Comox Valley Kickers — Bridge the Gap Grant 2015

The Comox Valley Kickers began its youth program in 2009, and mini program the following year. The program began to grow and soon was fielding U8, U10 and U12 team playing in the VIRU Jamborees. In 2013 the club was able to field a successful U16/U18 Mens team and for the first time a U16/U18 Womens team.

The Comox Valley launched Rugby Canada’s Rookie Rugby program beginning of February 2015 within the Comox Valley School District. Rookie Rugby is a non-contact form of rugby using flag belts for children of all ages. The program introduces children to rugby by using fun generic games that are adapted to the sport. Six elementary schools in the area decided to pilot this project- Brooklyn, Huband Park, Queenish, Valley View, Ecole Puntledge Park and Courtenay Elementary. They went into the pilot schools and delivered Rookie Rugby PE classes to over 800 children from kindergarten to grade seven in three days.

With a good startup base of instructors, the Comox Valley Kickers will be offering in-school support for PE classes and PLC after-school Rookie Rugby day camps at all the pilot schools beginning March 25th and April 22nd. The local recreation centers will be approached about the Rookie Rugby volunteers running a couple camps throughout the summer to keep rugby available and the community interested. In late August 2015 after meeting with the SD71’s Elementary School Athletic Board, Aimee Burley and Tony La Carte will be training and refreshing the teachers on the Rookie Rugby Curriculum to be able to deliver it in PE classes again once school begins. At the same time the Comox Valley Kickers will launch a 6-8 week in-house league leading into the Vancouver Island Rugby Union Mini and Youth Rugby seasons and again in January 2016. Three regions of the Comox Valley (Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland) will have their own ‘club’ name and colour open to children ages 5-13. Children will be placed onto each team and given their team shirt when they register based on school district breakdowns or other delineations and will have sufficient coaches assigned to each of the age categories. The teams will have sessions once a week in each of the areas and then all come together Sundays for games. The final Sunday will be a big bbq for the families which the Kickers are seeking out sponsorship for. After the league is complete, children wishing to play more continue into the mini/youth fall season with the Comox Valley Rugby Club.

Beaconsfield RFC — Bridge the Gap Grant 2015

Beaconsfield RFC’s junior rugby programs was founded in 2008. In the past seven years, the program has grown from 35 players to approximately 200. This growth is attributed to BRFC’s emphasis on running professional programs and following their motto of Respect, Integrity, Acceptance and Commitment. Its strength lies in a collective effort: 15 dedicated coaches, a group of parent volunteers, and the addition of a paid Junior Coordinator position.

The local Youth Jamboree event invites teams from the Greater Montreal-area to play in a one-day 7s tournament held in Beaconsfield, Quebec. It is a day to showcase local teams and to provide their junior (U8, U10, U12, U14) girls and boys the opportunity to play against a variety of teams. The round-robin tournament sytle encourages sportsmanship in youth and playing for the love of the game.

Bridge the Gap 2014 Grants Announced

June 11th, 2014

The Canadian Rugby Foundation announced the successful applicants for the 2014 Bridge the Gap youth rugby grants. The Foundation awards grants to clubs that implement local or regional projects and or events that diminish barriers and make rugby more accessible to youth. The deadline for 2014 applications was April 30th, the application process is explained on the CRF website at: reading

Bridge the Gap 2014 Profiles: Bytown Blues RFC

The Bytown Blues from Ottawa have several projects planned for 2014 including a U12-U14 contact and mini flag festival in June, an expansion of the co-ed U12 program during the winter months and a mini program during the winter months.

A big part of the cost for winter programs is facility rental and some of the funds will be used to offset the costs of field rental under the Dome to make the program affordable for low-income families.

We wish the Bytown Blues success in their efforts to provide youth rugby programs all year round.

Bridge the Gap 2014 Profiles: Cowichan Valley Junior Rugby Development

The Cowichan Valley Junior Rugby Development program runs a successful “introduction to Mini Rugby” camp during May and June at the Cowichan Rugby club. They want to expand that program and run camps In Mill Bay this year with plans to expand to Ladysmith and Chemainus in future years.

The funds will be used to purchase material for the new camp including rugby balls, tackling bags, rucking pads and pinnies.

We wish Cowichan Valley Junior Rugby Development all the best with their new mini-rugby camp.

Bridge the Gap 2014 Profiles: St. Albert Rugby Club

June 11th, 2014

The St Albert Rugby Club is organizing their first annual Junior Rugby camp this year. It’s targeting an age group from U7 to U19 and hopes to attract 40-50 participants. They wanted to keep the cost low to compete with baseball and soccer camps being held at the same time.

The camp goals are to provide an opportunity for youth to experience rugby for the first time, increase the profile of club rugby amongst school level players, increase the interaction between older junior level players and their senior club team peers. Funds will be used to get Rugby Canada and Rugby Alberta sanctioning so that non-registered players can participate, help provide T-shirts and mouth guards to participants, and provide lunch for camp participants.

We wish the St Albert Rugby Club all the best with the first Junior Rugby camp.

Bridge the Gap 2014 Profiles: Ottawa Indians RFC

June 11th, 2014

The Ottawa Indians started their youth rugby program in 2008 with 7 youth and now have one of the largest programs in Eastern Ontario with between 100-120 youth in their U6-U14 programs. They have a large number of volunteers including 15 coaches.

They are organizing a youth tournament in June with the help of the Ottawa Irish Club. The event will be held at Twin Elm Park and attract between 300 to 400 participants. The funds will be used to pay for tournament costs including referees, food for players and medals.

We wish the Ottawa Indians success with their tournament.

Bridge the Gap 2014 Profiles: Vancouver Island Thunder

June 11th, 2014

The Vancouver Island Thunder plan to provide rugby camps for Aboriginal youth in the U14 to U18 range. Four camps are planned on Vancouver Island in Campbell River, Port Alberni, Cowichan and Saanich. National team player Phil Mack will be the head coach.

The goal is to encourage Aboriginal youth to try rugby, also to select an Aboriginal team for the Victoria International Youth 7s on July 11-12, 2014. The plan is to enter a girls U18 and a boys U16 team into the tournament.

We wish the Vancouver Island Thunder all the best in their endeavours.