Campbell River's Josef Dirom

Rugby standouts lead Team BC

Campbell River players score three of team's four tries as U14 side takes on Western Canadian Rugby Championships

Team BC’s U14 Boys side struggled to a third-place finish in the Western Canadian Rugby Championships last weekend in Kelowna, but Campbell River’s contribution to the BC Rugby Union’s squad held up their end of the play.

Riory Young of Southgate Middle School, 13, scored two of the four tries scored by B.C. in matches against the Alberta U15 and Washington U15 clubs participating. Local teammate Josef Dirom of Ecole Phoenix, 14, added a third try for the side.

Young was put in an unfamiliar position of prop, a “grind, bash, repeat” position of few accolades or personal rewards. Though with his strong base of conditioning, thanks to tough practices with Campbell River Athletic Association, North Island Tsunami Rugby Academy, and additional coaching from local MMA gym, Pure Martial Arts, he is one of the most versatile props in the province.

Dirom, 14, uses incredible speed, largely built through soccer, as a weapon on the wing, though his commitment to the tackle also helped bolster the BC defence. He was one of the top point scorers in the the recent provincial Rugby Championships in Burnaby and the Victoria International Youth 7s Tournament at the University of Victoria, an amazing accomplishment considering he only took up the game this spring.

Campbell River’s Riory Young, 13, spots the try line on his way to his first of two tries for BC U14 Boys in their match against Alberta U15 at this past weekend’s Western Canadian U14/U15 Rugby Tournament in Kelowna. — Erin Young photo

“The fact that our local representative players bring their multi-sport experiences to the table should not be overlooked,” said Campbell River Athletic Association President Erin Young. “Each of these boys earned Athlete of the Year accolades at their respective schools this year as a result of their participation in various sports. We firmly believe in a long-term athletic development model of a variety of recreation and athletic pursuits for all Campbell River kids, and the opportunities in our schools and community have prepared not just Riory and Joe, but a host of up-and-coming athletes.”

Young noted our other local athletes qualified for North Island Tsunami rep teams this season — Kenzie Braden (15) of Timberline, Finley O’Malley (14) of Phoenix, Kyle Watson (12) of Phoenix, and Nolan Young (15), of Shawnigan Lake School.

New and returning players of both genders ages 6-15 are invited to free Try Rugby sessions September 1-3 at Southgate Middle School, beginning at 6 p.m. each evening. Fun, skill-based sessions are planned to introduce the inclusive — and now Olympic — sport of rugby. Registration will follow and the local season runs September-April with a winter break as fields close.

The club also anticipates a coaching shortage so invites new coaches to contact Erin Young at 250-202-7642 or email eayoung@me.com.