2021 marked the beginning of the Lanark Highlanders mini rugby program. From July 6 to August 28, 48 athletes aged 5-12 learned how to play rugby at Oakfield Rugby Park. Our young Highlanders made new friends and represented the club at 2 EORU tournaments. We are so proud of how much our players learned this summer. At the end of our summer season, every mini-Highlander was gifted a ball, bag and water bottle from Regional Plumbing and Water Treatment. We hope our new rugby players will share their overall of rugby with their classmates and friends in the community.
Special thanks to all of our coaches who made this summer so much fun! Joe Adams, Sierra Devries, Andrew Drummond, Dave Harrison, Emilee Harrison, Kendra Harrison, Sean McDaniel, Duncan McNaughton, LeeAnn Napiorkowski, Tekapua Rewi, Eric Smith, Jamie Smith.
(Perth, 17 April, 2020) – Lanark County’s Rugby Club responded to the news that local food banks were in need of replenishment by collecting 345 lbs of food and raising $3300 in cash donations. Their week-long #TackleHunger campaign drew support from the rugby community locally, but was also supported by other clubs and players in the region.
“I’m so proud of this club and its community,” says coach and drive organiser, LeeAnn Napiorkowski. “I am so impressed with the positive spirit and generosity I’ve experienced with this rugby family.”
Club president, Dan Drummond, says the idea was floated during an emergency meeting of the executive, held virtually, to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their current membership drive.
“I didn’t have much good news to share with the team: essentially, the cancellation of the rugby season in the middle of our expansion was a real morale killer. But the response was, ‘Let’s do something else.’”
The Highlanders are in the midst of a recruiting campaign that will add boys’ and girls’ programmes and several men’s and women’s teams to the club’s roster.
“When we considered the size of the club’s core membership, we decided to set an ambitious goal to raise $2000 over the course of a week,” recalls Dave Harrison, co-organiser of the campaign. “Six days in, we were only $100 shy, so we made a final appeal for the last hundred dollars the night before the campaign ended, and club members donated an additional $1400, putting us well over the top. I love this club.”
The Highlanders also collected 345 lbs of non-perishable food items, respecting social-distancing rules. Money and food will be distributed to The Hunger Stop (Carleton Place), Smiths Falls Community Food Bank, and The Table Community Food Centre (Perth).
(Perth, ON) – The Lanark Highlanders Rugby Football Club has launched a media campaign to grow their membership in 2020, advertising free training for men, women, boys and girls. The club expansion coincides with the construction of a 20-acre training facility in Drummond Township, just East of Perth, due to open in July.
“Lanark County is poised to become a regional centre of Rugby excellence,” predicts Dan Drummond, club president. “We have attracted a first class coaching staff and soon, will have a first-class rugby park. All we need now are more Highlanders.” The Highlanders added a U17 girls program in 2019 and will launch a senior women’s team and a boys team this summer.
Free training is being offered every Monday night under the dome at Beckwith Park, just south of Carleton Place, beginning at 9pm weekly. In addition, the club will be offering a “Try Rugby” session specifically for boys and girls, 14-18 years old, at Carleton Place High School, Friday 21 Feb, from 5:30 to 7pm.
“Come on out and give it a try,” says club president, Dan Drummond. “All you need are a pair of soccer cleats. We are a very inclusive club, and welcoming of anyone. Rugby is one of those sports where we don’t expect new folks to come to us knowing the game. No experience needed. We’ll teach you everything you need to know.”
TeKapua Rewi, head coach is quick to add: “I mean, we’d love to have former players, track stars and off-season hockey players, power-lifters and football players, too.”
Citizens of Lanark county should start seeing posters, hearing ads on Lake88, and reading posts on social media. The campaign features the slogan, “Be bold: Play Rugby!” and will run through the spring. Besides welcoming new players, the Highlanders are also hoping to attract refs, coaches, social members and club boosters to the sport.
If you are interested in becoming a Highlander, come to a practice, visit lanarkrugby.com and subscribe to our mailing list, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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.
The Lanark Highlanders Rugby Club is proud to introduce Ryan Jones, the development manager at Rugby Ontario, to a number of our schools in Lanark County.
The Highlanders have invited Mr Jones to run “Honda Rookie Rugby Training” sessions at area high schools, supported by their own coaches and players, in efforts to grow the sport in Lanark.
“This is the time to play rugby in Lanark County,” says former Team Canada player and Carleton University coach, LeeAnn Napiorkowski. “There are big things happening with the Highlanders in 2020 and the development of our youth programme is priority one for the club.”
Ryan Jones’ team will be leading rugby drills and skills as part of Physical Education classes next week. Sessions will run in Perth on Tuesday, 14 January at both St John’s High School and Perth and District Collegiate Institute. The next day, Wednesday, 15 January, Honda Rookie Rugby Training will be offered at Carleton Place High School. For more information about Honda Rookie Rugby Training, visit https://rookierugby.ca.
The Highlanders, supported by players and coaches from the Carleton University Ravens Rugby Team, will offer a free “Try Rugby” training event for boys and girls, aged 14 to 18, on Friday, 21 February from 5:30 to 7pm at Carleton Place High School.
The Highlanders’ current membership drive coincides with the construction of a 20-acre rugby park and clubhouse in Gillies Corners, due to open in summer of 2020.
