While Family Day feels a little different this year, BC Rugby are celebrating families that have bonded through rugby. In some families, rugby spans generations while other families have just discovered our sport. BC Rugby spoke to several families who each have a unique story around the game we love.
From every local club through to the National Teams, we know that families are the backbone of our sport. To join in the celebration, BC Rugby is inviting the community to share their Rugby Family stories on social media with the hashtag #WhyWeRugby.
Brittany Waters is a former Canadian international in both 15s and 7s. Born in Vancouver, Brittany
“Being able to share in the World Cup experience a month before our wedding was pretty incredible. We now have a one-year-old daughter, and seeing her run around with the athletes while we coach is pretty surreal,” said Waters.
Shoshanah and Siaki Seumanutafa
Siblings Shoshanah and Siaki Seumanutafa from White Rock have represented Canada at youth levels and play for their respective university teams (UBC and Trinity Western). In 2019, Shoshanah received a call-up to the National Senior Women’s Team. The Seumanutafa family has a strong history of rugby, including some members who’ve played for Samoa. Their father, Pose, is a coach with the Bayside RFC. Shoshanah recalls playing touch and tossing a rugby ball around at nearly every family gathering growing up, and even though she didn’t start playing organized rugby until high school, she was immediately comfortable because of her family’s background, and the sport’s presence in her upbringing.
Inspired by their family members and pushed by each other to be even better, the Seumanutafa siblings continue to grow as players and as people through rugby.
Mariam Ibrahim and Alise Kayser
Mariam Ibrahim and Alise Kayser are up-and-coming players who have both represented BC in recent years. Ibrahim has played for BC’s Elite Youth Sevens Girls team and recently signed with the University of Victoria, while Kayser was one of the captains on the BC U16 XVs team that won gold at the 2019 U16 Western Canadian Championships in addition to sevens play. Unlike many young players, rugby did not play a prominent role Ibrahim and Kayser’s families from a young age. However, their families have both fallen in love with the sport and support Mariam and Alise every step along their rugby journey.
Kayser played volleyball and basketball in middle school, before picking up rugby due to the more physical nature of the game. Her father, then the coach of her volleyball team, saw that Alise had found her sport, and attended as many events as possible, trying to learn the game to help his daughter progress as a player.
Ibrahim says her mom never missed a single of her matches growing up.
“My mom would come to every single game… even if it was in the cold, if it was in the rain, if it was snowing… she would come to all of them.”