Calling all new recruits: rain or shine

Rugby players slip and slide on the soccer field at Fernie Secondary School. - K. Dingman
Rugby players slip and slide on the soccer field at Fernie Secondary School.
— image credit: K. Dingman

The rain didn’t stop the Elk Valley Rugby Football Club from playing the game they love.

Last Saturday, the 27 player rugby team had a barbeque to kick off their second season and welcome new members to the group.

The club’s captain Pete Dudman said the New Player’s Day was a great opportunity to expand the team.

“It would be awesome if we could start building for future generations now,” he said.

The team welcomed new recruits by sliding around on the muddy field and playing a friendly game of touch rugby. There were also skills activities set up for players to practice kicking and throwing.

The team is open to anyone interested in the game, even those without any prior experience, Dudman said.

“If you come, you train hard, you play hard… you’re more than welcome to come on the team.”

But the Elk Valley Bulls are not opposed to welcoming experienced players too.

Adam Foley started playing rugby in high school and continued with the sport in university.

He said he’s looking forward to getting back out on the field.

“Everyone seem to be really nice and welcoming, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun this year.”

Last year was the Bull's first year playing organized rugby, and in a small, tourist town like Fernie, it’s hard to keep players on the team, Dudman said.

“With that much turnover within the club, we obviously need to get more players in,” he said. “We have to build pretty much from the bottom up.”

But with five players making it out to the field by noon, it doesn’t look like recruiting new players will be an issue.

Dudman said the Bulls are trying to get a second team going this year, and they’re hoping to start a girls team and kids team as well.

The teams’ first match is in Cranbrook this Saturday. Dudman said that any interested players can come out to practice with the team on Mondays and Thursdays.

“If you can’t make today you’re more than welcome to join us on one of those days,” he said. “There’s lots of rugby to be played.”

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