The Comox Valley Kickers began its youth program in 2009, and mini program the following year. The program began to grow and soon was fielding U8, U10 and U12 team playing in the VIRU Jamborees. In 2013 the club was able to field a successful U16/U18 Mens team and for the first time a U16/U18 Womens team.
The Comox Valley launched Rugby Canada’s Rookie Rugby program beginning of February 2015 within the Comox Valley School District. Rookie Rugby is a non-contact form of rugby using flag belts for children of all ages. The program introduces children to rugby by using fun generic games that are adapted to the sport. Six elementary schools in the area decided to pilot this project- Brooklyn, Huband Park, Queenish, Valley View, Ecole Puntledge Park and Courtenay Elementary. They went into the pilot schools and delivered Rookie Rugby PE classes to over 800 children from kindergarten to grade seven in three days.
With a good startup base of instructors, the Comox Valley Kickers will be offering in-school support for PE classes and PLC after-school Rookie Rugby day camps at all the pilot schools beginning March 25th and April 22nd. The local recreation centers will be approached about the Rookie Rugby volunteers running a couple camps throughout the summer to keep rugby available and the community interested. In late August 2015 after meeting with the SD71’s Elementary School Athletic Board, Aimee Burley and Tony La Carte will be training and refreshing the teachers on the Rookie Rugby Curriculum to be able to deliver it in PE classes again once school begins. At the same time the Comox Valley Kickers will launch a 6-8 week in-house league leading into the Vancouver Island Rugby Union Mini and Youth Rugby seasons and again in January 2016. Three regions of the Comox Valley (Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland) will have their own ‘club’ name and colour open to children ages 5-13. Children will be placed onto each team and given their team shirt when they register based on school district breakdowns or other delineations and will have sufficient coaches assigned to each of the age categories. The teams will have sessions once a week in each of the areas and then all come together Sundays for games. The final Sunday will be a big bbq for the families which the Kickers are seeking out sponsorship for. After the league is complete, children wishing to play more continue into the mini/youth fall season with the Comox Valley Rugby Club.