Rugby at UBC’s Okanagan campus continues to grow. After a fall season that included UBC Okanagan men’s and women’s teams competing successfully in various BC club rugby divisions, highlighted with the Heat coming back to defeat the University of Calgary 21-17 in the inaugural Hindson Cup in late October, the Heat now move into their spring season.
The spring season will see the Heat playing rugby sevens as UBC Okanagan will field both men’s and women’s teams. With rugby sevens becoming an Olympic sport there is a lot of interest in this fast paced exciting game.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Las Vegas for the 2012 Las Vegas Invitational Sevens tournament, which will take place February 9th-10th. The teams will use this as a warm up event for the 2012 National Invitational University Sevens Championships held at the National Center for Rugby Excellence in Langford B.C., March 2-3.
Rob O’Brien is the head coach for both the men’s and women’s teams and has been instrumental in the rapid development of rugby on UBC’s Okanagan campus and he provides some insight into what is upcoming:
“These young athletes are committed to making a name for UBC Okanagan Heat Rugby,” comments O’Brien. “The USA Sevens tournament gives them an opportunity to get essential game experience before the Nationals in March. Our objective is to make a name for our team at these nationals and use this to recruit top players to our region. Given the commitment and determination of these young athletes, I am confident we will accomplish that.”
On the men’s side the team will be competing in the Men’s Aces division and will be tested by the likes of a Northern Californian team, the EPA Bulldogs, the Marist Hawaii Rugby Club, the Dixie State 7’s, and the Eastside Tsunami RFC.
The women play in the Women’s College division, and square off against US schools Notre Dame and Stanford, and a fellow Canadian school in the Brock Badgers.
This will be the first year UBC Okanagan will send teams to Las Vegas to compete on such a large international stage with both the men’s and women’s squad’s made up entirely with UBC Okanagan students.
In addition to Head Coach Rob O’Brien, the team has experienced coaches John Laboyne and former national 7’s player Barry Ebl as key members of the Coaching Staff.
For more information on Heat rugby visit: www.goheat.ca/rugby
For more info in the Las Vegas sevens visit: http://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/las-vegas-invitational/
For more info on the University 7’s visit: http://events.rugbycanada.ca/events_details.php?e=61
The rosters for the Heat teams:
|Men’s Team||Women’s Team|
|Judah Campbell - Captain||Heather Gray - Captain|
|James Scott||Krystle Carpenter|
|David-James Pauls||Madeleine Reeves|
|Jared Dalmolin||Claire Gontard|
|Neil Fowler||Jordan Pittman|
|Bryce Stirling||Kristine Slater|
|Ryan Simair||Madison Tardif|
|Tim Coles||Hilary Cameron|
|Christopher Ho||Kelsey MacFarlane|
|Grady Krohman||Kristin Vidi|