George Jones Award Winners 2021


Birthplace: Truro, NS
Favourite memory growing up: My mother and I went on a road trip along the coast of California a few years ago and it was an incredible experience.
Position played: I’ve played every position in the forwards but have mostly focused on hooker.
First-year playing rugby: 2017 (9th grade)
Favourite Coach: My very first club and High School coach, her name is Meghan MacEachern.
Most influential people in life: Meghan MacEachern, as mentioned above, as well as some of the upper year players on my university team, they are so unbelievably incredible.
Favourite rugby memory: When I played for U16 Rugby Nova Scotia we were playing team New Brunswick in the gold medal game after having lost to them 3 times in the season. It ended up going into double overtime and we won!
Worst rugby memory: I unfortunately tore my ACL and meniscus over the summer, and had to have surgery and am currently in a very long recovery process.
Favourite movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Favourite musician: Hozier
Favourite book: Where the Crawdads Sing
Career Plans: Something in the field of Aerospace Engineering
Rugby goals in the next two years: Make a full recovery from surgery and play my first University game.
Fun fact about you: I absolutely love crocheting.
Your social media handles: Instagram: Emberwarren_


Birthplace: Saskatoon SK, Canada
Favourite memory growing up: Swimming, water sports and Camping with family and friends at the north Saskatchewan river down the hill from where I live.
Position played: Wing
First-year playing rugby: 2019
Favourite Coach:Robin MacDowell and Kayla Mack.
Most influential people in life: My dad for always giving me sports advice and just life advice in general and for always pushing me to do my best. My mom for always making sure I tried every sport available and always encouraging me to be the best I could be in school and sports. Robin MacDowell being a great example of how hard work pays off and that if you chase your dreams and put in the effort you can accomplish them.
Favourite rugby memory: Playing my first season of rugby with my sister Christina who I grew up playing sports with and winning our last game at CanWest together.
Worst rugby memory: Tearing my ACL at a Senior Women’s 15’s practice.
Favourite movie: The Amazing Spiderman 2
Favourite musician:Morgan Wallen
Favourite book:The Harry Potter Series.
Career Plans: Doctor of Medicine.
Rugby goals in the next two years:Join the Maple Leafs and play on the world sevens series.
Fun fact about you: I love snowmobiling and dirtbiking on the farm at home.
Your social media handles:Instagram: @carissa.norsten


Birthplace: Lacombe, Alberta
Favourite memory growing up: Going on trips with my family.
Position played: Flank, Centre
First-year playing rugby: 2017
Favourite Coach: Kessie Stefanyk & Erika Green
Most influential people in life: My family
Favourite rugby memory: Getting to travel with my team to places like Vancouver to compete and watch HSBC Canada sevens!
Worst rugby memory: Not being able to play rugby for over a year due to a knee injury that required surgery.
Favourite movie: Lilo and Stitch
Favourite musician: Passenger
Favourite book: Paper Towns
Career Plans: I am currently working towards my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, and hope to work in a pediatrics unit!
Rugby goals in the next two years: I have been cleared to return to rugby after my surgery and plan to get comfortable playing again and hope to play on a varsity team.
Fun fact about you: I love being outdoors and going hiking.
Social media handles: @sierra.stewart


Birthplace: Kenora, ON
Favourite memory growing up: Going to rugby games
Position played: Front Row
First-year playing rugby: 2011
Favourite Coach: Andy Clark
Most influential people in life: My rugby team-all of them
Favourite rugby memory: Nicaragua Tour with Nomads 2020…though I don’t remember much of it.
Worst rugby memory: Social Distanced Pandemic Training
Favourite movie: Brooklyn
Favourite musician: The Arkells
Favourite book: The Undomestic Goddess
Career Plans: I want to be a shop welder, then maybe a fabricator
Rugby goals in the next two years: Winter training with the Crusaders after Christmas, then a tournament, hoping to expand the womens team.
Fun fact about you: I also play goalie on a hockey with the other welders in my class.
Your social media handles: @maryreddon instagram.

