Thunder Rugby Holds Three Camps to Identify Indigenous Athletes for NZ 2022 Tour
[ed. comments below]
Last week I travelled with the Thunder Indigenous program to document their youth camps in Shawnigan Lake, Capilano and Abbotsford. The tour was supposed to continue to Kamloops and Prince George but with the wildfires closing down the Coquihalla Highway earlier that week and the air quality index a concern, the decision was made to cancel the last two stops. It turned out to be a moot point as the truck carrying the coaches and equipment broke down on the 4 lane highway between Vancouver and Abbotsford. The truck decided it wasn't going any further than Abbotsford anyway.
The good news is the three camps that went ahead were great successes. Shawnigan had the biggest turnout, Capilano had the most diverse turnout in terms of age spread, and Abby had a lot of high potential athletes that turned out.
Here are some photos and notes from the camps (click on images for larger versions). Shawnigan Lake camp
The first camp and the most attended camp held on the beautiful Shawnigan Lake school grounds.
Jack Dumont, from Calgary, was visiting family and attended the camp. At 16 he has the size and skill to catch the eye of age-grade selectors.
Harry Seymour has the size of a prop but the hands of a fullback. His Uncle Marvin was an excellent prop for Cowichan. Capilano camp
The coaches at the Capilano camp, Jake Thiel, Chanelle Edwards-Challenger, Dakota LaChance
6 year old Jax Yaroshuk was a favourite at the camp. He attended with 3 older siblings but put in a full shift in every activity. He's going to be one to watch over the next decade. Abbotsford camp
Perhaps the most outstanding athlete overall, Manuel Boada, started the camp with a fast 1600m run without breaking a sweat. He seemed to excel in all activities at the camp.
Kamryn Howlett has impressive kicking skills, outdistancing everyone in the punting competition, except Manuel. She was also accurate in the scrum-half passing drill. Fundraiser
The next Thunder fundraiser is a joint fundraiser with BC Grassroots Rugby. Attend the Esquimalt Ribfest in the VIP tent for all you can eat ribs from 7 to 10 pm on Friday September 10th (it also includes your beverages so make sure to arrange a ride or cab beforehand). The VIP tent is next to the stage where some quality entertainers will be performing. Tickets are $175 and a $100 tax receipt will be issued to the purchaser. You can buy tickets online at thunderrugby.ca/events