From the Editor’s Desk – February 2023

UBCOB Ravens Win U18 Provincial Title; HSBC Hosts Indigenous Youth Workshop at Vancouver 7s; Barbara Mervin Makes News in NZ; From Hospital Bed to Rugby Pitch: The story of James Dubois

UBCOB Win U18 Title

The 2022 Age-Grade Club Season came to a close this weekend after the U18 Boys Final finished with UBCOB Ravens defeating Salish Sea Warriors 26-17.

Taking place at Langford’s Starlight Stadium on Saturday February 4, the U18 Boys Division saw an epic Championship crossover match between the Mainland’s UBCOB Ravens and the Island’s Salish Sea Warriors.

In what was a true nail-bitter, both teams played strong and maintained a close point differential throughout the match.

After two lead changes in the first 30 minutes of play, the Ravens were able to gain the advantage in the second half with a try early on.

More on BCRU

Match Video

Indigenous Youth Rugby Workshop by HSBC at Vancouver 7s

We Scrum As One

Indigenous Youth Rugby Workshop March 3-4 2023, Vancouver, BC

It’s Back! In tandem with the HSBC Canada Sevens Tournament, We Scrum As One connects Indigenous youth with professional athletes for a weekend of Rugby fun and community engagement.

Hosted by HSBC Bank Canada and the Indigenous Canadian Employee Resource Group, this two day event is open to Indigenous youth between the ages of 10-17.

The registration deadline is February 24th. Travel and accommodation support is available, register below for more details.


For any questions about the event, please email

Day 1

Date: Friday, March 3, 2023

Time: 11:00am to 8:00pm

Location: Musqueam Cultural Centre, 4000 Musqueam Ave, Vancouver, BC V6N 3S2


Meet your team over lunch catered by Salmon n Bannock Bistro
Improve your game at the Rugby Skills Clinic
Community Dinner (Salishan Catering), Awards Ceremony and Panel Discussion “A Life in Sport”

Day 2

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023

Time: 9:00am onwards

Location: BC Place, 777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6B 4Y8


Attend the second day of the HSBC Canada Sevens Series (includes a general admission ticket and food voucher)

NZ Article on Stacy Fluhler Gives Shout Out to Barbara Mervin

Black Fern and entrepreneur Stacey Fluhler (Ngai Tuhoe) says her job as a business owner and world-class athlete is a lot tougher than it looks.

“Everyone sees the tip of the iceberg, with you winning or playing. They don’t see all the layers beneath it,” she said.

“I feel we are quite authentic in showing that vulnerability.”

Fluhler started Stacey Fluhler Scrunchies in 2021, when the Covid-19 pandemic brought sport and travel to a global standstill.

“I always thought about starting my own little business in the back of my head … I remember a lot of people asking about our scrunchies that we used to wear traveling all around the world.”

The Black Ferns’ global recognition brought attention to the eclectic hair ties that first made waves in mainstream fashion during the 1980s and 1990s.

“Everyone wanted them and loved seeing them in our hair so I decided to take the plunge and make my own small business.”

Fluhler’s venture started through her connection with Canadian rugby player Barbara Mervin, who has her own sportswear business Aptoella Rugby.

“She actually gifted me scrunchies five years ago now. I’ve been all around the world and hers were my favourite by far,” Fluhler said.

She said their “sweat-proof, waterproof material” is a major factor in how well they support wahine during the game.

“I actually loved how she made them, which just made it more convenient for me.”

Like many other small business owners in Aotearoa, Fluhler says her business is a labour of love.

More in NZ Herald

From Hospital Bed to Rugby Pitch

James Dubois, a current player with the Comox Valley Kickers RFC has defied all odds. In 2020, James was diagnosed with cancer in his spleen which he subsequently had removed. A spleen will usually weigh less than a pound, but James’ spleen was so enlarged that it weighed approximately 7 pounds when removed through surgery.

Not long after his spleen was removed, he found out that the cancer was very aggressive and was attacking his other organs, namely his kidneys and his heart. The heart is made of connective tissue and muscle cells that do not turn over very fast which is why heart cancer is extremely rare with an incidence rate of 0.002%.

James did several rounds of chemotherapy. His body reacted well to the treatment, and he was in remission.
One year ago, James was once again in a hospital bed at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, now in a cancer coma with a brain tumour that was attempting to spread. He was on death’s doorstep.

With a strong will, he began chemotherapy again and eventually had a stem cell transplant in June of 2022.

On Saturday, January 28th, 2023, everyone at Cumberland Village Park witnessed something special. James – now 53 years old – stepped on the rugby pitch and played his first game of rugby after having beaten cancer twice. Low and behold, as he wore the black and maroon for the Comox Valley Kickers, he played against Richmond RFC, the club from his hometown that he had previously played 20 years with.

It was a beautiful day for rugby and the camaraderie shown from both teams was a sight to be seen.

From Comox Valley Rugby by Natalie Ramsay

Posted in Editorials.

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