Two HSBC Rookie Rugby Jamborees took place yesterday, March 4, at Vancouver’s Trillium Park and South Surrey Athletic Park. The Jamborees welcomed over 400 children aged 5-12 who met several Canadian national rugby stars, including Olympian Jen Kish. Youngsters from local Rugby Clubs as well as newcomers got the chance to show their rugby skills and several lucky players went home with tickets for the HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament, taking place this weekend at BC Place.
Speaking at the event, Rio 2016 Bronze Medalist Kish was very upbeat about being part of the Jamborees. “It’s really fantastic to be part of something like this, to get back to the roots of the game, to see boys and girls playing together and developing such strong skill at an early age is exactly what our sport needs. Rugby is such a great sport and I think it really speaks to Canadian values; we work hard, we love the outdoors and we are great at building together toward a common goal”.
The presence of the National Team Players created a real buzz at the events, with children lining up for autographs from their sporting heroes. “This is such a fantastic experience for my children,” mentioned one parent, “to be able to interact with these athletes, to meet someone who inspires them. My kids only started playing last year and they are both hooked. It was so easy to get involved and there is a real community feeling, especially at events like this.”.
This event kicked off a week of Rugby activity ahead of HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver Tournament taking place on March 9th and 10th at BC Place. In the next few days, Teams from England, Australia and Uruguay will be visiting community centres in the Vancouver area. These visits are a fantastic opportunity for rugby fans and new converts alike. Each visit will include fun skills sessions rugby by the National Teams as well as autograph and photo opportunities.
With the events free to attend and designed to cater to all audiences, it’s a fantastic way for local communities to get closer to the stars of the World Rugby Sevens Series in the lead up to the weekend’s climactic tournament. For more information on these visits – Click Here
Rugby is an exciting, sociable sport played by over 6 million people around the world. Youth rugby participation in Canada has increased by 25% in 2017 and 15% in BC from 2016, which is largely due to Rugby Canada’s mass participation program, Rookie Rugby. The program introduces the game of rugby in a safe way for kids of all ages. The game is a non-contact, co-ed form of rugby using flag belts, allowing players to learn the basics while being active and having fun with their friends.