Twelve Central Okanagan rugby youth have been selected to provincial rugby teams and will compete in Western Canada championship tournaments this summer. They are:
The number of players just keeps growing in touch rugby! The CORE 2019 Youth Rugby season featured fun for 375 athletes, with over 150 Mini Rugby players (aged 4 to 7), playing developmental rugby-themed games and another 225 Touch Sevens players (aged 8 to 12) competing in league play.
In 2019, the School District # 23 Co-ed Elementary Touch Rugby League had 16 schools entering in league play with 332 grade 4, 5, and 6 students learning the sport of touch rugby from teacher and community coaches. Two of the schools had such a large turnout that they were able to field two sides in both the league and wrap-up tournament (Glenmore Elementary and Rose Valley Elementary).
After a six week season, 14 of the schools were available to compete in the full day wrap-up tournament on June 12th, at Parkinson Rec. Fields. June 12th was a very hot day and after pool play, the league was left with four tiers of finals.
The 2019 Champions are:
Tier 4 - Hudson Road Elementary
Tier 3 - Aberdeen Hall
Tier 2 - Anne McClymont Elementary
Tier 1 - Glenmore Elementary
In the tier 1 playoffs, Glenmore Elementary 1 defeated their teammates Glenmore Elementary 2 in the first semi-final and Mar Jok Elementary defeated George Pringle Elementary in the second. Glenmore Elementary 1 showed that the age-old saying "defense wins championships" still remains true as they were able to limit the space available to Mar Jok in the final, winning their school's second championship and lifting the Ken Boe Cup to conclude the season.
A big thank you goes out to all of the teachers and community volunteers who donated their time to teach the core values and skills associated with the sport of rugby to the youth in the school district. We look forward to another exciting year in 2020!
In 2018, the Anne McClymont Timberwolves defeated the Helen Gorman Cougars 2 - 1 in an overtime thriller to win the Central Okanagan Elementary Touch Rugby Championship. 16 schools will compete for the Worrall Cup this year. Who will hoist the cup in 2019?
In 2014, Eric Heffernan of Code Three Emergency Services suggested that CORE find three sponsors willing to support the expansion of touch rugby in the Central Okanagan. Eric offered to provide $3,000/year for five years to support the growth and eventual self-sufficiency of touch rugby in the Central Okanagan. Clare Cassan's Columbia Bottles and Robin Durrant's CapriCMW Insurance also committed to a $3,000/year contribution to the growth of touch rugby between 2015 and 2019.
Several important youth rugby tryout dates were announced this week. If you love the sport of rugby and hope to get on the provincial team's radar, don't miss the opportunities this weekend and later in the month.
Last summer, the Kelowna Crows fielded a 3rd Div. team in the summer Okanagan Men's Rugby competition. The team was made up of players interested in travelling no farther than Salmon Arm to enjoy a bout of the world's most excellent game. Games were played against Vernon, Penticton, and Salmon Arm in May, June and July. The team also enjoyed some games at the William's Lake Stampede and Penticton Sunfest rugby tournaments. They even tried their hand at sevens, entering a couple of rec teams in the Centre of Gravity Sevens last summer.
The Priest Valley Vicars have donated $1,000 to help reduce the costs for youth playing with the Thompson Okanagan Rugby Alliance (TORA) rugby teams. These funds will be added to the $5,800+ raised by Lisa Laing at a recent rugby social to support the TORA teams. The funds will support the U14 Girls, U14 Boys, U16 Boys and U18 Boys TORA teams. The U16 Girls and U18 Girls teams operate out of Kamloops.
A surge in memberships over the past couple of weeks has pushed CORE past the halfway point in its drive for 100 Voting Members. 63 rugby enthusiasts have paid the fees to become Voting Members in 2019. CORE's goal is to have 100 Voting Members in this year. 470 non-voting CORE members receive its newsletter during the active playing season.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
CORE Annual General Meeting is November 24, 2018 @ 6 PM at the Capri Hotel
It's going to be an interesting AGM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.