Antonio Corbin Wins First Howard and Marina Gerwing Scholarship

Antonio Corbin is a promising young player with the Cowichan Rugby club who came through the Ladysmith High School program. We congratulate him as the first recipient of the Howard and Marina Gerwing Scholarship.

[photo below show Antonio with Marina and Howard Gerwing]antonio_corbin

Howard and Marina Gerwing Fund

Howard and Marina Gerwing and a matching donor have pledged $10,000 over the next two years to create a fund for scholarships for Cowichan Valley rugby players. Cowichan Valley, outside of Victoria and Vancouver has probably produced as many National Team players at various age levels as anywhere in Canada

Howard Gerwing was the first coach of the University of Victoria Vikings and led them on three historic tours playing the national team of Yugoslavia in 1978 amongst other historic encounters.

Howard is also a bibliophile and built up the Special Collections section of the UVIC library to be a well known national scholastic resource. Long suffering Marina was in charge of domestic matters and the family residence on Palmer Road served for many years as the UVIC clubhouse and home for itinerant and wayward rugby players.

Howard with scant resources was the joint founder of the first UVIC scholarship fund “the Brian Williams” scholarship fund in memory of one of those wayward and talented players who sadly took his own life in 1987.

Dick Ellis Memorial Fund

The Dick Ellis Memorial Fund (DEMF) originated in 1978 as an ongoing memorial to Mr. Dick Ellis, a Rugby Canada President, who had passed away in office. Donations were provided at the time of Mr. Ellis’s death, and since its inception the trustees of this fund have been distributing financial awards ranging in degree for worthwhile educational Rugby projects across Canada.Continue reading

Canadian Women at the World Cup – Visit to Vimy Ridge

from Rugby Canada website by Bryan Kelly

Canada’s Women’s Rugby Team spent Saturday afternoon at the historic Vimy Ridge National Site of Canada, five days after the 100th Year Anniversary of the commencement of the First World War.

The trip to the monument and war trenches took place one day after Canada defeated Spain 31-5 to open the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in Marcoussis, France.

Vimy Ridge is a major source of pride for all Canadians, as 100 years ago thousands of young men gave their lives to help secure a great victory for the Allies.

At that time, Canada was a relatively young nation, and the victory proved to unite the country under strength, honour and integrity.

“Every time you wear a jersey for Canada, or see the Canadian flag, you have to remember how truly lucky we are and this place is a great source of pride,” said Canada Assistant Coach, Gary Dukelow.

“My grandfather was also here, so for me it’s an even bigger significance and I was fortunate to be here with Canada’s Men’s Team during the 1991 World Cup, and we had a great tournament that year too,” added Dukelow.

The Canadian team, along with travelling family members, took to the trenches and toured both the Canadian and German occupied areas before visitng the monument and Canadian cemetery.

Manitoba native Mandy Marchak – who’s playing in her third Women’s Fifteens World Cup – added her thoughts on visiting the historic site.

“We’re really lucky and fortunate to come to Vimy Ridge today with it being such a big piece of Canadian history. We got to see the underground tunnels, the trenches where they fought and it wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity and support of the Canadian Rugby Foundation, so we’re appreciative of them,” said Marchak.

Information on Vimy Ridge:

“At daybreak on April 9, 1917, all four divisions of the Canadian Corps (aided by the British 5th Division and a considerable number of artillery units), fighting together for the first time, stormed the Ridge. Preceded by a perfectly-timed artillery barrage, the Canadians advanced and, by mid-afternoon, had taken all their objectives except Hill 145 which was captured the following day. Then on April 12, the 4th Canadian Division with the British 24th Division on their left flank, took the Pimple at the northern end of the Ridge.

The hard-fought victory was swift, but did not come without cost. Out of 10,602 casualties, 3,598 Canadians gave their lives.

The victory at Vimy was a significant landmark for Allied fortunes in the First World War and back home in Canada, it united Canadians and brought honour and pride to the young nation.”

