News

Rugby Referees in Crisis in Central Okanagan

The Okanagan Rugby Referees Society (ORRS) will not provide referee services to games being played in the spring of 2019.  They have virtually no one left to referee.  If a solution is not found, coaches will have to find their own referees this season.

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Central Okanagan Rugby Blueprint Released for 2019 Programs

There's a lot more to local rugby than most people are aware of.  It is the tapestry of these many programs and services that is increasing the quantity and quality of rugby players from the Central Okanagan. 

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CORE Board Meeting Minutes - February 13, 2019

CORE Board Meeting MinutesFebruary 13, 2019In Attendance: Chris Bayne, Marshall Corbett, George Curran, Barry Ebl, John Good, Doug Manning, Leana Marton, Derek Worrall

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2019 CORE Membership Drive Sets High Goals

2019 is an important year for the Central Okanagan Rugby Enthusiasts (CORE) non-profit rugby development society.  It seeks to achieve its five-year goal of 1,000 touch rugby players in the Central Okanagan.  It intends to increase rugby services to 13 - 18 year old players.  It will launch a new five-year plan to expand girl's/women's rugby in the Central Okanagan.  Most importantly, it will initiate its quest to establish a home for rugby in the Central Okanagan.

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Youth Rugby Fund-Raiser - Doc Willoughby's - Feb. 21

The last couple of years have seen incredible success for both men and women’s youth rugby athletes from the Thompson Okanagan.  Teams from the Thompson Okanagan Rugby Alliance (TORA) have won a variety of medals at the extremely competitive Provincial Regional Championships (PRCs), including a U-16 Men's Silver Medal in 2018, a 2017 U-18 Women's Gold Medal, and a 2017 U-14 Men's Bronze Medal.  In addition, 2018 saw 43 players from the TORA contingent invited to Team BC try-outs with 17 players selected to Team BC! 

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Vicars Round Out Fall Season With a Win on the Road

This past weekend the Vicars travelled to Vancouver and the historic Brockton Oval at Stanley Park to take on the Evergreens. It was a beautiful day with a soft pitch, lots of sunshine, a little bit of cloud, and one full moon. 
 
The Vicars did a great job filling the bus with players and a few fans as well.  There were near 30 Vicars on the bus and everyone that wanted on the field got there.  They were joined by their regular valley player Aaron Zimmer as well as a familiar face to many, Mike Roberts. The younger guys on the club will remember Mike from his days in Kelowna organizing many different rugby events for the high schools. Many commented that it was an honour to take the pitch at the same time as this fine gentleman. 
 

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Canada XVs and Sevens Player Nanyak Dala Featured at CORE AGM

CORE Annual General Meeting is November 24, 2018 @ 6 PM at the Capri Hotel-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It's going to be an interesting AGM.  

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Thompson-Okanagan U16 and U19 Men Win Kamloops Sevens

Two teams, two days of sevens, and two wins for local sevens sides.------------------------------------------------------------------------Hundreds of men's and women's youth sevens players on 59 teams visited MacArthur Island in Kamloops on the weekend.  The Thompson Okanagan Rugby Alliance (TORA) entered two sides into the tournament - U19 Men's and U16 Men's teams.   Both came away with victories.

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CORE Board Meeting Minutes - October 22, 2018

Board approves 2018 financials, 2019 budget, and Okanagan Centre for Sport proposal.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Crows Men Lose Exciting Match to Burnaby

It was great day for local rugby spectators.  The sun was shining, the pitch was perfect, two fairly equal teams took to the field.  It could have been a perfect rugby day, had the locals given a few more timely passes and offered up a more Scroogian defense.  

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Vicars Lose Soggy Match to Touring Twits

This past weekend the Vicars hosted the Twits from Burnaby.  The weather turned quite wet after a great Saturday in Kelowna and the pitch was nice and soft for what turned out to be a hard-hitting contested affair.

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CORE Board Meeting Minutes - September 24, 2018

Highlights: An overview of the pending Center for Sport opportunity, police checks, and updates on local rugby.

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Grade 8 Rugby League Launches This Thursday

The grade 8 schedule kicks off this week, as 120+ middle school students play contact rugby for the first time.  XVs games begin this Thursday, with KLO visiting Springvalley and Constable Neil Bruce (CNB) travelling to Rutland Middle.  Salmon Arm will also play in the SD23 XVs league this season.  Two schools will also play sevens this Thursday, with Aberdeen visiting Dr. Knox.  All games start at 4 PM.

