Curry Hitchborn Gerald McGavin Coaching Award Winner

There’s no doubting the passion that Curry brings to coaching, he loves rugby and where it’s taken him. He started coaching in 2006 at the high school where he first played rugby as a youth, Handsworth Secondary, not far from the club that would take him to the next level of coaching, Capilano Rugby Club.

He coached the Capilano men’s 3rd Division team and over the next eight years the club’s U16, U17, U18 and U19 teams. He was asked to assist with the men’s Premier side as the forward’s coach in 2012. That was the year they came back from relegation and made it to the Premier final against James Bay. It’s a year Curry remembers very well and you can tell the pride in his voice when he talks about that team. He credits the Capilano Rugby Club and the Vancouver Rugby Union (VRU) with actively supporting him during his early coaching career.

The Vancouver Rugby Union asked him to run their Vancouver North U16 squad which made it to the final and next year he was coach for the BC Blue U16 team. He went on to coach national championship teams for BC in the U16, U17 and U19 levels. He has also worked with the Canada U17 program as a guest coach.

He had a chance to be part of the UBC coaching staff in 2013 when they started their meteoric rise through the men’s elite ranks. UBC won the Division One Provincial title in 2014 earning them promotion to the BC Premier which they immediately won in 2015. Since winning the award he’s added two national U19 championships with BC, a national U16 championship, two Rounsefell Cup titles with UBC – as well as a club U18 championship.

His philosophy during his rugby coaching career has remained the same, care about the people you coach and try to listen more than you talk, pay attention to the process and the results will come.

Monty Heald Fund Update – Summer 2016

Below you will find comments from players on our National Senior Women’s 15, who, for the first time in recent memory, did not have to pay to play for Canada at the recent Super Series. They were subsidized by the Monty Heald National Women’s Fund via the Canadian Rugby Foundation. This fund was established to ensure players would not have to play in lead up to and at the 2017 Women’ Rugby World cup. In conjunction with Rugby Canada and National Women’s team management, budgets were reviewed and targets for the fund were set. The goal is to leave a legacy fund that will go beyond the World Cup. We have a remarkable donor who contributed an initial $50,000 to start the fund. In addition, this same donor offered to match $175,000 if we could organize the community to donate a similar amount. We have raised $102,000 to date and need to raise another $73,000 to meet our target.

Please help us in supporting the talented and dedicated young women whose ambitions are only to bring home the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017. Your contributions will mean they can focus on their skills and preparation. Donations are tax deductible and will be matched!

Thank you for your support
Stephanie White
Chairwomen, Monty Heald National Women’s Fund





Brantford Harlequins RFC Charitable Fund

The Brantford Harlequins RFC Charitable Fund is comprised of 2 components, the Endowment Fund and the Capital Projects Accumulation Fund. 50% of each and every donation will be allocated to these two components. The Fund was established on October 29, 2019.


In July 1950, a notice appeared in the Toronto Star stating that “British Rugby” was about to become active again in the Toronto area and was asking players to join the Wanderers; the only club in Ontario. At that time, rugby in Ontario was relatively unknown and was only being played by a select group of men. Previously, attempts had been made to set-up leagues in the Toronto area, but somehow always ended in failure. Despite being comparative newcomers and with very few influential connections, the Jones brothers pressed on and called a meeting of friends and interested local soccer players. After the first meeting, George and Vince were convinced they had enough players to form a club; The Brantford Harlequin Rugby Football Club. On September 23rd, 1950, the Jones brothers were notified and the first official league game would take place in Brantford on September 30th against the newly formed Toronto Nomads. Then adversity struck. The newly recruited soccer players had an important game that could not be rescheduled and a couple of other players for unavoidable reasons could not play. The Harlequins were left with four players. A telegram was sent to the Nomads, not calling the game off, but with a message, “Don’t come to Brantford, we will come to Toronto.” So on that historic day, the 30th of September, 1950, the Brantford Harlequins showed up with four players to take on the Toronto Nomads. George and Vince figured that they could get enough players from the previous games that had been played ahead of them to field a full 15-player squad. They had figured correctly and had enough volunteers to make nearly two teams. The Harlequins lost their first game 16-8 but this did not foreshadow the entire season. In the following weeks, the soccer players returned and new players arrived. The Harlequins were fielding 15 players for every game. By season end, the Brantford Harlequins shocked the league by capturing the O.R.U. championship title with a three-point lead over the other five clubs. And so, the “Cinderella Club” that had to borrow kits, balls, players, cars, and anything else they needed, were champions.


