"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.