Rugby: Co-ed Sunshine Coast team holds their own at tourney

A mixed rugby team held their own at a tournament intended just for boys on May 23 at Wellington Secondary School in Nanaimo.

The team, composed of seven girls and seven boys from Grades 8 to 11 at Chatelech and Elphinstone Secondary School and captained by Chatelech’s Maddy Clucas and Elphinstone’s Isaiah Phare, won a game, lost a game and tied another.

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“The girls more than handled themselves in this boys’ event. They tackled hard, made numerous long runs and scored a few tries,” said Brian Scarr, the Chatelech boys’ coach and rugby coordinator.

“I am proud of how the boys and girls played together and how they conducted themselves on and off the pitch.”

Three schools from the Nanaimo area participated along with the Sunshine Coast team, which drew players from Elphinstone Secondary’s boys’ team and Chatelech’s boys’ and girls’ teams. “The chemistry was really cool,” said Scarr of the combination, which was created last minute after a number of the boys were unable to attend.

While the Chatelech girls’ team includes players from Elphinstone, Scarr said the hope is to have enough players for an Elphinstone team, too.

The tournament didn’t contribute to the schools’ overall rankings, so pressure was off from a competitive standpoint, but that didn’t stop another kind of drama from unfolding on the pitch.

During one game, a Sunshine Coast player was injured, badly enough to warrant a visit to the hospital. He was later discharged with a minor concussion, but by then it was too late to catch a ferry home.

Lucky for the player and his mother, Paul Tosczak of Airspan Helicopters was called in by a friend to help with the commute. He picked up the pair in a helicopter and they arrived home long before the rest of the team.

Plans are in the works for a similar tournament to be held next year on the Sunshine Coast.

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