Community Organization: Saskatchewan Rugby
Success Story Submitted by: Jordan Astrope, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Rugby
Saskatchewan Rugby hosted its first-ever Olympic Games kickoff for rugby at the Regina Rugby Club (4025 25th Ave, Regina SK) on Saturday, August 6th and 7th. Spectators gathered to celebrate the debut of sevens rugby in the Olympics and support grassroots development with Senior and Junior rugby sessions.
Saturday’s event was some local matches featuring senior Regina and Saskatoon teams. These games were highlighted by the Canadian women’s sevens team’s two Olympic victories in Rio. Sunday’s free youth camp was the major event of the weekend. The camp featured skills sessions for ages 3-18, a scavenger hunt, and flag sevens games. Those new to rugby learned the basic skills like passing, catching, and scoring, while returning players refined these skills in different drills led by our team of coaches (pictured above). Both groups got together for the flag games and a final game of flag tag. Along with skill building coaches taught the importance of teamwork and basic rules of the game using Rugby Canada’s Rookie Rugby manual. A healthy lunch, snacks, and water were provided to participants and parents during the camp as well.
Another feature of the event included local groups promoting healthy living, partnerships that Saskatchewan Rugby created to support ParticipACTION Teen Challenge’s mission to eliminate barriers to play and get more kids moving. These included nutritional and physical activity aspects, such as GoodLife Fitness promoting their free teen summer membership.
Sunday’s camp succeeded to expose those new to rugby and showed them the benefits of getting involved in the sport. We got a good group of 80 excited boy and girls out for the event. The crowd in attendance was diverse and included a large female presence. Women were involved in coaching and organizing, hopefully inspiring the girl camp-goers to consider this non-traditional sport.
The ParticipACTION Teen Challenge’s contribution to this project went to providing lunches, snacks, and water for kids and parents at Sunday’s camp. These services are so valuable to the event’s mission of eliminating all barriers to participation in sport. The camp brought in families from different backgrounds and social classes so providing these services ensured the same experience for all participants. The Olympic and rugby communities are based on inclusion and this event hopefully inspired the message of equity in sport across the province.
The ParticipACTION Teen Challenge is breaking down the barriers that prevent teens from getting active. Working with community organizations we provide the support that teens need to find an activity that motivates them to get moving.
If you are part of a community organization, recreational facility, or a school that provides teens with the grounds, facilities, equipment, instructors, expertise or leadership to support a physical activity program, we want you to be part of the ParticipACTION Teen Challenge.
Please register here to join the program and you will be eligible to apply for a Teen Physical Activity Grant – funds that can be used to get teens moving in innovative and motivating ways.