(Information via official on-site pamphlet, created by Veteran Affairs Canada)

Canada’s visit to Vimy Ridge would not have been possible without the support of the Canadian Rugby Foundation!

Call for Nominations: Gerald McGavin Coaching Award 2014

Call for Nominations: Gerald McGavin Coaching Award 2014

Nominations deadline set for March 21, 2014 

VANCOUVER – On behalf of the Canadian Rugby Foundation and BC Rugby premier partner Happy Water, the British Columbia Rugby Union is putting out a call for nominations for two international coach development opportunities.

Funding has been allocated by our partners for the Gerald McGavin Coaching Award and Happy Water Coach Development Experience, providing opportunities for BC coaches to travel to New Zealand for individualized mentoring programs.

The recipient must be currently coaching in the province of British Columbia and be:

1.         A Canadian citizen or landed immigrant;

2.         Not older than 45 years of age;

3.         Committed to the development of the game of rugby in the province.

General Guidelines:

1.         Applications for this award will not be accepted; only nominations will be accepted.

2.         Unsuccessful nominated coaches may have nominations submitted on their behalf in future years.

3.         Successful nominees may not apply again.

4.         The award is conditional upon the recipient continuing his/her coaching career in the province of British Columbia.

5.         The award recipient must agree to have his or her name and photograph publicized. He/she must be prepared to promote the award as requested.

Selection Criteria:

1.         A coach that is a good mentor and that goes above and beyond his/her role as a coach.

2.         A coach that has recognized contributions to the rugby community through coaching and other rugby related work.

Nomination Requirements:

1.         A letter, not more than 250 words, describing the reasons why the nominated person would be a worthy recipient of the Gerald McGavin Coaching Award. Please include specific reasons why he/she deserves the award;

2.         A coaching resume with full contact details as well as a  list of accomplishments and contributions to the rugby community, other volunteer activities, current coaching levels and certifications.


Nominations for the 2014 award cycle are due by Friday, March 21, 2014.  All information is to be emailed to BC Rugby Provincial Coach and Development Manager Dave Brown (  Only the successful recipient will be contacted and a winner will be announced later in February.

About the Gerald McGavin Coaching Award:

The Gerald McGavin Coaching Award is the result of an endowment held with the Canadian Rugby Foundation.  The award recognizes rugby coaches from British Columbia who play a significant role in shaping young athletes both on and off the field. Gerald McGavin is a former BC athlete who represented his province against world-renowned sides including the Barbarians, Australia, British Lions and New Zealand Universities. Now a Member of both the Order of Canada and Order of BC, McGavin created the Award because of his love for the sport and to acknowledge the role rugby played in shaping his life. Past recipients include Rameses Langston, Jeff Williams, Martin Jones, Jason Young,  Adam Roberts and Tom Larisch.

Don Whidden Memorial Match Officials Fund

Don Whidden passed away peacefully on February 3rd. He was surrounded by his family, Barbara, Michael, Ashley, Megan and John.

Don is well known in the Canadian rugby community through his various roles including managing the Canadian Senior Men’s Team for many tours and World Cups. He also managed the Canada Men’s U23 Pacific Pride program. He was well-liked and admired by those he came into contact with.Continue reading

Rameses Langston Reports on NZ Trip – Part of Gerald McGavin Coaching Award

Kia Ora Gentlemen,

I thought I would get this going while things are relatively fresh, and as I am now at the end of my Wellington rugby experience. First I’d like to thank those of you who were involved with putting this award together. I don’t believe that words can articulate the true impact this opportunity has had on me as a coach. Furthermore, I am humbled to be recognized amongst such an outstanding group of coaches from our province.Continue reading

IRB’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Rugby Union”

IRB logo

The Canadian Rugby Foundation has received numerous emails requesting more information on the game of rugby and a better understanding of the laws.  This interest is most definately the result of Canada’s recent performance against Tonga at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

Attached is a link to the International Rugby Board’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Rugby Union” which is a 16 page document outlining a basic overview of the game.