The combined team features girls from Carihi and Timberline. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Combined Campbell River rugby team gets ready for the pitch

Team features some returnees and new players from Carihi, Timberline schools

Campbell River’s girls’ rugby team is getting ready for another season on the pitch.

The school features players from both Carihi Secondary and Timberline Secondary, and has returning players, along with some new faces in the lineup.

“This is a combined high school team, and it’s been five years,” says coach Erin Young. “We may split off and do sevens rugby – a Carihi team and a Timberline team – but we may still combine and do fifteens.”

The program, she adds, has grown every year after starting with only seven players. Now there are more than 20 coming out from Grade 9 through Grade 12. The league lets the community combine players from the two schools, although there are limits on the team for the provincials.

A couple of local players, Kaitlyn Jinda and Valery Williams, are even on the long lists for national U18 team or the B.C. Elite Sevens, respectively.

“The opportunities are there, it’s amazing,” Young says.

RELATED STORY: Tsunami sweeps through rugby championships

As well, six of the local girls are also playing in the Vancouver 7s for the Thunder Aboriginal Rugby team on March 7 and 8, which is played alongside the World Rugby 7s Series stop in Vancouver.

The combined Campbell River team started practising in January and has been stepping up preparation in time for the season this spring.

Timberline teacher James Lewis is helping Young coach the group.

RELATED STORY: Campbell River’s TimberHi girls rugby team continues to train hard on the rugby pitch

Kayla Christensen is one of the returning players. She says she got into the sport at the urging of her dad, who played rugby. She also two brothers that play the sport and encourage her. She admits it was a bit intimidating at first, but she got over it quickly.

“Some players will look like they’re like super-scary and strong, but a lot of the time, they’re really not,” she says with a laugh. “It’s not as intimidating after you get past your first game.”

Young, herself, only took up the sport during university, playing for the University of Alberta before her coaching days.

“I discovered rugby quite late,” she says. “I didn’t have a high school program where I grew up. Now, I just wish to coach and give back that way…. We’ve got a bunch of great coaches in Campbell River.”

Young says the combined team has been attracting lots of interest from new players. The fact that Canadian women won bronze at the last Olympics and train on Vancouver Island only adds to the increased exposure.

“It’s such a great sport for girls,” she says, adding that the sport has opportunities for players of every body type. “It’s very inclusive.”

She adds that it is a sport kids don’t have to start playing when they are very young. The sport can be quite technical but does not have to be when they begin.

The players, she says, often find out they are more adept at the sport than they expect and they “really come out of their shell.”

Some that might not touch the ball often in their first season can often become the playmakers in year two, as they learn the game.

“I think they’re surprised at the resilience that they actually have inside of them,” she says. “It’s a tough sport. Some people might balk at it, and then they play their first game…. It gives them lots of confidence.”

The boys’ rugby program, Young adds, is also looking for anyone who can lend a hand. They are hoping to start a sevens program at Carihi.

“It would be great to have some coaches there too,” she says.

 

Kayla Christensen (left) works on a passing drill. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Timberline teacher James Lewis also helps coach the team. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

Strathcona Regional District looking at pay hikes for board members

The Strathcona Regional District board is planning on a pay raise. At… Continue reading

City still fighting for long-term plan for Snowden

Another letter from the province without ‘tangible response’ spurs mayor to request in-person meeting

Willow Point Summer Market back for third go-round

Now accepting applications for ‘anything and everything,’ but specifically in need of entertainers

Carihi fly fishers earn invite to National Championship

10 students will travel to Maple Ridge next month, but they need your help to get there

Storm sweeps Saanich in semifinals

Despite starting well after the other semi-final series, the Storm now has to wait….

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read