Non-contact rugby program launches in Sooke

Program develops fundamental skill set

A new touch rugby program is tapping into adults who once played the sport or want to give it a try.

The Sooke Rugby, the brainchild of Jeff Walker is a grassroots program that teaches the fundamental skills of the game including passing, catching, kicking and playing the ball without the pressure of having to tackle.

Sessions run every Sunday at Edward Milne Community School from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

ALSO READ: Sooke woman wins major award in university rugby

“It’s just getting people exposed to rugby,” said Walker, 41, who once played rugby for Simon Fraser University in Burnaby.

Training sessions involve running, passing drills and other activities related to rugby.

By learning in a non-contact environment, Walker said rugby newcomers can focus solely on the skills without the added pressure of tackling.

About 10 players have shown up for the session since the program began two weeks ago. Its attracts about a 50-50 split of men and women, from novice to advance.

Walker came up with the idea to start the program as a way to stay in shape. He finds team sports does that better than anything else he’s tried.

ALSO READ: Rugged rugby girls maul their way to the B.C. team

He hopes to attract upwards of 20 players so he can have a full team practice.

Walker said if there is enough interest going forward,, the program may create a team to play against other communities, but right now the Sooke group isn’t a member of B.C. Rugby or the Rugby Union.

Players can find more information at

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