Ball carrier Gavin Kilpatrick of the Belmont Bulldogs is taken to the ground by Shawinigan Lake players during Friday action at the Westshore Sunrise Rotary SD62 Startup Sevens rugby tournament at Goudy Field in Langford. The match was part of a day of men’s and women’s high school rugby at both Goudy and Westhills Stadium

Rotary rugby tournament matches a good warmup for sevens season

Annual spring event in Langford continues to prove popular

High school rugby players got a chance to compete where the big boys and girls play last Friday.

The fourth annual Westshore Sunrise Rotary SD62 Startup Sevens tournament attracted teams from around Greater Victoria, up Island and the Lower Mainland, who tested their mettle at Westhills Stadium, home turf of the Canadian rugby programs.

Glenlyon Norfolk and Edward Milne won the senior boys and girls Cup titles, respectively, with 4-0 records, while the Belmont junior boys took their Cup with a 4-0 mark. The Belmont senior boys won the Bowl title.

Co-organizer John Lyall, a teacher and coach at Edward Milne secondary in Sooke and a longtime member of the Velox (now Westshore) rugby club, estimates that between the high school tournament and this Friday’s (April 8) middle school event, between 600 and 700 student athletes will take part.

“I would say in general that rugby sevens is exciting; I know our kids are really excited about it,” he said.

The Startup Sevens offer players with varied skill levels the opportunity to experience game time, sometimes against opponents who’ve spent more time learning the sport. Showing the growth in the sport at the grassroots levels, last week’s event also saw nine senior girls teams playing, compared to none last year.

The enthusiasm level for this spring mainstay is always high for this event, Lyall said.

“We’re starting to become ‘on the map,’” he said, noting that many teams register well in advance to ensure they secure a spot. Anytime they can provide a venue for students to keep active and learn, it’s a good thing, he added.

Some schools go all out when it comes to sending teams to this event. Among the middle schools, W.A. Fraser from Abbotsford is bringing eight teams, while Chief Dan George, also in Abbotsford and coached by international level referee Chris Assmuss, is bringing three.

The startup tournaments also provides a good way to build excitement for the upcoming World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series tournament at Westhills Stadium, Lyall said. “Plus the kids like to play on the same field as the national team plays on. It is kind of fun for them.”

The middle school games run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Westhills and Goudy fields.

Just Posted

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Victoria saw more snowfall this month compared to other major cities

Victoria normally sees about 6 cm of snow in February

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read