Rugby workshop introduces sports to the community

On Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23, a group of kids got together to learn rugby, a sport that they had only watched from the sidelines earlier this year.

Under the supervision of Wm. E. Hay rugby coach, Josh Elliott, Megann Weir, and six Stettler rugby team members, workshop attendees learnt the basic skills, and were taught how to pass and kick then ball, along with rules of the game.

“It was an idea brought up and planned by some of the girls this last June during our season,” Elliott said. “We came up with all the details, keeping in mind the major goal, which was promoting the sports to the kids.”

According to Elliott, it was really positive for him to see his rugby team’s players step up to the plate – young women taking the initiative to actively teach a sport they love to the community.

“We had our high school athletes lead each activity and this really allowed the girls to develop their leadership abilities and coaching, and gave the camp a cool vibe,” Elliott added. “The girls really wanted to start the camp with the aim of keeping the positive rugby energy growing in Stettler and encouraged young athletes to join the rugby team at Wm. E Hay.”

The junior coaches, players from the rugby team carried the workload, creating the outline of the camp and recruiting campers leading up, with a few even travelling to Big Valley and Erskine to show younger students rugby and advertise the camp in their Physical Education classes.

In all there were 15 campers ranging from ages 6-15, both boys and girls.

“It was non-contact and we chose to make the registration free,” Elliott stated. “It was a big success and it was great to see the smiles on so many kids’ faces, playing such a fun game. We hope to build from our positive experience this last weekend and keep refining the camp in the summers.”

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One of the rugby workshop participants practise kicking the ball on Saturday, July 22. PHOTO BY MOUSH SARA JOHN

Coach Josh Elliott, in blue at the centre, gives instructions and shares some rugby knowledge with the two-day workshop attendees over the weekend. PHOTO BY MOUSH SARA JOHN

Some of the workshop attendees were younger and had fun running through the water sprinklers at the football field. PHOTO BY MOUSH SARA JOHN

Workshop participants listen intently as Coach Josh Elliott teaches basic rugby skills. PHOTO BY MOUSH SARA JOHN

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