In the fall of 1975, the Brantford Harlequin Executive with the aid of George Jones purchased 39 acres of land in the northeast section of Brantford on Power Line Road. For years the Harlequins dreamed of having their own fields to play on and by the summer of 1976 two fields were constructed and landscaped. Three years later, in the summer of 1979, the Harlequins completed the construction of their clubhouse.

Over the past 35 years, the Harlequin facilities and grounds have undergone several additions, renovations, and improvements. At present, the Harlequins own and maintain 39 acres of bush and landscaped property, three regulation-size rugby fields, and a clubhouse containing four change rooms, showers, and washrooms: a concession and lounge area. In addition, there is a large parking area.

The Harlequin grounds and facilities are shared by the Senior Men, Senior Women, Junior, and Mini Rugby programs. The fields are also utilized part-time but the local high school rugby league, the regional representative Senior Men’s team for the Niagara Rugby Union, and local minor sports organizations.

The Endowment Fund

The Endowment Fund will accumulate permanent capital.   This capital will generate interest that will be paid to the club each year for the expenses outlined below.  The Brantford Harlequins RFC Foundation Representatives require that all payments be approved prior to the expense being incurred by the recipient.   All approvals will be at the discretion of the Foundation Representatives and an Endowment Fund “Request For Funds” application must be completed by the recipient.

Annual guidelines for amounts and eligibility for receiving these funds will be published each January/February when it is known how much is available to be paid from The Endowment Fund.  The Foundation Representatives will be responsible for formulating and publishing these guidelines each year.

1)      Brantford Harlequins coach development and/or compensation

2)      Brantford Harlequins member/player/coach support for Elite programs outside of the Brantford Harlequins RFC club program

3)      Brantford Harlequins members who are referees are eligible for educational and development support as well as expenses related to refereeing at out of province Elite level events

The Capital Projects Accumulation Fund (CPAF)

The CPAF will accumulate capital that can be drawn upon to fund Brantford Harlequins RFC Executive Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee (Futures Committee) approved capital projects for the improvement of and expansion of the Brantford Harlequins RFC facilities.  This includes but is not limited to the acquisition of real property.   In order to be eligible for funds from the CPAF a project must have a cost of more than $20,000.00.   This fund is not to be accessed for repairs and maintenance.


Monty Heald – a great Rugby Man and an important participant in Canadian Rugby.

Monty emigrated from England in 1968 and became active in local rugby from the outset. Having played for the Hamilton Hornets for four years, he became a Founding Member of the Burlington Centaurs Rugby Club in 1973.  He served this club well, becoming its first Captain, President of the Club, and eventually a Life Member. His early contributions to the game continued in Ontario as he went serve as a Director of the Senior Team for the Niagara Rugby Union and a selector for the Ontario Rugby Union for two years (1979/80).  They were to be an indication of the scope on his impact across all aspects of the game in Canada.

In 1981, Monty became a National Selector and chaired the Canadian Rugby Union Selection Committee for the period 1983 to 1994. In 1984 and 1985 he was appointed as the Manager of the Canadian Sevens team which played in the Hong Kong Sevens. In 1984, he was appointed as the Manager of the Canadian team and he served in this position for Can-Am matches in Chicago (1984), Tucson (1986) and Seattle (1990). His managerial career was highlighted by the seven match tour to Australia, in 1985, during which the Test matches in Sydney and Brisbane represented the first ever meetings between Canada and Australia.  Monty was also the manager of the first Canadian team which participated in the CANZ (Canada, Argentina/New Zealand) series (1989) taking the National team to Argentina and New Zealand.

Monty was elected to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Rugby Union in 1986, serving as Director of the Men’s National Team for the period 1986 – 1991. In 1991, he was elected as President and he served in this capacity for eight years.  He led Rugby Canada through the game’s period of remarkable change at the end of the twentieth century seeing the number of international fixtures involving Canada’s Senior Men’s team increase by 160% and a tremendous increase in the number of domestic players, including the explosive growth of the women’s game.  In 1995 the Pan America Rugby Association (PARA) was formed and Monty served as Rugby Canada’s first representative including two years as PARA’s President.  He served the national organization for twenty years, finishing his service, in 2000, as a Director.

