Canadian Rugby Foundation Provides Grant for Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship

The board of the Canadian Rugby Foundation are proud to announce their support of the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship with an annual grant of $20,000 as a key part of its platform for developing Canadian grassroots rugby.

This idea had its genesis in discussions between Doug Tate (UVic) and Mike Holmes (CRF) and subsequently with like-minded individuals Jeff Chan and Keith Labbett in Ontario. Though the concept had been tried before it did not have staying power – likely due to the lack of financial support.

The championship takes place from November 16th to 19th at the University of Guelph.

from Rugby Canada

The University of Guelph, Rugby Canada and the Canadian Rugby Foundation are pleased to jointly announce that the inaugural Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship will be held November 16th to 19th at the University of Guelph.

The Championship will feature teams from all four U SPORTS conferences (Canada West, OUA, RSEQ and AUS) and will have a six-team format with two pools of three teams playing on Thursday through Saturday, November 16-18 at Guelph’s Varsity Field, home of the Guelph Gryphons Men’s and Women’s Rugby teams. Guelph will be one of the six teams in the tournament, either as the OUA Champions or as the host team. The Bronze medal match will be held in the University of Guelph’s Alumni Stadium on Sunday, November 19 followed by the Gold medal match to crown the first 21st century Champion of Canadian University Men’s Rugby.

“We are pleased to pick up an initiative dating back to the University of Victoria in the 1980’s and 1990’s to create a sustained and truly national Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship. We would like to thank all of the staff at the University of Guelph’s Department of Athletics for agreeing to host this exciting event and we hope that this will be the beginning of a great tradition,” stated Keith Labbett and Jeff Chan co-chairs of the organizing committee. “It’s not often there is an opportunity to be on the ground floor of an exciting championship event, and I anticipate the same kinds of success we enjoyed with the Canadian College Bowl Board – the Vanier Cup predecessor – from its early days” added Chan.

“Rugby Canada recognizes Canadian university rugby as an important historical and continuing pathway to playing for the National Men’s Fifteens Team and are pleased to support this championship. We believe the tournament will be a success and are very confident we will see numerous players achieve national team representation via this exciting competition. With the selection of many players from the tournament to the Canadian University XV, there is added incentive for players and universities to participate. Our national team staff are looking forward to the competition,” stated Jim Dixon on behalf of Rugby Canada.

Though the tournament is not officially recognized or sanctioned by U SPORTS, eligibility and format will adhere to existing U SPORTS rules (including academic and 5-year maximum eligibility) and the organizing committee is hopeful that in time both the tournament and the sport of Men’s Rugby will be sanctioned by U SPORTS in the same way as Women’s Rugby and its national championship.

“Rugby Canada is one of the top sport organizations in our country. Growing the number of sports that have that opportunity to compete for a U SPORTS National Championship is an important part of my vision for elevating university sport in Canada. Although U SPORTS is not officially involved with this project, Rugby Canada has the support of U SPORTS and I anticipate the success of this event will be similar to the very successful National University Championships hosted by Tennis Canada and Golf Canada” stated Graham Brown, President and CEO of U SPORTS.

“We are thrilled to be selected as the host site for the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship,” says Scott McRoberts, Director of Athletics at the University of Guelph. “Our men’s rugby program has developed some great rivalries within our conference, but we cannot wait to see the talent from across the country. We really believe this tournament will be the start of something bigger.”

Further details will follow on the Rugby Canada and University of Guelph Athletics websites.

2016 Chairman’s Report

Dear Foundation Members,

I am writing to provide a brief report on the 12th year of the Canadian Rugby Foundation ending Dec 31, 2015.

Financials

We had a record year in donations with over 700k in donations. Our assets closed out the year at almost 3 million and but for a poor year on the markets we would have exceeded this mark. Our expenses remained low at a total of $28,597 and we should now be comfortably delivering over 100k a year in grants without any impact on capital. Because of the growth in our funds we decided to look for an institutional investment firm. After a diligent process of solicitations of interest and interviews by our investment committee of Jim Kellett chair, John Woodward and Bill Webb, the firm of Leith Wheeler was selected and the process of transfer of our entire portfolio will have been completed at the time of distribution of this report. The investment committee also recommended, and has implemented some changes to our investment policy to permit a greater degree of flexibility with respect to investment choices in accordance with the policies of our new fund managers. I would like to thank Bruce McFarlane and Sarah Dunbar of Odlum Brown for their years of service. Bruce was one of our very first members and always had our interests first and foremost.

