Eleven Okanagan athletes will represent B.C. Rugby at the under-16 Western Championships in Kelowna from July 25-28 at Parkinson Rec Centre.
Five teams will play in B.C. colours at the tournament — two girls’ teams (U15 and U16) and three boys’ teams (U15, U16 Blue, U16 Gold) against teams from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan over three days.
Team selections were made at the culmination of two camps — Shawnigan Lake School for the boys and UBC’s Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre for the girls.
Over five days, more than 250 players from across B.C. took part in an array of drills, skills challenges, team-building exercises and matches to help coaching staff identify the top athletes.
“This year’s … selection camps have been a real highlight for both players and coaches,” said Aaron Takel, B.C. Rugby’s growth and development manager. “It will be exciting to see how this culture, attitude and playing style translates on to the field at upcoming tournaments.”
The Western Canadian championship, taking place for the second year, were conceived as a vehicle for athlete development and meaningful competition for top athletes. Last year, boys’ and girls’ teams from B.C. turned in some excellent performances, winning 14 of 18 matches; the boys’ U16 Blue and U16 girls were undefeated.
The level of competition is expected to be even higher this year, with Saskatchewan and Manitoba to field teams in the U16 girls division.
There will also be an exhibition game at the Apple Bowl between the B.C. Bears and Prairie Wolfpack in the second leg of their Best of the West Series.
A full schedule for the Westerns is to be made available early next week at bcrugby.com/u16wcc.
BC U15 Girls’ XVs
Stephanie Hickson, Pen-Hi
Tia Jordo, Kelowna Secondary Gracey Larson, Mount Boucherie
BC U15 Boys’ XVs
Mike Jowsey, Kelowna
Evan Pankiw-Arsenault, Penticton
Max Therrien, Kelowna
BC U16 Boys’ Gold XVs
Sullivan Curran, Kelowna Senior
Sol Jacques, Pen-Hi
Jacob Jobst, Aberdeen Hall
Cameron Halverson, Kelowna
Tanner Milligan, Kelowna