Canada West Launches New Sevens Series for Women in January/February
posted Nov 9 2016
[ed. comments below. Note that the Edmonton venue in January will be indoors.]
It's the sort of initiative that keeps the women's program on top and provides a strong platform to develop the next generation of national team players. It's what you would expect when you have a stable national team program with a coach that's looking five years down the road to make his job easier. When you bring in someone from offshore they're not interested in the picture five years from now, they're looking for immediate results with little concern for development. It's why the men's program is floundering.
This is starting off with 6 teams but could expand if successful in year one. UVic and UBC don't play in the women's XVs club leagues in the spring so they can focus on 7s. Calgary, Alberta and Lethbridge don't have the weather for rugby in January and February. University of Fraser Valley is a bit of an unknown in the rugby world. The Cascades just started a rugby program to fit into this new league, Jen Ross is the driving force behind this and will be the coach.
The one concern is they're holding the first of 3 two day tournaments in Edmonton on January 21-22. The last 3 years' temperature in Edmonton for January 21st was -15C, -5C and -2C (maybe there is something to this global warming). The average total snowfall in January in Edmonton is 25cm. Unless there's an indoor stadium in the equation, the risk of cancellation, not to mention injury, is pretty high on frozen ground. The series moves to UBC and Victoria in February.
It's a good initiative with maybe a few scheduling bugs to be worked out. from Rugby Canada
NEW WESTMINSTER – Canada West, B2Ten and Rugby Canada are proud to announce the launch of a new rugby sevens pilot project.
Beginning in January 2017, the Canada West Women’s Rugby Sevens Series will provide Canadian female student-athletes the opportunity to pursue the game of rugby sevens, while studying in Canada.
The project, which will include joint funding from B2Ten and Rugby Canada, will see the creation of a three-tournament rugby sevens series involving six Canada West institutions – the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of the Fraser Valley, University of Lethbridge, and University of Victoria.
Coming off Canada’s women’s rugby sevens bronze at the Rio Olympics, B2Ten and Rugby Canada are committed to producing the next generation of Olympians by growing the game at Western Canadian universities that share their collective goal of developing high performance rugby programs here in Canada.
The three-year pilot project is part of B2Ten’s ongoing mandate to help in the development of elite Canadian athletes and promotion of sport and active lifestyle in creating a healthy and dynamic society.
“This initiative builds a pathway to the sevens national team while offering student-athletes the opportunity to pursue their university studies in Canada,” said B2ten’s Dominick Gauthier. “We are pleased to join Rugby Canada, the participating universities and Canada West in support of women’s rugby sevens, a sport we believe Canada is well suited to challenge for gold in at the Olympic Games.”
Through their joint support, which will include scholarship opportunities for players at all six competing institutions, B2Ten and Rugby Canada are committed to helping Canadian female athletes pursue their athletic careers, including an opportunity to progress to the national team.
"The launch of the Canada West Women's Rugby Sevens Series is a fantastic initiative that will see tremendous growth of female sevens players," said Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen. “The competition will provide a new pathway to our national sevens programs and will act as a great development tool for players."
The pilot project aligns with Canada West’s ongoing efforts to develop new athletic opportunities for our student-athletes, as they pursue academic and athletic excellence at some of Canada’s finest post-secondary institutions.
"Canada West appreciates the partnership with Rugby Canada and B2ten. Together we are committed to growing women's rugby sevens in a way that aligns university sport with the development of our national team program and helps motivate our top student-athletes to stay in Canada, while pursuing their post-secondary and international goals," said Victoria Athletic Director and Canada West Vice President of Planning and Research Clint Hamilton.
The Canada West Women’s Rugby Seven Series opens January 21 and 22 in Edmonton, Alta. as the University of Alberta hosts the inaugural event, before further tournaments at the University of Victoria (February 4 and 5) and University of British Columbia (February 18 and 19).
The winner of the series will be crowned following the final tournament of the series, as determined by cumulative series points.