David Symington


Birthplace: Williams Lake British Columbia, Canada
Favourite memory growing up: Being active with my dad while playing rugby, surfing, cricket, hiking, etc.
Position played: flyhalf, outside center, wing
First-year playing rugby: 2013
Favourite Coach: Jas Purewal (Port Alberni Black Sheep)
Most influential people in life: My parents
Favourite rugby memory: Highschool Rugby Provincials 2019
Worst rugby memory: Breaking my collarbone
Favourite movie: Spider-man
Favourite musician: Midnight Oil
Favourite book: The Hobbit
Career Plans: Pursue a career in independent film making
Rugby goals in the next two years: Play club rugby and have as much fun as I can while becoming the best player I can be
Fun fact about you: I really enjoy cooking
Your social media handles: Instagram: david_symington_ TikTok: david_symington


Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Favourite memory growing up: Skiing at Sunshine with my family
Position played: Inside-center mostly, a little flanker
First-year playing rugby: 1999
Favourite Coach: I can only remember his first name, Johnny. He was from New Zealand and he introduced me to the sport.
Most influential people in life: my 2 daughters
Favourite rugby memory: Taking the high school team I coach to our school’s first-ever provincial championship (even though we lost)
Worst rugby memory: Not being allowed to field a team in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Favourite movie: Pulp Fiction
Favourite musician: Jimi Hendrix
Favourite book: Nineteen Eighty-Four
Career Plans: To finish my Masters and continue coaching and teaching.
Rugby goals in the next two years: To get my team back into competitive shape after Covid interruptions.
Fun fact about you: I accidentally stole someone’s quad on the island of Santorini (my key worked on their identical quad). I was arrested for 15 minutes. An honest mistake, we’ve all done it!
Your social media handles: I’m actually the only person in the world not on any Social Media. You can email me at:


Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Favorite memory growing up: My favorite memory growing up has to be the time spent during the summer on the Vancouver coastline swimming, exploring, and cliff jumping with my buddies.
Favorite Coach: My favorite coach would have to be Perino Zambon of Rockridge High School Rugby. His effort, along with fellow coach and teacher Scott Lawson, created a phenomenal rugby program at Rockridge secondary. I owe to that team countless memories, some of my best friends, and my love of the game of rugby.
Favorite movie: Snatch, directed by Guy Ritchie
Favorite Musician: Bob Marley
Most Influential People: My mother, father, and my close friends are the biggest influences in my life. Seeing how hard my parents work to create the best life possible for me is inspiring. I owe 100% of my success to them and all the things they have done to both support me and push me in whatever I choose to do. I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by such great people.
Position played: Back Row
Favorite Rugby memory: I have too many favorite rugby memories to pick just one. A rugby memory that I really believe embodies the spirit of the game was after the devastating cancellation of our senior season. We self-organized and refereed a 7’s tournament. It was unsurprisingly a disaster but a great time.
Worst rugby memory: My worst rugby memory has to be getting taken out of the high school city championships with an injury. Losing that game and not being able to play in a city championship was pretty sour, however, we were given the opportunity to go play for the BC provincial tournament.
Career plans: I hope to graduate from university and become a human rights lawyer. I would like to be a professional athlete and help make the world a better place.
Rugby goals for the next two years: In the next two years I hope to get named to a Team Canada Rugby squad.
Favorite Book: I have too many favorite books to count. If I had to pick one at the moment, it’s Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
Fun fact about myself: At the age of 4 my family and I lived in The Bahamas for close to a year.
Social Media Handle: Instagram: Demetrijpatterson

Col. W.D.C. Holmes Awards Presented at the 2021 Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship

From November 24-28, Queen’s University hosted the Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship (CUMRC). The 2021 CUMRC featured eight teams from across Canada including the ultimate champion UBC and UVic from BC, Calgary from the Prairies, Guelph, Queen’s and RMC from Ontario, Concordia from Quebec, and Dalhousie from the Atlantic region.

As was the case with the U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Nationals, 8 student-athletes were recognized for their off-field contributions to the game of rugby at their university and community in the past year, while their university team’s Athletic Financial Awards (AFAs) were enhanced with $500 cheques from the Canadian Rugby Foundation’s W.D.C. Holmes Fund. Examples of factors to be considered could include organizing community events involving the team, mentoring younger players, volunteering with their home rugby club or at the community in which the university is located, volunteering as a club executive or an official at any level, and providing off-the-field leadership on the university team.

The Col. W.D.C. Holmes Awards are presented by Michael Holmes in memory of his late father Lt. Col. W.D.C. Holmes, who won the sword of honour at RMC in 1942 before embarking on a distinguished career in the British Army during and after World War II. Fittingly the same Royal Military College  made its inaugural appearance in the 2021 CUMRC.