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Vicars in Tough with SOBs, Win Out Wide With Whizzbang Wingers

This past weekend was a busy one for the Vicars.  They hosted the SOBS (Surrey Old Boys) on Saturday and participated in the 80 Minutes to Ruck Cancer fund-raiser on Sunday.  The club raised $1800.00 to kick cancers ass. 

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Okanagan Rugby Community Raises $14K+ for Local Cancer Services

It was something you don't see every day. Elementary-aged rugby players, high school coaches, university players, adult touch and XVs players, O40 players, referees, and general rugby enthusiasts all coming together for a common cause.  The result?  More than $14,000 donated by rugby to the Sindi Hawkins House in support of local cancer services.  

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Vicars Short-Changed for Weekend Match vs Ebb Tide

The Priest Valley Vicars opened the season on the weekend at home against the Victoria Ebb Tide. The pitch was perfect from the recent rain but the weather held up nicely as the local O40's secured a 6 - 1 victory.

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CORE Launches New Website

Things have changed a lot since CORE launched its first website in 2011.  It was time for an upgrade.

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Rugby Community Works Together on Fund-Raiser

There are a lot of moving parts in our local rugby community. On Sunday, September 23rd, they will all come together to participate in the 80 Minutes fund-raiser in support of local cancer research and cancer patient care.

80 Minutes refers to the length of an adult rugby game. The 80 Minutes fund-raiser will involve 100+ local rugby enthusiasts circling the Apple Bowl track for 80 minutes. Some will run, some will jog, some will walk. All will raise funds in support of local cancer services.

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Touch & Go Untouchable, Win Dai Dobbs Trophy

If some wondered how competitive the Summer Touch Competitive League really was, they have no doubts anymore. Both semi-finals for the Dai Dobbs Trophy were tied at full time. The #4 Hammers nailed the undefeated Touch & Go team for most of the game before the eventual champs detooled them in sudden death overtime and won 4 - 3. #2 Riskey Wicks and #3 Killer Bunnies were also tied at 3 each at game's end, before the Wicksian ones burned their not-so-hoppy opponent in OT. In the final, the Touchies brought their A game, beating Riskey Wicks 3 - 1 to win the Competitive League Championships.

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Savage Heat Does Not Deter Touch Rugby Warriors

Warriors are people who rise up when the going gets tough. 37 degree heat, level 5 smoke conditions, bodies worn out from a weekend of rugby or excessive beaching - none of these things can prevent an avid touch rugbian from playing their game.

Tonight, 143 touch rugby warriors arrived to play. This is their Week Five story.

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Fiji Blond Takes Top Prize at COG Sevens

The two teams that travelled the farthest went head-to-head in the $1,000 Tier 1 Final at the first-ever Center of Gravity Sevens. The Defcon Fiji Blond side from Burnaby/Bayside defeated Vancouver Island's Westshore Valhallians 38 - 5. The talented Fiji side scored 191 points in their tournament games, allowing only 19 points against.

In the $500 Tier 2 Final, The Tropicoos took their equatorial jerseys and milked The Bovines 22 - 0. No cattle were harmed in the playing of that game.

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BC Blue Dominates U16 Men's Westerns

300+ athletes on 7 Men's and 4 Women's provincial teams took to the fields at Parkinson Recreation Center in Kelowna on July 26, 28, and 29, as part of the U16 Western Canada Rugby Championships. 29 games were played in the hot Okanagan sun. Photos of the tournament can be seen here.

The BC Blue team was untouchable this weekend, winning all six of their games and scoring 291 points in the process. Their most competitive game was a 31 - 17 win on Saturday against a feisty Alberta White side. In a rematch of these two teams on Sunday, the Alberta side led for much of the first half but the hard-working and skilled approach of BC secured a 38 - 15 victory.

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Rugby Sevens Comes to the Center of Gravity

It was a match made in heaven. Combine the most exciting new Olympic sport (Rugby Sevens) with the biggest music, sports, and social event for young adults in the interior of BC (Center of Gravity), and you're sure to have something special.

100+ elite rugby athletes on nine teams go head-to-head at City Park this weekend. The tournament features several very competitive sides, including:

  • Fiji Blonde - a Lower Mainland team that just won the Stampede Sevens Tournament in Calgary;
  • Canadian Coos - a team of talented locals compiled by professional rugby player Cam Pierce (see photo);
  • Westshore Valhallians - provincial 3rd Division Champions for the past two years; and
  • Vernon Jackals - winners of the Okanagan Rugby Union competition this summer.
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16 Locals Selected to Provincial Rugby Teams

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:

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Alcoballics Abstain From Losing, Lead Rec Touch

One undefeated team sits on top of each of the summer touch leagues. Touch & Go won a couple of close games to remain undefeated in the Comp League: 4 - 3 over the Scarecrows and 8 - 6 over Riskey Wicks. Alcoballics are looking like they are in the wrong league, as they won both their Rec League games to go to 4 - 0 on the season.

