Pacific Pride Updates - July 2019

July 15 2019

Ed Ilnicki - Football to Rugby crossover athlete

Meet Ed Ilnicki - Football to Rugby Crossover Athlete

The Pacific Pride, the Rugby Canada academy team, is set to restart this fall playing in the BC Premier league. We'll look at some of the players who will be suiting up with the team this season, there are some surprises.

One of the first surprises is an athlete who is new to rugby, Ed Ilnicki. Ed is not your average athlete, in January he was was named a U SPORTS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian. That means he maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while excelling on a university varsity team. There are two chosen per region, male and female for a total of 8 Canada wide. lnicki broke the Canada West single-season rushing record with 1,468 rushing yards in 2017, he also led U SPORTS in carries and rushing touchdowns in 2017, winning the prestigious Hec Crighton Trophy as the top football player in Canada. Just turning 24 in July he recently completed a Bachelor's of Commerce studying finance & business law at the Alberta School of Business. So he's smart, athletic, and driven but can he play rugby or more accurately can he pick up rugby by immersing himself in an elite rugby academy environment? We can hardly wait to find out the answer as we follow his progress throughout the year.

Ed lists journalism as one of his interests and he dove right into documenting his rugby journey, we suggest you follow Ed on Twitter at @EdwardIlnicki. Here are some of the updates so far.

I'm making the jump into a new sport this fall, joining the @RugbyCanada Academy team out in Victoria starting late August. I'm gonna do a journal-style thread of this experiment, mostly for myself but I think some people might be interested in how it goes? Maybe?

Almost done week 2 of the Rugby Canada program. Running 600m shuttles on a beauty Edmonton Saturday ain't bad, but my legs are toast. Conditioning is improving, encouraged by how it went this week, still a long way to go.

So that's the overview. I started the RC training plan this week and it's going well. There's definitely a gap for me conditioning wise that will take some hard work to make up. But I can feel the drive to compete at a high level has returned for me. And I'm stoked about that.

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