(Perth, 19 September, 2019) – It was a contest that
pitted youth against experience as the Lanark Highlanders Rugby Club’s men’s
first team hosted the Carleton University men’s second team for a friendly
match at Beckwith Park last night.
The final result was a 45-12 victory for Lanark
“It was a physical game, for sure,” remarked Dave
Harrison, long-standing prop and one of the original members of the
Highlanders. “The young fellas gave us a good run for our money, but you should
always bet on cunning and experience.”
Patient play among the forwards allowed for
possession to run in favour of the Highlanders who waited for opportune moments
to run the ball through the back line. Deft offloading permitted Lanark to
exploit gaps in Carleton’s defence. Still, the younger team did not fold under
the pressure and paid out massive hits and finished tackles. The Highlanders
selected Carleton’s Nick Naida as “Man of the Match” while Curtis Bernicky was
the Highlander honoured.
“I’d love to get some of those Carleton boys into
Highlander kit next spring,” said club president Dan Drummond. “Our seasons are
complementary, so most university athletes will play for club teams through the
spring and summer before heading back to their University sides in the Fall.”
The Lanark Highlanders are currently working on a club expansion and will add a women’s team and a U17 boys’ team to the club roster for play in 2020. If you would like to join the club as an athlete, fan or sponsor, leave your email address below.
(Perth, 09 Sep 2019) – Lanark County’s Rugby Club made a day of it at the County’s Harvest Festival held on Sunday at Beckwith Park. Having revived an old tradition at the fair, the Rugby Club showed up with a brand new, competition-grade tug of war rope.
“When we scrum down, our biggest eight forwards tip
the scales at more than a ton,” says founding club member, Toby Shannan, “And
that’s a metric tonne,” he adds.
“I grew up just
down the road in Gillies Corners, so I know Lanark County produces some big
folk. Eventually we’re going to find some locals who will be able to pull us
over. And we’ll recruit them on the spot.”
Brandishing a very new trophy, the “Lanark Highlanders
Tug of War Challenge Cup,” the ruggers put on a demonstration, and then invited
attendees to join them in the tug of war at what they hope will be an annual
Soon after, the
Highlanders played host to the Barrhaven Scottish Rugby Club’s Old Boys and
played an EORU-sanctioned match on the main field in near perfect conditions. At
the end of the match, the Highlanders remained undefeated.
The Lanark Highlanders Rugby Club will be attending
the Fifth Annual Lanark County Harvest Festival at Beckwith Park this Sunday,
08 September, and they’ll be bringing their official 100’ Tug of War rope with
“We thought we’d bring an old rural tradition back to
the county fair,” says Toby Shannan, co-founder of the club. “There is a
beautiful simplicity to Tug of War that captures much of the rugby spirit
–teamwork, collective strength, muscular endurance – and we thought Lanark
County should have a championship trophy.”
A number of groups
throughout the county have been invited to take up the strain on one end of the
rope and compete for the newly minted “Lanark Highlanders’ Tug of War Challenge
may enter as formed teams of eight or may come as individuals and be placed on
a team. The contest will consist of best-of-three heats following Tug of War Federation of Great
Britain rules. There is no charge for this event.
“This is going to be a good bit of fun,” says Shannan,
who grew up near Gillies Corners. “We want folks to come out and meet us, and
have a laugh, and celebrate a Lanark County community tradition. Everyone who
shows up is welcome to partake and we hope they’ll stick around and cheer on
our Old Boys team right after.”
The Tug of War will take place near the main stage of
the County Festival at 11:30. The Highlanders’ Old Boys (35+) are hosting the
Barrhaven Scottish Rugby Club and will be playing an official Eastern Ontario
Rugby Union match on the main field, kicking off at 1 pm. This is also a free
Beckwith Park is located at 1319 9th Line, Beckwith, near Carleton Place. The
festival runs from 11am to 4pm followed by a church supper.
Lanark Highlanders Rugby Club made a creditable showing in their first foray
into the world of combat motorsports, finishing third in the mini class at the
Perth Fair’s Demolition Derby last Saturday night.
Highlander, Alex “Smallsie” Small was the man of the hour. He piloted the
club-branded, 2001 Honda Civic through the first, difficult heat, serving up a
number of fan-favourite collisions to the capacity crowd. At the end of the
round, judges had to call a draw, as only the Highlander vehicle and another remained
mobile despite extensive damage to the Honda’s rear end and the loss of two
think I was selected as the team’s driver because of my history as a very
experienced crasher of cars,” says Small. “I have put many cars that look worse
than this one into the scrap yards of Almonte.”
Bob Brown of Noonan’s Auto – who donated the Civic to
the rugby club for the event – was aided in the pit by Highlander, Eric Smith,
who put his welding skills to good use. “I couldn’t believe that Smallsie got
through the first heat without even damaging his radiator,” said Smith. Several
experienced Derbymen commented on Small’s intuitively clever driving,
protecting his driving wheels while disabling others’. Despite that, with a
bent axle and two shredded rear tires, the pit crew had a job of work to get
the car drivable for the final heat.
The club’s motto, Cha
Gheill, which translates from Scots Gaelic roughly as “he will not yield,”
was clearly indicative of the performance of man and machine during the final
don’t remember much of the event,” admits Small, “and some of the hits were
massive. I just used my full-back instincts and thought sadly of all the
children I might never have.”