Read the full report in .pdf format

Curry Hitchborn Gerald McGavin Coaching Award Winner

There’s no doubting the passion that Curry brings to coaching, he loves rugby and where it’s taken him. He started coaching in 2006 at the high school where he first played rugby as a youth, Handsworth Secondary, not far from the club that would take him to the next level of coaching, Capilano Rugby Club.

He coached the Capilano men’s 3rd Division team and over the next eight years the club’s U16, U17, U18 and U19 teams. He was asked to assist with the men’s Premier side as the forward’s coach in 2012. That was the year they came back from relegation and made it to the Premier final against James Bay. It’s a year Curry remembers very well and you can tell the pride in his voice when he talks about that team. He credits the Capilano Rugby Club and the Vancouver Rugby Union (VRU) with actively supporting him during his early coaching career.

The Vancouver Rugby Union asked him to run their Vancouver North U16 squad which made it to the final and next year he was coach for the BC Blue U16 team. He went on to coach national championship teams for BC in the U16, U17 and U19 levels. He has also worked with the Canada U17 program as a guest coach.

He had a chance to be part of the UBC coaching staff in 2013 when they started their meteoric rise through the men’s elite ranks. UBC won the Division One Provincial title in 2014 earning them promotion to the BC Premier which they immediately won in 2015. Since winning the award he’s added two national U19 championships with BC, a national U16 championship, two Rounsefell Cup titles with UBC – as well as a club U18 championship.

His philosophy during his rugby coaching career has remained the same, care about the people you coach and try to listen more than you talk, pay attention to the process and the results will come.

Monty Heald Fund Update – Summer 2016

Below you will find comments from players on our National Senior Women’s 15, who, for the first time in recent memory, did not have to pay to play for Canada at the recent Super Series. They were subsidized by the Monty Heald National Women’s Fund via the Canadian Rugby Foundation. This fund was established to ensure players would not have to play in lead up to and at the 2017 Women’ Rugby World cup. In conjunction with Rugby Canada and National Women’s team management, budgets were reviewed and targets for the fund were set. The goal is to leave a legacy fund that will go beyond the World Cup. We have a remarkable donor who contributed an initial $50,000 to start the fund. In addition, this same donor offered to match $175,000 if we could organize the community to donate a similar amount. We have raised $102,000 to date and need to raise another $73,000 to meet our target.

Please help us in supporting the talented and dedicated young women whose ambitions are only to bring home the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017. Your contributions will mean they can focus on their skills and preparation. Donations are tax deductible and will be matched!

Thank you for your support
Stephanie White
Chairwomen, Monty Heald National Women’s Fund
http://www.canadianrugbyfoundation.ca/content/index.php/monty-heald-national-womens-fund/

 


 

 

 

Monty Heald – a great Rugby Man and an important participant in Canadian Rugby.

Monty emigrated from England in 1968 and became active in local rugby from the outset. Having played for the Hamilton Hornets for four years, he became a Founding Member of the Burlington Centaurs Rugby Club in 1973.  He served this club well, becoming its first Captain, President of the Club, and eventually a Life Member. His early contributions to the game continued in Ontario as he went serve as a Director of the Senior Team for the Niagara Rugby Union and a selector for the Ontario Rugby Union for two years (1979/80).  They were to be an indication of the scope on his impact across all aspects of the game in Canada.

In 1981, Monty became a National Selector and chaired the Canadian Rugby Union Selection Committee for the period 1983 to 1994. In 1984 and 1985 he was appointed as the Manager of the Canadian Sevens team which played in the Hong Kong Sevens. In 1984, he was appointed as the Manager of the Canadian team and he served in this position for Can-Am matches in Chicago (1984), Tucson (1986) and Seattle (1990). His managerial career was highlighted by the seven match tour to Australia, in 1985, during which the Test matches in Sydney and Brisbane represented the first ever meetings between Canada and Australia.  Monty was also the manager of the first Canadian team which participated in the CANZ (Canada, Argentina/New Zealand) series (1989) taking the National team to Argentina and New Zealand.

