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!

Hong Kong Canadian Rugby 7s Fund – Plan for 2015


Tickets are now on sale for the ninth annual Canadian Rugby Sevens Hong Kong Luncheon.  The highly-anticipated event will be held in the four star Excelsior Hotel’s Marina room in Hong Kong, prior to the start of the Hong Kong Sevens tournament on Thursday March 26 between 11:30-3:30pm. Proceeds from the event will go to Rugby Canada’s Sevens program and a growing legacy endowment to support teams in generations to follow.

The HSBC Rugby Sevens World Series stop in Hong Kong is known among the rugby community as one of the largest parties of the year.  Sevens teams from around the world are welcomed to the tournament that is described as a rugby Mardi Gras! With over 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, this tournament is a perfect venue for hometown support.

The annual luncheon has become a focal point to raise awareness and gather Canadian rugby supporters. Friends, family, supporters and fans can meet and dine with the stars of the Canada Rugby Sevens teams.

“We have seen in previous years how beneficial this event can be. We want to be able to help our team reach their highest potential, and the best way we can do that is through funding. We raised $285,000 CAD during the 2014 season which is incredibly helpful as the teams gets ready for the Olympic qualifications in 2015,” said Executive Director of the Canadian Rugby 7s Fund, Stephanie Crozier.

 “This luncheon is a perfect opportunity for us to showcase our team to their fans and supporters and be able to fundraise for their development and growth so they can compete at a world class level,” said Crozier.


The Hong Kong Canadian Rugby 7s Fund was developed to raise money to bolster the Canadian teams. To kick off the Hong Kong Sevens tournament a luncheon is held prior to the tournament every year allowing additional funding to be raised.

“Contributions come from an incredibly proud and patriotic fan base among the 300,000 Canadian expats living in Hong Kong. Dedicated volunteers put in months of work leading up to the HK 7s and the fund has some very generous people step up to show their support to Canada,” said The Canadian Rugby Foundation via their website.

Since inception, the Canadian Rugby 7s Fund has become the largest private revenue source for Canada’s Men’s Sevens team, raising over $208k in 2013 and $285k in 2014. This funding has proven its value, as Canada has become a top tier competitor internationally, at the Honk Kong Sevens and a favourite to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

“We as a team are very grateful to the Canadian Rugby 7s Fund. A huge barrier for any rugby team is funding and we know as a team we would not be where we are today with out the contributions from all our supporters,” said Canada’s team captain Nathan Hirayama.

“We always enjoy our time in Hong Kong. It is great to have so many Canadian fans at an event on the other side of the world. We always appreciate the dedication and support they have for our team,” said Hirayama.

For more information, or to purchase tickets please visit or email Stephanie Crozier at

Canadian Rugby 7s Online Auction from March 1st to 28th

Welcome to the Canadian Rugby 7s online auction!


With your support the team has moved up to 9th in the WORLD and they are headed towards Olympic GOLD! We are so grateful to the people and companies from Hong Kong and Canada, who believe in the Canadian team and have generously donated these items.

Please bid generously & aggressively as all proceeds go to supporting Canada’s National Rugby 7s program and athletes

If you have any questions please contact us

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.


The Canadian Rugby Foundation would like to congratulate the men’s 7s team who finished third in the recent USA 7s held in Las Vegas.

This is the best result for the men’s 7s team in an iRB 7s series tournament. Canada earned 17 series points from the result. A similar performance at the Olympics in 2016 would see Canada take a medal.

Each year the Canada Sevens program receives a significant grant through the Hong Kong Olympic Sevens Fund. The HK Olympic Sevens Fund was started by Randy Heward, Fergus Wilmer, current Canadian Rugby Foundation board member John Woodward and others to support and strengthen Canada’s sevens program.

(photo by Judy Teasdale)

Stuart Pegg Scholarship Awarded to Patrick Kay

Stuart Pegg Scholarship

Pat Kay received the Stuart Pegg Scholarship awarded to to the most valuable player on the Canada Under 20 team.

The Pegg family, through the Canadian Rugby Foundation, presents this scholarship every year. The tradition is carried on through Stuart Pegg’s brother Adam, a successful restaurateur in Vancouver (La Quercia) and UVIC alumni.

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

Letter from Emma Watson – a George Jones Scholarship Winner

Dear Canadian Rugby Foundation,

Firstly, I would like to give my sincere gratitude; I feel very fortunate to be a recipient of the George F. Jones Scholarship award. My rugby career started in Grade 10 of high school when I saw my friends having such a fun time playing and being part of a team. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in high school, as it really helped me see what it takes to work really hard at something for the gain of a team. Ever since I have thoroughly enjoyed playing rugby and am passionate about the sport – currently I’m playing with the Ottawa Indians Rugby Football Club. In the latest season, I played as a winger and sometime a full back.Continue reading