Players from Canada’s only professional rugby team passed along pointers Friday to some of the best young players on the Island.
The youth clinic featuring five players from the Arrows on the pitch at Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre was sponsored by Westshore Rugby, which has been based at Juan de Fuca for the past four years, said Clay Panga, executive director for Westshore Valhallians men’s program and the Westshore Valkyries women’s program.
Arrows players Lucas Rumball, Andrew Ferguson, Cole Keith, Dan Moor and Guiseppe Du Toit went over fundamentals with about 30 boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 18. “The emphasis was on having fun,” Panga said. “The main objective was to show the kids that pro rugby is here and a career is possible. We had some of the best young players from across the Island taking part, including boys and girls from elite programs and the Vancouver Island Crimson Tide Academy. It was one of the best camps I’ve seen on the Island.”
Having Rugby Canada’s national teams based in Langford for the past few years has been instrumental in the growing popularity of the sport, Panga noted.
Westshore Rugby conducts introductory rugby clinics for kids between five and 12 on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 at Juan de Fuca. “Rugby is all inclusive. It’s a great sport for kids of any shape or size. We’ve got a spot for everyone,” Panga added.