The following eight men were recognized for their contributions to the game of rugby:

Braden Gray – Royal Military College, 4th Year, Computer Engineering

Brayden is a senior computer engineering student and the team captain.   A native of Ottawa, Ontario his career choice is to serve in the Royal Canadian Navy as a Marine Systems Engineering Officer.  He has held a number of leadership position within RMC including Flight Section Commander and Squadron Sports Officer.

Aria Keshoofy – University of Guelph, 5th Year, MSc. Population Medicine

Aria has been a leader and captain for the past two season, who recently won the OUA Trillium Award this past season. Last Christmas he organized a advent donation drive which resulted in gifts and food for 9 families in need. He also helps mentor younger and incoming players.

Dawson Legere – Dalhousie University, 3rd Year, Arts

Dawson successfully recovered from two shoulder surgeries to become a most essential part of the DURFC pack. Beyond his invaluable contributions to the team, Dawson has committed himself to being an exemplary figure in the Halifax rugby community. This past summer, Dawson rose to head coach for the U-15 Nova Scotia provincial squad. At 21 years of age, he is one of the more respected figures in Nova Scotia for his playing and coaching abilities.

Logan Martin-Feek – University of   Victoria, 4th Year

Logan has been unable to compete with his team on the field this season due to injury but was previously the on-field captain and has continued to foster his leadership skills . Logan is the first guy to make sure that the players new to our program feel welcome, and that they belong. He has worked tirelessly this year to develop himself as a leader, frequently looking for professional development opportunities, and suggesting ways in which we can better our program.

Aidan McMullan – Concordia University, 2nd Year Building Engineering

Only a second year student and already recognized as a team captain, Aidan is a leader in off the field activities, he is a mentor to young aspiring rugby players, and coaches rugby in the community.

Alex Pipchuck – Queen’s University, 5th Year, Arts & Science

Alex is one of the team leaders in organizing the Run for the Cure for the Men’s Rugby Team fundraising for the past 3 years. The Gaels have been the top fund-raising team from a Canadian university and the top team from Kingston. Alex led the team to raise funds in a number of ways, including an email campaign, going door-to-door in non-COVID years, run challenges where money is donated per kilometre, and contributions from the team’s alumni.

Sam Platt – University of Calgary, 3rd Year, Law

Sam engages the community and rugby team to get involved with positive and exuberant passion. This year alone Sam serves on the Exec as the Liaison for all Charity connections. Successfully accomplished raising over $10k for breast cancer and continues to excel at engaging the team in events to better our community presence. Sam is working on an initiative to engage local high schools to share the players’ and coaches’ knowledge at the University of Calgary Dinos with the local community, while having fun and raising awareness for mental health.

Bryce Worden – UBC, 4th Year, Kinesiology

Bryce is applying to Medical School after his degree in Kinesiology. He guides and informs younger players and leads from behind and sometimes out front with the senior players.  He leads a abundant group of mini and junior rugby players at his home club.


Founded in 2017, the 2021 Toronto Arrows Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship, presented by Lougheed Wealth Management-Raymond James, marked the 4th year for the tournament. With generous  sponsor support from the Canadian Rugby Foundation, Langara Fishing Adventures, Pemberton-Holmes, Pinnacle Scouting and with the support of Rugby Canada, the CUMRC is contributing to the growth of university men’s rugby across Canada with 34 teams now competing to qualify for the tournament and two more slated  to join in 2022, when the Championship will be held at the University of British Columbia. And increasingly, the university ranks are the crucial development path for MLR’s Toronto Arrows, and and the senior national 15s team.

Inaugural Col. W.D.C. Holmes Awards Presented at the 2021 U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship

The Nov. 10-14 U SPORTS Women’s Rugby Championship hosted by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, marked the first Holmes Awards recognizing off-field contributions to the game of rugby by a Canadian University Women’s Rugby student-athlete.

The Col. W.D.C. Holmes Awards are presented by Michael Holmes through the Canadian Rugby Foundation in memory of his late father, Lt. Col. W.D.C. Holmes, who won the sword of honour at RMC in 1942 before heading off to England with a commission in the British Army in the Second World War.  In his 25 year career with the British Army he fought in numerous campaigns  and was awarded both the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order for bravery in the Korean War.

Sixteen awards of $500 are presented to the 8 Women’s and 8 Men’s teams in the National University Rugby Championships, to go towards each team’s Athletic Financial Awards (AFAs). The award recognizes the player on each team who has best contributed to the game of rugby at their university and community in the past year. The goal is to encourage the future leaders of the sport of rugby across Canada and recognize off-the-field vs. on-field performance, Examples of factors to be considered could include organizing community events involving the team, mentoring younger players, volunteering with home rugby club, or at the community in which the university is located, volunteering as a club executive or an official at any level, and providing off-the-field leadership on the university team.

