Dozens of people turned out on Saturday to play a fun game of touch rugby in Kelowna City Park to mark the 100th anniversary since the sport was first played in the city.
Dozens of people gathered in City Park for a series of rugby matches to mark the 100th anniversary of the sport's first organized games being played in the city.
"Rugby is the only chaos-centred sport," centennial match organizer Doug Manning said.
"It doesn't stop every few seconds like football, and the players have to always be enterprising and creative.
"I really think it's a sport that fosters entrepreneurship and an enterprising nature, both for individuals and members of a group," Manning said.
Sports like cricket and polo were enjoyed in Kelowna in the early 19th Century, but rugby was the only one that routinely made the front pages of this newspaper, Manning said, attesting to its popularity in the young city with a population of about 2,500.
But the start of the First World War in 1914 put a stop to rugby and most forms of organized sport, with most of the city's contingent of young, able-bodied men departing for the battlefields of Europe. There are no accounts of any rugby games throughout the duration of the war, which ended in 1919, Manning says.
Over the years, rugby has waxed and waned in popularity. Today, it's experiencing something of a renaissance, with the number of players - men, women, teens and children - having doubled since 2010.