(Perth – 18 Jan 2020) On 14 and 15 January, 2020, Ryan Jones and Liam Spafford from Rugby Ontario, partnered with the coaching staff of the Lanark Highlanders Rugby Club, were invited to lead Physical Education classes in county schools.
The team presented “Honda Rookie Rugby Training”, a non-contact, skill-development program designed to introduce rugby-based athletics to new players. Rugby Ontario dispatched Jones and Spafford, two development officers from its headquarters in Whitby On, to lead the sessions. More than 300 students from grades seven to 12 were involved in the two-day extravaganza at Perth and District CI, St John’s, and Carleton Place High Schools. Rugby Ontario seeded each school with five free Rugby Balls for their athletic programs.
“It was great to see so many smiling faces at the end of the sessions,” said Highlander coach, Eru Pou. “I was nothing but proud of our club and our sport, and the direction we’re heading this year.”
The Highlander club is planning a wide membership expansion to coincide with the opening of their 20-acre training facility and clubhouse near Gillies Corners later this year.
Last year, the club added a third registered team, Women U17, to the Eastern Ontario Rugby Union, joining the Senior Men and Old Boys. This year, the club intends to add a senior women’s team, a boys team and a mixed abilities team for players with special needs.
“Rugby is for everyone,” says club president Dan Drummond. “We’ll register teams to play in the EORU as our numbers allow, but we will provide a training and playing experience for anyone who wants to join us. In some cases we’ve partnered with other clubs to make a full team, and in others we’ve selected tournaments and participated in “friendlies” with visiting teams.” There are also several variants of the game to allow for smaller numbers of teammates.
“We’re going to see who shows up for indoor, winter training,” according to Drummond, “and all are welcome.”
The club will be offering weekly, introductory training sessions at Beckwith Park near Carleton place Monday evenings at 9pm starting on 03 Feb and running through to the spring for all ages, genders and abilities. In addition, the club will be hosting a “Try Rugby” session targeting youth, 14-18 years old at Carleton Place High school on Friday 21 Feb from 5:30-7pm. All these events are free of charge.
For more information, or to join the highlanders, visit the club’s website at Lanarkrugby.com and join their mailing list.