Tattyannah Jackson Wins Inaugural Rick Bourne Rugby Award

Following the announcement of the new Rick Bourne Rugby Award during his induction into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame, in June 2023, we are now pleased to announce the inaugural winner of the Award, Tattyannah Jackson of East Gwillimbury, Ontario.

Tattyannah Jackson

Tattyannah is a third-year student at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON majoring in Sociology and Psychology. Her background in rugby has been relatively short, but has rapidly developed to a starting prop position on the Queen’s University Gaels, a top-3 university women’s rugby program in Canada, and a selection to the Ontario senior women’s and Canada’s U20 team in 2023. Her earlier development has come through the high school system and the Aurora Barbarians RFC with coach Nick Daniels.

Of her experience at Queen’s, she says “My time at Queen’s has been a wild ride over the last three years. I’ve had to take the time to discover myself as a person and a player. This team has helped me come out of my shell, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. My experience here has been one-of-a-kind, thrilling, and once-in-a-lifetime, and has given me a sense of pride and accomplishment.

On her selection to the U20 team this past summer, Tattyannah says, “Being able to represent Canada’s U20 program has been one of my most recent accomplishments. It was an incredible opportunity to meet other female rugby players and play alongside some of the best players in the country. It taught me a lot to be able to play with such amazing women, and it meant a lot to form new friendships within that community. Knowing that my efforts and hard work were ultimately worthwhile gave me confidence and dignity. Moving forward, my goal will be to continue in the Canada age-grade program, with the goal of one day representing Canada at the senior women’s level.”

Looking ahead, her aspirations in rugby burn bright. “ I’m resolutely focused on donning the U23 Canada jersey, an honour that would signify a remarkable progression in my rugby career. Beyond that, I am steadfast in my commitment to reaching the pinnacle of the sport: the senior women’s team. The thought of representing my country on the international stage and competing at a Rugby World Cup fuels my training and propels me forward. Each step I take, both on and off the field, is driven by the indomitable spirit that rugby instilled in me.

Rick Bourne Rugby Award

The Rick Bourne Rugby Award provides an annual financial award of $2,000 and aims to support students of any gender who are actively involved in playing rugby in Canada. This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of Rick Bourne, a prominent figure in the Canadian rugby community for over six decades. Rick Bourne’s leadership, passion and generosity have made a significant impact on rugby in Canada, making this award a deserving tribute to his legacy. The awards will be funded from donations to the endowment fund and earnings on the fund’s assets. More details on the award are here.

“We had many impressive candidates apply which is hopefully a fantastic sign of where rugby is headed in this country,” said Rick Bourne. “The selection criteria for this award consisted of a candidate’s active participation in rugby, a commitment to stay engaged in the sport and an overall commitment to the rugby community positively impacting the sport both on and off the field. Tattyannah Jackson, this year’s winner, is a testament to Tattyannah’s commitment to rugby and we very much look forward to this continued dedication to the sport and watching Tattyannah’s rugby career well into the future.”

On being notified of her award, Tattyannah stated, “I am truly honoured and grateful to be the first recipient of the Rick Bourne Rugby Award. Rick Bourne’s legacy in rugby is inspiring, and receiving this recognition is not only a personal achievement but also a reminder of the values and dedication that make rugby a special sport. I am thankful for the support and encouragement from the rugby community, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to the spirit of the game.”


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