Rugby Canada’s National Festival wrapped up at the University of British Columbia last Sunday after five days of amazing rugby with more than 1,000 athletes from across the country competing from U14 to U18.
Campbell River Athletic Association’s own Jackson Locker, Georgia Bellamy and Kristine Osachuk represented well with a Silver Plate finish for Locker’s B.C. U17 in the competitive U18 division, fourth place for Osachuk’s gutsy B.C. Blue U16 team, and a Gold Medal National Championship for Bellamy’s B.C. Gold U16 team.
Locker and Bellamy’s sides finished the round robin and semi-finals with 4-0 records and both played capable Ontario teams in the finals. On the Men’s U18 field the score of 27-7 for Ontario didn’t reflect the intensity of play.
“The culture and comradrerie that we built inside our team was probably the best team environment I’ve ever been a part of,” Locker said. “That’s not easy because everyone was from different parts of the province but we all clicked and got along like a team that had been together for a full season.”
In the U16 Women’s match the B.C. Gold was able to hold Ontario scoreless during an exciting and never-let-up game with a final score of 19-0 for B.C. Gold.
“I think that overall the quality of rugby for this age group was outstanding. We knew we were going to come up against a tough Alberta team and a tough Ontario team in this tournament, and we responded phenomenally,” said B.C.’s U16 Women’s head coach, Jen Ross.
“Looking at the bigger picture here, we see high caliber players coming up from 13 to 16 years old – it’s a great reflection of what all the provinces are trying to do and hopefully it will continue to build from here.”
Locker, Osachuk and Bellamy are very thankful to the Campbell River Athletic Association and their coaches for the support in achieving these successes.