Eight women were recognized for their off-the-field contributions to the game of rugby, each representing the eight Universities competing at the Women’s Rugby Nationals as follow:

Sophie-Rose Pickard – Acadia University, 5th Year Kinesiology

Sophie has been a standout team player on and off the field and took the role to new heights this season. Her positive attitude and personality are infectious among the team – even if she’s having a down day. She is a go-to for anyone who need an ear to listen or a helping hand. Soph is always willing to contribute in any way she can; active participation in film sessions, practices, technical questions to provide learning moments for younger players. She is the epitome of what a rugby player is, she spins everything in a positive way and will bring her lessons from rugby her wherever life takes her. Throughout her years as a student-athlete, Soph has shown great resilience in both athletics and academic pursuits. No matter her adversities, Sophie has always remained grounded, true to herself, and have become a role model for younger players. Sophie plans to move back home to Newfoundland upon graduation to help women’s programs develop and succeed on the national stage.

Amelia Stapley – Queen’s University, 4th Year Arts & Science


Amelia has been an incredible teammate for 4 years within the Queen’s Women’s Rugby program. She is always going out of her way to support her teammates – especially our 1st years – to ensure they are well looked after.  Amelia also volunteers her time at her local rugby club, coaching mini rugby and helping pass on her love for the sport.

Dani Franada – St. Francis Xavier University, 4th Year Business

Dani is a player every coach wants to have; she makes her teammates better by just being on the field. She is a leader on the field, in the dressing room, and in the StFX leadership academy. She is respected by our younger players and is well liked by all her teammates. She is kind and considerate of others and looks to lead by example.

Annabelle Parent – Université Laval, 4th Year Intervention Sportif

Annabelle has been plenty involved in the rugby community during the covid period. She managed different programs and academies for kids between 6 and 21 years old according to public health authorities. She also volunteers to make known rugby in high school and primary school all over Quebec and his region. Despite recovering from ACL injuries, she never stops helping the growth of our sport during this period.

Rori Woods – University of British Columbia, 3rd Year Kinesiology

Rori has been a huge part as a coach and program leader with the UBC mini rugby program. This is her second year. The program runs for 8 to10 weeks in Term One and again in term two during the school year. The program runs every Sunday morning, with 50 children aged 3 to 9. Rori has also been involved in a UBC recruit camp that took place during the summer break. Rori has also supported the UBC female rugby academy as a coach and mentor to potential new recruits. Rori is also a huge part in the University leadership group.

Hannah Beaumont – University of Guelph, 5th Year Human Kinetics

Hannah is a speedster on the pitch that can score tries and track down any opponent. She’s the top try scorer this season with a whopping 10 tries. She’s courageous in contact at such high speeds and does this with a smile on her face. Hannah is an exceptional player and teammate. She has made her mark on the gryphon program and will be missed immensely following her graduation.

Ngozi Mosindi – University of Ottawa, 2nd Year Criminology

Since Ngozi has become a part of the Gee-Gees, she has been extreemely involved in all aspects of what we do on and off the field. She has been a part of our Task Force for Equity and Diversity, where she hosted a 3-part Black Women in Sport: Speaker Series. Apart from all Ngozi has done with the Task Force, she has been a main support with player recruitment. She has been in contact with recruits all fall, hosting zoom meetings, supporting trial days, and maintaining connections. In the zoom sessions, Ngozi leads recruits through their questions and gives insight to our program. Ngozi has also helped with the development of our younger players by supporting their development games and the growth of other young athletes in Ottawa. She has planned and ran sessions with the rugby team at Heritage College as well as Ashbury Colleges’ football team.

Ada Okonkwo – University of Victoria, 4th Year Masters in Public Health

Ada has been an incredible advocate and leader for the Vikes Women’s Rugby team, the Vikes athletics department, the university and in the community this past year. She is currently completing her master’s in Public Health and has a passion for uplifting the voices of the BIPOC community. Ada also organized our team to all wear orange and consulted with the indigenous community on campus to make sure our game on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was done properly and with respect. For the university, Ada is a member of the Vikes Student-athlete Leadership Council. She provides advice to Vikes Athletics Department for leadership on advancing the culture of excellence associated with varsity athletics and the student-athlete experience, as well as any issues related to BIPOC. In consultation with the Indigenous Academic & Community Engagement Department, In the community, Ada has used her voice to advance the BIPOC community. She was involved in the Black Lives Matter movement and spoke at the peaceful protests in Victoria. She also organized a peaceful protest at Victoria City Hall to bring global awareness and attention to the violation of human rights and injustices against Nigerian youths #ENDSARS.

