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Kootenay kids kill it at rugby tournament in Kamloops over Thanksgiving weekend

Four Kootenay zone teams traveled to a season-ending Kamloops 7s tournament during the Thanksgiving weekend — one of the largest junior tournaments in North America with teams from all over BC and Alberta.

The Under 16 Girls team remained unbeaten and won the tournament. This included an extra time 5-0 win against Canuck Rugby Club in the semi-final. Lucy Leishman scored the try to put the girls in the final. A last second try by Sarah Roberston in the final against Abbottsford Rugby Club gave the team a 15-13 win. The team was a mix of older experienced players and up and coming novices.

The girls had hard pool matches against quality opposition from Alberta and BC. The players showed themselves to be tenacious and committed.

Kootenay players Haley Kruk was named tournament MVP and Sarah Robertson was coaches select for her significant contributions.

The U19 boys team finished the tournament with a bronze medal against quality opposition. It was a tight semifinal loss to Thompson Okanagan Rugby Association (TORA, the eventual goals medalists) to put them in the bronze medal game, beating out Calgary Mavericks.

The team was led by standouts, Relmu Wilsom-Valdez and Adam Strautman. At times they looked unbeatable and this is a great start for our senior boy’s year.

The U19 girls placed 5th overall, out of 16 teams in their highly competitive division. Their only loss was an early one to Capilano. The girl’s aggressiveness and commitment are a feature of their game. The core of this team won the Tier 2 15's provincial championship title this May. Our standout player was Mikyla Bergman.

The U 17 boy’s team was made up of developing players from across the region. They played hard but unfortunately did not get results that reflected their hard work. We look forward to this crop of players becoming the mainstay of the Kooteney zone teams.

Coaches encourage any young people who would like to explore becoming involved with rugby in the area to contact their schools for more information. We have a strong core of experienced and committed youth coaches in this area with significant experience in player and youth development.