Learn­ing the game

Rugby Day in Cape Bre­ton sched­uled for Aug. 20 in Glace Bay

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com Twit­ter: @CBPost_Jeremy

An event to cel­e­brate the game of rugby in Cape Bre­ton will be held next week­end in Glace Bay.

Rugby Day in Cape Bre­ton, hosted by the Cale­do­nia rugby club, will take place on Aug. 20 at Hub Field.

Kas­sia Orychock, Cale­do­nia mini rugby pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor, be­lieves the event will al­low the Cale­do­nia club to share its pas­sion of the game as well as teach­ing young play­ers how to play.

“We are def­i­nitely ex­pect­ing some growth in the sport on the is­land from this event,” said Orychock. “The best case sce­nario would be growth at all lev­els from mini, high school and se­nior leagues.”

The Cale­do­nia mini pro­gram be­gan three years ago and con­tin­ues to be suc­cess­ful each year.

“We have con­sis­tently had 35-45 kids en­rolled each sum­mer,” said Orychock. “This year we have 36 kids reg­is­tered be­tween the ages of 3-12-year­sold.”

The over­all goal of the event is to in­tro­duce and pro­mote the sport to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties with the hope of en­cour­ag­ing more chil­dren to take part in mini pro­grams.

“Our main goal is to get the kids out­side for an hour or so this day to pro­mote be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive, specif­i­cally through rugby,” said Orychock. “We would love to see more lo­cal teams and clubs form in the fu­ture.”

The free event will be­gin with a mini pro­gram ses­sion at 11 a.m., fol­lowed by a mini 7’s tour­na­ment, which will in­clude play­ers from lo­cal high schools. Cale­do­nia’s men’s team will also be in ac­tion later in the day against the Baddeck club.

Aside from the Cale­do­nia mini pro­gram, play­ers from the Baddeck pro­gram will also be in at­ten­dance for the ses­sion.

“The mini pro­gram teaches kids the basics of the sport, such as proper ball han­dling, pass­ing, run­ning lines on the field, and us­ing flags sim­i­lar to flag foot­ball in­stead of con­tact,” said Orychock.

“Rugby is cur­rently a fast grow­ing sport in Canada, a lot of the credit for the growth can be at­trib­uted to our na­tional women’s 7’s team’s suc­cess of win­ning bronze at the Rio Olympics last year.”

Orychock would like at least 60 chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate in the event in­clud­ing play­ers from

Cale­do­nia and Baddeck as well as the gen­eral pub­lic.

“Rugby is a con­tact sport, but at the mini rugby age level there is no con­tact al­lowed,” said Orychock. “The con­tact is not in­tro­duced un­til high school, where very ex­pe­ri­enced and knowl­edge coaches will take the play­ers through the

process step-by-step.”

For more in­for­ma­tion and to reg­is­ter for Rugby Day in Cape Bre­ton, visit the Cale­do­nia Rugby Club Face­book page at www.face­book.com/ CalRFC/.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO/CALE­DO­NIA MINIS PRO­GRAM

Ma­son Key­lor, 5, is shown hold­ing a rugby ball dur­ing a re­cent Cale­do­nia mini pro­gram prac­tice. Key­lor is in his third year in the rugby pro­gram.

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