Presentations were made by Hans de Goede a Director of the Foundation (whose daughter Sophie captained the Gold medal-winning Queen’s Gaels and was named the Tournament MVP) and Jeff Chan, Executive Director of the Foundation.




Announcing the Steven Batie Memorial Fund

The latest of the Foundation’s Awards Endowment Funds has just gone live with the creation of the Steven Batie Memorial Fund.

The Fund was created by Steven’s family in October 2021 to honour his 25-year legacy in Canadian rugby. He was a leader both on and off the pitch at the club, provincial and national U21 level and his legendary tenacity during the game was matched only by his kindness, warmth, and welcoming nature off the field.

Steven’s rugby life began with the Ladysmith Secondary School Blues Rugby Program, followed by the Nanaimo Hornets Rugby Club. After high school, Steven became a beloved member of the UVic Vikes Rugby Program for six years, meeting and playing alongside lifelong friends under the mentorship of Doug Tate.


Steve focused his education on finance following his undergrad by completing the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s (BCIT) Financial Management program. He began his career in finance in the banking industry, earned his CFP designation, and ultimately transitioned away from the traditional financial institutions to become a financial planner, investment advisor, and owner of Rothdale Pacific Wealth Management in Vancouver.

After UVic Steve went on to become a long-standing member of the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club. For 15 years, he played at every level with the club while helping coach and mentor new players. He also volunteered his time and expertise to provide additional fitness training to support players trying out for representative teams. Burnaby Lake was also where he met his wife Jean and his family is grateful to the club for embracing the entire Batie family.

Steven was also a valued member of a number of representative teams, including the Mid Island Tsunami, the Canadian U21 Men’s World Cup Team, and BC at all levels, including starting in BC Bears’ famous 2014 victory over the Uruguayan Men’s National Team.

Support of this fund will help grow the game of rugby and support the two clubs – University of Victoria Vikes Men’s Rugby program and the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club – that brought Steven so much joy and happiness during his life, in addition to keeping his spirit alive for his family.

In addition to supporting this fund, Steven’s family asks that you also honour his life and legacy by being kind – to yourself, your teammates, your friends and even strangers – for everyone you meet may be fighting a battle you know nothing about. In closing, the family has asked that we share the words Steven’s dad would say to him before every single game (and most practices) over his 25 years playing rugby:

Play Hard.
Play Safe.
And Have Fun.

The Steven Batie Memorial Fund will be officially unveiled at Steve’s Celebration of Life on November 14, 2021.

Dennis Crawford Memorial Award Fund

The Dennis Crawford Memorial Scholarship Award Fund is dedicated to raising money for an academic scholarship to be awarded annually to a young athlete or athletes pursuing post-secondary education. In partnership with Westshore RFC, recipients of the award will have the opportunity to participate in a specialized training program to enhance their skills to become specialists at the front row position(s) in the sport of rugby. In addition to their on-field support, the scholarship will provide these student-athletes with financial assistance to support their off-field studies at college, university, or trade school.Continue reading

Online fundraiser for George Jones Foundation

by Carla Wilson / Times Colonist

A roast of the late George Jones will run online on Tuesday to raise money for a scholarship dedicated to post-secondary students involved in rugby.

Jones died in May at age 86. The Victoria resident was known for his prowess as a tax lawyer, his life-long commitment to the sports community in general and particularly rugby, and for his sense of humour.Continue reading

Storm Fisher Wins Courtney Walls Award 2018

CORE Rugbyfrom CORE Rugby
Date: June 25, 2018

At his grad ceremony on Friday night, Storm Fisher was presented with the Courtney Walls Scholarship, a $1,000 contribution to the costs of his post-secondary interests. Only two other local athletes, Sam Overton (OKM) and Joel Henseleit (KSS), have received the award since its introduction to the Okanagan eight years ago. To qualify, the athlete must exemplify three aspects of Courtney’s character – (a) a good student, (b) a leader respected by his teammates and coaches, and (c) a quality rugby player.Continue reading