rugby' into the search box and select either the Rugby Mini or Rugby Touch Sevens programs. You can also phone in your registration by dialling 250-469-8800 on or after March 6 at 7:30 AM. You can even register in-person at the Parkinson Rec Centre, located at 1800 Parkinson Way in Kelowna.
Kelowna will host the Western Canada U16 Rugby XVs Championships for the next three years. The top U16 male and female athletes from the four western provinces will compete in Kelowna each summer in 2018, 2019, and 2020. This year's competition will be held at Parkinson Rec Centre from July 26 - 29.
Eight boy's teams and six girl's teams from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia will compete over the four-day tournament at the Parkinson Rec Centre. 330+ of the best U16 players in Canada will enjoy the Okanagan sunshine while playing their favorite game.
Six rugby teams in the Okanagan have indicated they will run Boy's XVs sides in 2018. Congratulations to the following coaches and schools for continuing to provide their athletes with access to the very inclusive game of rugby XVs.
Fulton (AA) - Coach Mike Scheller
Kelowna (AAA) - Coach Dave Marfleet
Okanagan Mission (AAA) - Coach Mike Ross
Penticton (AAA) - Coach Ken Sommerfeldt
Salmon Arm (AAA) - Coach Greg Seed
Vernon (AA) - Coach Stuart McKnight
Local rugby organizers are projecting that more than 750 athletes will participate in rugby-related programs this spring. This will be the highest-ever level of spring rugby participation in the Central Okanagan.
550 (73%) of those players will enjoy local spring touch rugby programs, including the Crows mini-rugby program (ages 4 - 7), the community touch rugby programs (ages 8 - 15), and the elementary touch sevens league (ages 9 - 11). 150 (20%) of the athletes will be playing rugby XVs in local schools and clubs, and 50 (7%) will participate in the Olympic sport of rugby sevens.
"So, I heard there is some Rugby Centre being developed in Kelowna. Is this true?"
In a couple of words - sort of. Pull up a chair and let me tell you the story....
Five or six years ago, a group of hearty and hopeful local rugby enthusiasts presented the City of Kelowna with an opportunity. We offered to build a Rugby Centre of Excellence on City-owned fields. In return for raising the funds to build such a Rugby Centre, the Central Okanagan Rugby Enthusiasts society asked the City to grant them the right to operate the use of the building for a really long time.
Central Okanagan Rugby Enthusiasts
2017 Annual General Meeting Minutes
Saturday, November 25, 2017 @ The Capri Hotel
The meeting began at 6:10 PM.
52 individuals were in attendance, 36 of them Voting Members.
The meeting met quorum requirements of the Society.
1,083 rugby players in the Central Okanagan in 2016/17. 59% touch players, 6 % sevens players, 35% 15s players. Count is measured September '16 to August '17.
CORE goals for 2020 are to sustain existing game percentages while increasing to 1700 the number of rugby players in the Central Okanagan.
- 1000 touch players (59%)
- 100 sevens players (6%)
- 600 15s players (35%)
Thompson-Okanagan PRC teams were very competitive in the Provincial Regional Championships last weekend, with the U18 Girls winning the gold and all other teams moving up in performance. However, it was the Thompson-Okanagan U14 Boys PRC team that got the pundits talking. How is it possible that an interior U14 Boys team could reach a semi-final and, although they lost 19 - 17 to the VRU North, be a legitimate contender for the gold medal game?
The answer begins in 2010 when George Curran assembled a motley crew of 20 U6 and U8 kids to take part in the first year of the Crows Mini-Rugby program. Those same players were joined by more and more players throughout the years that followed. The 2017 minis program featured more than 150 players at the U6, U8, and U10 levels.
Jeremy William Jenner was born June 25th, 1980. He played soccer, baseball, football, and was a good hockey player when he was a young boy. He played for teams in Port Moody from ages 8 to 18. He mostly played at the house level. He used to tell his dad, Don Jenner, "Dad, I enjoy the game more playing at the house level rather than dealing with the pressure of rep level."
Giriard (Jurd…Giriard being too much of a mouthful for his siblings) was always a great sports and outdoors enthusiast. The outdoors was his love, sports his vocation, promoting both at high school as PE and Biology teacher at Lake Cowichan High School.