Dani Parenteau of the EVRFC women’s team taking the ball into contact against Kamloops Women in a friendly match (not an official match for the tournament) at the 2021 Saratoga Cup in Kamloops. (Courtesy of Min Merritt)

Dani Parenteau of the EVRFC women’s team taking the ball into contact against Kamloops Women in a friendly match (not an official match for the tournament) at the 2021 Saratoga Cup in Kamloops. (Courtesy of Min Merritt)

Elk Valley RFC gearing up for 2022 Saratoga Cup

This is the first year that there will be a women’s competition in the games

The Elk Valley Rugby Football Club (EVRFC) is sending their players to the Saratoga Cup in Kamloops this weekend.

According to BC Rugby, it will be the first time in the event’s history that a women’s competition will be featured in the event, which is happening on Sept. 10 and 11.

Min Merritt, president of the EVRFC, said the women’s competition is what is really exciting about this year’s Saratoga Cup.

“It shows how rugby is growing in this part of the province, which is really exciting,” she said.

The cup brings together teams from the Kootenays, Okanagan and the Interior for the contest.

The EVRFC is sending a men’s and a women’s team to the games, both of which will be pitted against three other clubs.

The women will be facing the Kamloops Rugby Club, Kelowna Crows, and Terrace Northmen, and the men will be playing against the Terrace Northmen, Rocky Mountain Rogues and Vernon Rugby Club.

Pete Dudman, captain of the EVRFC men’s team, predicts the final will be Elk Valley against the Rocky Mountain Rogues.

“The Saratoga Cup is the highest level of Rugby that we get to play in the province, and it’s a test of how good rugby is in the Kootenays,” he said.

The EVRFC has participated in the Saratoga Cup before, and in the year the club was formed, 2013, won the cup.

Merritt said that, since 2015, the EVRFC women have been struggling to find opposition to play with on this side of BC.

“It is so exciting to have three other teams for us to play against,” she said.

She said the Saratoga Cup is a celebration of rugby in the interior of BC.

“What you’re going to have there is over 100 men and women who are absolutely passionate about the game, and whatever the results are, there’s going to be a lot of people having a lot of fun that weekend.”

READ MORE: ‘Girls Can Rugby’ event seeks to get young girls involved in the sport

READ MORE: Match breakdown: East Kootenay rugby championship 2022 decider


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josh.fischlin@thefreepress.ca

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