The L.V. Rogers Bombers toured Wales

Grizzlies raise funds for rugby future – banquet planned to help grow sport

The Grizzlies are doing all they can to keep young cubs coming into the expanding sport of rugby.

The Grizzlies are doing all they can to keep young cubs coming into the expanding sport of rugby.

“Rugby is growing really quickly,” said L.V. Rogers teacher and coach Michael Joyce. Adds Grizzly Eddie Vulcano, “At the youth level and that’s where we want it to grow.”

In 1989, there were between 15 and 20 guys playing in the Nelson Grizzlies Rugby Club and they needed to recruit Japanese students from the Canadian International College to help fill the team. Today, the sport has grown and 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the Grizzlies who have represented the region at the BC Rugby Union in provincial finals on several occasions.

Society president Brian Garvin said the sport has benefitted, on a broader scale, from the playing of rugby sevens in the Olympics and locally, with the development of the Kootenay Rugby Union.

“We’d like to be a juggernaut of rugby in our province,” Garvin said as he eyes up the success of the youth program.

With three healthy school-aged boys teams and a robust girls team, kids with strong skills are able to take their game to the next level. Some stalwart L.V. Rogers Bombers have gone on to fields beyond Nelson. Quinn Cowie and Sean Hickson play for the Rowers in Vancouver and Jim Stephenson plays for the Waterloo Warriers.

Former LVR student Tribly Buck has also gone onto play with the Vikes, the University of Victoria’s women’s team. The rookie benefitted from Grizzlies scholarships handed out annually to a male or female player.

Rugby is the fastest growing sport with high school girls. It’s a sport that offers options for all body types and skill sets — and a physical component female players may enjoy.

“Just because it’s a contact sport doesn’t exclude girls,” said Joyce. Adds Vulcano. “You pull out those pads and they want to tackle.”

Developing strong skills among youth has a certain self-serving goal. The Grizzlies organization is keen on getting more players out on the field with the men’s league.

They play two to three times a week saying it helps them “feel good and stay fit.” But key to the rugby organization is the friendships and community development that occurs.

“It’s because of the camaraderie of the game,” said Garvin. “You beat the crap out of each other and then you have a beer together — because you have a proper network, the community develops.”

And in return, the senior men’s rugby is a vehicle for the economic stability of the youth program. In addition to scholarships, fundraising by the Grizzlies covers the costs of travel for the local teams. In addition to playing around BC, every two years they take a bigger trip. In 2015, there are spring break plans to head to Argentina to play.

The Grizzlies are holding their annual fundraising banquet and awards ceremony on November 16 at the Eagles Hall. Alligator Pie will cater and Val Kilmer and the New Coke will get people dancing. A silent auction is also planned being vital in helping kids get out on the field.

“I don’t want economics to curtail someone from taking part in athletics,” said Garvin.

Tickets for the banquet are available at The Dock, Finley’s, The New Grand, Green-Light Communications and by phoning Ed Vulcano at 250-551-3792. Doors open at 6 p.m.

 

Just Posted

School District 8 votes to move Grade 9 from LVR to Trafalgar

The board also delayed a decision on reconfiguring grades at Slocan schools

Storm prompts travel warning for Boundary, West Kootenay

Up to 25 cm expected on high mountain passes

Cops seize load of pot near Salmo

Traffic stop nets hundreds of pounds of cannabis

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Almost 14,000 Canadians killed by opioids since 2016: new national study

17,000 people have been hospitalized for opioid-related poisoning

Chevron’s move to exit Kitimat LNG project a dash of ‘cold water’ for gas industry

Canada Energy Regulator approved a 40-year licence to export natural gas for Kitimat LNG

Most Read