More than 400 points have been scored so far in 38 league games, an average of 10.6 points per game (PPG). Here is how it breaks down by league:

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Touch & Go Grab Top Spot in Summer Touch

Week Two Summary

Two teams remain undefeated in the Summer Touch Competitive League, each with 4 wins under their belt. Touch & Go and the Killer Bunnies have been lighting it up on the pitch, with T&G earning a greater point differential with their stingy defense and hard-to-see camo shirts. 74 points were scored in 8 Comp League games in Week Two. Five of the games were back and forth battles, showing how well named this league really is.

In the Rec League, there are also two undefeated teams. The reigning champions Alcoballics and the up-and-coming Painkillers both sport 2 - 0 records. They meet for the first time next week in the 7:45 PM game.

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8 TORA U18 Mens Invited to BC Team Tryouts

The TORA U18 Mens team appears to have had a tough PRC tournament, losing all 6 of their matches. However, this could not be further from the truth. The TORA U18 side was very competitive, unlike local U18 teams in previous years. The team’s quality play resulted in 8 players being invited to U18 and U17 provincial tryout camps.

TORA started the tournament against a very strong South Vancouver side, which they held to 5 points up to half time. Final score, a hard-fought 19 - 0 loss. The second game saw TORA facing the eventual silver medalist VIRU Tide squad. Another loss but the TORA U18s put up an excellent fight and ultimately got people talking about the quality of the Okanagan team.

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TORA U16 Men Win Silver at BC Championships

The top-performing TORA team in 2018 was the U16 Mens team, coached by Leana Marton and Scott Stewart. They went undefeated in the pool round and took home the U16 Mens Silver Medal. 12 TORA U16 players have been invited to try out for the BC U16 side that will compete in the Western Canada Championships on July 26 – 29.

Coach Leana describes this weekend’s rugby as her “best-ever coaching experience”. After two back-to-back high-level rugby games on Saturday, the team came out on top of Pool A. They defeated Van West (10-7) and the tough Van South team (17-0), who Leana says played a “beat-‘em-up style of game with several man-children.”

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12 TORA U15 Players Invited to BC Tryouts

The U14 TORA team captured the Bronze Medal at the 2017 PRCs. Many of those same athletes were now a year older and elected to compete in the U15 PRC competition. Unfortunately, only one other region could muster a U15 team, and they were a combined northern and southern Vancouver Island side. The two-team competition meant the same two strong sides played each other three times. Although the all-star VIRU team won all three games, the TORA U15’s side was competitive in every match.

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Gritty Performance By TORA U14 Women

The TORA U14 Women played in a 10-a-side tournament with only 10 healthy players and no subs from the first to last game. Although they lost all four games against more experienced teams, they were competitive and showed strong improvement as each game was played.

Coach John Good said, “Our 1st U14 Women's TORA Team had the privilege to compete at an elite level this weekend. We came in as a green 10-a-side team and left as a much more experienced squad. Our girls got the chance to improve, learn, and connect with their fellow teammates throughout the weekend.” He added, “As each game was played you could see our girls improving exponentially as a team - communicating, running plays, hitting the rucks, passing, and tackling. It was great to watch.”

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Biggest-Ever Summer Touch Leagues Start Strong

The Killer Bunnies have something to prove. Every year, they make it to the Dai Dobbs trophy final. Every year they have to fake smile for the team that narrowly defeated them. If the first week of play is any indicator, they have no intention of letting that happen in 2018.

First up in the Bunnies' league hopper was Riskey Wicks, a team that is a high-skilled composite of two Competitive teams from last year. The result - the Bunnies burnt the Wicks 7 - 4. Next up? The 2017 Dai Dobbs trophy champions - The Scarecrows - the very Scarecrows that shut the KB's out 3 - 0 in the prior year's final. No problem for the on-a-mission Bunnies on this day - they took the stuffing out of the Scarecrows, sending a 10 - 4 message that spelled out their intent for the season. Hell hath no 'furry' like a bunny scorned.