Monty never lost sight of the game on the ground and was often available to help behind the scenes and support of his colleagues, which included all members of the rugby community in Canada.  With his business partner, Lexie Tynan, their company, Monilex Sports, supported rugby teams of at all levels.  A lasting legacy is evident in the establishment of the Monilex Cup, the Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s National championship for Women’s rugby.  Beyond working with the universities during the lead up to the inaugural event, Monilex also helped finance the very first Championship game in 1999, which featured McMaster and Guelph. The event is now held annually and represents a primary elite competition for women in Canada aspiring to the national team.

Monty came to the rescue to provide equipment on more than one occasion, when the Women’s National XV Team needed help.  In 2005, when Canada was hosting the Canada Cup in Ottawa, a tournament for Women’s National teams, one of the teams dropped out at the last minute.  To fill the schedule, Rugby Canada decided to field two teams.  Monty stepped up to supply the required additional set of National jerseys for this second team, giving those players a new kit to play in the event.  Even with the short notice, Monty came through with flying colors.  Three years prior, in circumstance of greater pressure, he received a call from the manager of Canada’s 2002 Women’s Rugby World Cup…from the team bus in Barcelona as the team prepared for the event.  It had been discovered that all kit had to be clean, only country and World Cup cresting was allowed. Canada’s jersey had a sponsors crest on the jersey. Without hesitation, Monty made arrangements for a refreshed set of strip and for its delivery to Spain by loyal supporters from Canada.

An account of Monty Heald would not be complete without a reflection of his joie de vivre.  Roxanne Butler, Manager of the Women’s National Team, related a story of Monty being at the Women’s World Cup in Holland when he was the Rugby Canada President. “There was a Banquet. We were accommodated in a big tent type room and seated at tons of picnic tables. The night got very boisterous and many teams started dancing on the tops of the tables…. Well, so did our leader. Worried me a little at the time but there were no injuries and it showed his enjoyable character.”

The organizers of the Monty Heald National Women’s Fund have taken this opportunity to recognize and honour Monty for his many, many contributions to Rugby in our country.  Monty was exemplary in his dedication to the game at all levels.  He was active in the Rugby community until 2014, coaching at the Waterdown High School, serving as Chair of Rugby Canada’s Past Presidents committee, Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee and member of the Annual Awards Committee of Rugby Canada.  Monty was inducted into the Ontario Rugby Union Hall of Fame in 2004 and in 2013 Rugby Canada inducted him as its second Honorary Life Member.  He was a tremendous ambassador for our sport, representing the Canadian rugby community at local, provincial, national and international levels.  We are honoured to still be working with him in promoting and supporting the game

Thunder Indigenous Rugby Fund

The Thunder Indigenous Rugby Fund was relaunched in 2021 with the ambitious goal of raising a $1 million endowment fund to among other things, support a tour of New Zealand to connect with the Maori Rugby community. Due to COVID complications in New Zealand, this plan has been deferred, and in its place is a Summer 2022 tour of Oregon and California on the way to the Los Angeles Invitational Tournament, held in conjunction with the HSBC LA 7s.


View our latest brochure in .pdf format

Program Description: The Thunder continue to soar, promoting the great game of rugby to Indigenous communities in Canada.  The Thunder focus on Sevens Rugby, an exciting version of rugby which is now recognized as an Olympic Sport.

Goals: Thunder Rugby aims to offer a structured vehicle to promote the game of rugby to Indigenous communities and to identify potential high performance Indigenous athletes. Thunder Rugby hopes to provide Indigenous youth with improved opportunities for advanced education and personal growth through the connections and values of rugby.


  • Fund an annual rugby tour for Indigenous Youth, starting with NZ in 2022
  • Develop a full-time Thunder Rugby Development officer position
  • Continue to offer Summer Rugby Camps for Indigenous Youth
  • Showcase Indigenous athletes at 7s tournaments
  • Grow programs for U18, U16 and U14 Indigenous youth
  • Introduce rugby to Indigenous communities
  • Expand coaching staff and facilitate coach development.

Facebook at
Twitter at