The Lanark Highlanders Rugby Club is undergoing a major expansion in this, its 15th year, and is welcoming new and former members to swell its ranks. To that end, club leadership has announced that social memberships are free for a year.
“Players are always wanted, of course, but so are coaches, match officials, boosters, fans, sponsors – we’ll take anyone who shares our spirit,” according to club president, Dan Drummond. As the club develops Lanark County’s first rugby park – a 20 acre, million dollar project that will see a four-field facility and club house created between Perth and Franktown – the organisation wants to grow its membership base, field new teams, and welcome players and non-players of all ages and genders.
“We started out with just a couple of guys – literally, just two guys,” says Drummond, “and grew a team which has developed a strong, winning tradition. Now we want to become a regional centre of excellence for rugby development.”
With two Eastern Ontario Rugby Union Division One championships to its credit, and one international tournament championship trophy on the mantelpiece, the Highlanders have an expansionist vision. This year, the club added a new U17 Women’s team in addition to fielding a men’s side and an old boys’ team, “which hasn’t lost a game in more than five years,” adds Drummond.
“That’s all well and good, but the Highlanders need a women’s team and a U17 Boy’s squad and a second men’s side – and that’s just for starters,” says club head coach TeKapua Rewi. The New Zealander is also the assistant coach to the Ontario U18 Men’s team which placed second in Canada at the national competition this summer. “We have tremendous natural talent in Lanark County for this sport,” says Rewi. “There is something in the water I guess.”
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