The BC Summer Games were a big success this past weekend in Cowichan, with the rugby taking place at Shawnigan Lake School. The BC Games hosted a high-flying Sevens tournament at the Island’s prestigious rugby school and it did not disappoint. Spectators and BC Games staff noted the high level of competition on the field as well as the athletes’ friendly report with each other off the field, which was great to see. A lot of development was noted through all of the zones, with some teams only having a few players who have played Sevens at higher levels before. Over 90 female athletes thrilled the crowds at Shawnigan Lake over a weekend of high-stakes rugby.
The Interior teams made a great impression and their overall level of play has progressed nicely since the last Games. Alicia Sorken led Zone 8, Cariboo North-East with her unparalleled work rate. Zone 7, North West, was able to come together as a team and work offloads followed by strong support. They have been practicing as a team for a few years now and their work has paid off by becoming a cohesive unit.
Zone 1, the Kootenays improved throughout the whole tournament. Standout player, Summer Blackmore, had some great runs as well as a few try-saving tackles. Maren Kernan, from Nelson, supported Summer in the Kootenay’s bid for Summer Games gold. The final game for Thompson Okanagan vs the Kootenays was an exciting one with lots of end to end action. The crowd seemed to gasp every time the Okanagan’s Halle Smith was able to get her hands on the ball, as she was able to sprint down the length of the field at an electrifying pace most times.
Zone 4, Fraser River was able to achieve bronze by demonstrating a diverse skillset balanced throughout their whole team. They suffered some injuries to key players early in the tournament but other players like Kierra Diggle, Katie Deslauries, and Rachel Smith stepped up big for this side. Roby Alexander slotted two tries in their bronze medal match to help them medal.
The Fraser Valley, Zone 3, has won this BC Games tournament the last four times, which means they have reigned for an impressive eight years. Emily Meier and Kira Peary led the team and Kira Katan was dangerous throughout the whole tournament, demonstrating seriously dangerous speed. The Valley played a very talented Vancouver Island side in the final which demonstrated a core of players that are in the Rugby Canada development academy, like Shawnigan’s Maggie Banks. The Island side showed that they had the ability to attack from every area of the field and every player on the field for them provided a threat. This Vancouver Island side was pushed to be their best throughout the whole tournament though, no team seceding them any easy points. Vancouver Island went on to win the gold, Fraser Valley the silver, and Fraser River the bronze.
|1. Vancouver Island – Central Coast|
|2. Fraser Valley|
|3. Fraser River|
|4. Vancouver Coastal|
|7. North West|
|8. Cariboo – North East|
|Top Try Scorer||Top Points Scorer||Best Tackler|
|Maggie Banks, Zone 6, Vancouver Island – Central Coast||Kira Peary, Zone 3, Fraser Valley||Summer Blackmore, Zone 1, Kootenays|
|1. Maggie Banks – Zone 6, Vancouver Island – Central Coast|
|2. Emily Meier – Zone 3, Fraser Valley|
|3. Maggie Mackinnon – Zone 6, Vancouver Island – Central Coast|
|4. Kira Peary – Zone 3, Fraser Valley|
|5. Summer Blackmore – Zone 1, Kootenays|
|6. Rachel Smith – Zone 4, Fraser River|
|7. Katie Deslauries – Zone 4, Fraser River|
Maggie Banks – W.R Bennett Award Winner
Maggie Banks was awarded the W.R Bennett award for her outstanding athletic excellence and strong academic performance at school. Maggie was nominated for this award due to her athletic achievements being part of the Rugby Canada Women’s Sevens program, winning both the Sevens and XVs provincial championships this year, being part of the BC Elite Youth Sevens team that won nationals in 2017 as an underage player. Off the field, Maggie continues to strive for excellence with strong academic performances at Shawnigan as well as demonstrating leadership qualities that have led to her becoming a prefect next year and running for Head of House. Only one athlete from the games is awarded this amazing honour and $2500 bursary and we are proud and humbled that Maggie Banks, a rugby athlete, was awarded this by the Games Society.
Coast Capital Savings Bursary of $500
Makaila John – Zone 4, Fraser River
Raeiti Azarkeyvan – Zone 5, Vancouver Coastal
Haley Florell – Zone 8, Cariboo North-East
Rugby Sevens athletes one four out of 17 available awards for athletes at the Games.