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MB's Storm Fisher Wins Courtney Walls Award

At his grad ceremony on Friday night, Storm Fisher was presented with the Courtney Walls Scholarship, a $1,000 contribution to the costs of his post-secondary interests. Only two other local athletes, Sam Overton (OKM) and Joel Henseleit (KSS), have received the award since its introduction to the Okanagan eight years ago. To qualify, the athlete must exemplify three aspects of Courtney's character - (a) a good student, (b) a leader respected by his teammates and coaches, and (c) a quality rugby player.

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Anne McClymont Wins Elementary Touch Rugby Cup

After 20 minutes of regulation time, the AME Timberwolves and the Helen Gorman Cougars were tied 1 - 1 in a highly competitive elementary touch rugby final. The winners would take home the Ken Boe Cup, emblematic of elementary touch rugby supremacy in the Central Okanagan. After 22 minutes of overtime, Jacob Boyd got loose around the outside to score the try that earned his AME team the Ken Boe Cup.

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CORE Board Meeting Minutes - June 11, 2018

In Attendance: Guest: Cam Pierce, Clare Cassan, George Curran, Barry Ebl, Chris Haynes, Doug Manning, Chris Ward, Derek Worrall

The meeting started at 7:33 PM.

Minutes

'80 Minutes' Fund-Raiser - Cam Pierce spoke of his mother's excellent treatment at the Sindi Hawkins Cancer Centre on Royal Avenue. A fund-raising event that would bring the whole rugby community together to raise funds for this center was proposed and discussed.

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League Schedule Released for Summer Touch

223 players on 15 teams have registered for the Summer Touch Rugby League for 2018. This is the largest number of players and teams ever, surpassing the record of 191 players on 13 teams in 2017. 36% of registered players are female, also the highest percentage since the league started in 2011.

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Summer Touch Rugby Teams Signing Up!

The Summer Touch Rugby League is now accepting teams for its 2018 season.  Last year's league featured 13 teams - 7 Competitive League teams and 6 in the Recreational League.  200+ players enjoyed the summer nights of fitness and fun.  In 2018, we hope that 16 teams festoon our competition.

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The Rugby Shop Sponsors Center of Gravity Sevens

The Rugby Shop, an online provider of rugby kit and other rugby resources, will sponsor the Center of Gravity Sevens this summer. They will be the only rugby-related sponsor at the Center of Gravity event being held in Kelowna on July 28 and 29. The Center of Gravity Sevens will be the first stop on the BC Rugby Summer Sevens Series, being offered ...
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10 Obvious Reasons to Become a CORE Voting Member

  1. You Love Rugby - If you have played the sport, it has shaped you. The rugby ball is oval; its central design is about chaos. You became more enterprising because of that chaos. You learned how to work as part of a team, capitalizing together on the chaos to create opportunity. You learned that the game is on the pitch and at the post-game we're all rugby players. By investing in CORE, you help provide more people with the many benefits you have already experienced from our sport.
  2. You Love Rugby For Kids - Rugby builds character. It has deep-rooted traditions of respect, resilience, sportsmanship, self-management, and unselfishness. All types of rugby develop physical skills and fitness through playful activity - basic skills like balance, hand-eye coordination, running, passing, and catching. Contact rugby develops additional qualities for going into contact, kicking a ball, evasive running/passing, courage, perseverence, and overall strength and coordination. Rugby encourages team play. Except at very young ages, progress is seldom achieved on your own. Teamwork and supporting each other are vital for success. What parent does not want all of this for their children?
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CORE to Host 2018 Club Sevens Series Stop at COG

BC Rugby has announced the Club Sevens Series for the summer of 2018. The first stop has already been determined - it will be at the Center of Gravity event in Kelowna on July 28 and 29. Two or three other tournaments will be sanctioned in August and a provincial club champion will be determined. At the Centre of Gravity Sevens, three 8-team tourna...
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Star Wars Invades Senior High Sevens Tournament

"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.

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Record Number of Youth Join Touch Rugby Programs

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.

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Stadium Series Matches Announced for Kelowna

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.

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2018 Ensign Cup Offers Great Day of Rugby Events

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.

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Kelowna Enters Men's Team in Okanagan-Based League

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.

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Elementary Touch Rugby Expands into More Schools

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.

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Lots of Rugby For Enthusiasts This Spring

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.

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Local Rugby Thrives Thanks to Key Sponsors

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.

Touch Rugby
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:

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'Sure Tie' or 'Risky Win/Loss Gamble'?

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.

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2018 Thompson-Okanagan PRC Coaches Announced

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.

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Much-Needed Level 2 Coaches Added to Okanagan

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.

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