Monty was elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Rugby Union in 1986, serving as Director of the Men’s National Team for the period 1986 – 1991. In 1991, he was elected as President and he served in this capacity for eight years.  He led Rugby Canada through the game’s period of remarkable change at the end of the twentieth century seeing the number of international fixtures involving Canada’s Senior Men’s team increase by 160% and a tremendous increase in the number of domestic players, including the explosive growth of the women’s game.  In 1995 the Pan America Rugby Association (PARA) was formed and Monty served as Rugby Canada’s first representative including two years as PARA’s President.  He served the national organization for twenty years, finishing his service, in 2000, as a Director.

Monty never lost sight of the game on the ground and was often available to help behind the scenes and support of his colleagues, which included all members of the rugby community in Canada.  With his business partner, Lexie Tynan, their company, Monilex Sports, supported rugby teams of at all levels.  A lasting legacy is evident in the establishment of the Monilex Cup, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s National championship for Women’s rugby.  Beyond working with the universities during the lead up to the inaugural event, Monilex also helped finance the very first Championship game in 1999, which featured McMaster and Guelph. The event is now held annually and represents a primary elite competition for women in Canada aspiring to the national team.

Monty came to the rescue to provide equipment on more than one occasion, when the Women’s National XV Team needed help.  In 2005, when Canada was hosting the Canada Cup in Ottawa, a tournament for Women’s National teams, one of the teams dropped out at the last minute.  To fill the schedule, Rugby Canada decided to field two teams.  Monty stepped up to supply the required additional set of National jerseys for this second team, giving those players a new kit to play in the event.  Even with the short notice, Monty came through with flying colors.  Three years prior, in circumstance of greater pressure, he received a call from the manager of Canada’s 2002 Women’s Rugby World Cup…from the team bus in Barcelona as the team prepared for the event.  It had been discovered that all kit had to be clean, only country and World Cup cresting was allowed. Canada’s jersey had a sponsors crest on the jersey. Without hesitation, Monty made arrangements for a refreshed set of strip and for its delivery to Spain by loyal supporters from Canada.

An account of Monty Heald would not be complete without a reflection of his joie de vivre.  Roxanne Butler, Manager of the Women’s National Team, related a story of Monty being at the Women’s World Cup in Holland when he was the Rugby Canada President. “There was a Banquet. We were accommodated in a big tent type room and seated at tons of picnic tables. The night got very boisterous and many teams started dancing on the tops of the tables…. Well, so did our leader. Worried me a little at the time but there were no injuries and it showed his enjoyable character.”

The organizers of the Monty Heald National Women’s Fund have taken this opportunity to recognize and honour Monty for his many, many contributions to Rugby in our country.  Monty was exemplary in his dedication to the game at all levels.  He was active in the Rugby community until 2014, coaching at the Waterdown High School, serving as Chair of Rugby Canada’s Past Presidents committee, Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee and member of the Annual Awards Committee of Rugby Canada.  Monty was inducted into the Ontario Rugby Union Hall of Fame in 2004 and in 2013 Rugby Canada inducted him as its second Honorary Life Member.  He was a tremendous ambassador for our sport, representing the Canadian rugby community at local, provincial, national and international levels.  We are honoured to still be working with him in promoting and supporting the game

Canadian Rugby Foundation Launches First Event for the Captains’ Fund

With a sold out crowd of 60 attendees, the Canadian Rugby Foundation launched the first of an annual series of events to raise endowment funds for the Captains’ Fund.

The Captains’ Fund was created to assist Rugby Canada in promoting the U20 program.  With impetus and vision from former World Cup captain Mark Wyatt and an initial generous bequest from current Rugby Canada President the Captains Fund has grown to the largest individual fund within the Foundation. Held in Victoria on October 19, on the eve of the final ARC games, in excess of $25,000 is now added to the existing $220,000 endowment.Continue reading