While the Elk Valley R.F.C Bulls didn’t get their ticket to the Saratoga Cup this year, the team had another great year, hosting a mini-tournament for the first time and having new players join the squad.
“The year started off well. For the first time, our club hosted a mini tournament with three other teams from BC and Alberta. It was a big success and hopefully we can continue hosting this event,” said captain of the men’s team, Adam Foley. “Another positive this year was our ability to recruit some new teammates. On both the men’s and women’s teams, new faces came out to try the beautiful game of rugby for the first time. In an attempt to continue to grow the game of rugby in the Elk Valley, our club is working with the high schools in Fernie to spark interest with the kids. The women’s coach, Min Merritt, is putting on workshops in both schools and so far excitement has been high.”
Like many on the Bulls, it’s about more than just rugby. Foley recalls joining the team in 2014 after just moving to Fernie.
“I figured it would be a great way to meet new people too,” he said. “It turned out to be a great decision because the team is very social, and they’re a great bunch to hang out with.”
The regular season for the Bulls is a four game series against Cranbrook.
“We’ve had success against them in the past, winning the Kootenay region the last three years. Unfortunately Cranbrook got the better of us this year taking the series 3 games to 1,” said Foley. The team attended two bigger tournaments over their season, a social tournament in Missoula and the Stampede 7 in Calgary.
“The Stampede 7s tournament in Calgary was arguably the highlight of the season for many of our players,” said Foley. “We played hard fought but social rugby, had a winning record, and had way too much fun all weekend. It’ll definitely be a stop on our calendar again next year.”
The new recruits for the men’s and women’s teams ranged in experience, but they all had a great time according to Foley.
While the season is over, the squad still meets occasionally.
“In the offseason, we like to get together for the odd social event, and pre-season training generally begins in January. The pre-season is generally a pretty casual time for our club, but there is definitely some motivation to improve and re-gain our winning form.”
Even if it’s the off-season, Foley encourages anyone interested in the team or sport to contact the Elk Valley RFC through their Facebook page.
“Joining a rugby club is one of the best decisions you’ll make,” he said.