Instructors address students in a scrum during rugby workshops held at Caledonia Senior Secondary last week.

Instructors address students in a scrum during rugby workshops held at Caledonia Senior Secondary last week.

Senior students join the scrum

Senior boys will have one more sport to try out for this spring with the creation of a newly-formed rugby team.

Organizing the team is Sean Hall who wanted to introduce the sport to youths in Terrace after noticing a lack of rugby in the north.

“There seems to be a fair bit of interest from the kids, so we are going to see if we can field a team this year,” Hall said.

The team is already registered with BC School Sports and will be available for male students Grade 10-12.

Hall used to play rugby for the University of British Columbia and is planning on coaching the new team.

He will be assisted by fellow RCMP officers Kendra Felkar, Jarryd Kurisu and Andrew Cooper, as well as teachers from Skeena Junior Secondary School and Caledonia Senior Secondary School.

Both Kurisu and Cooper are members of the Terrace Northmen Rugby team.

Felkar has previous rugby experience having played for Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

The officers recently went to Caledonia and provided a rugby workshop for students there.

The plan was to test the students’ reaction to the sport to determine if there was enough interest to create a high school rugby program in Terrace.

During the workshop Hall said there was some of confusion among the students to start, but it did not last long.

“Once we started putting things together and putting kids in the scrum, they lost their shyness and started having fun,” Hall said.

Ben Mattheis, a Caledonia teacher who assisted with the rugby workshop, said many kids want to try out for the rugby team.

“The response was positive all around,” Mattheis said. “Most had not tried it before so it was quite exciting.”

To help with start up costs, the team will receive money from the local RCMP detachment.

They will be donating the money as a part of their youth initiative, and the money will go towards the purchase of equipment.

Hall, who is a corporal with the Terrace RCMP, said youth initiatives like this one are strategic priorities for the RCMP country-wide.

He adds the program is in place to assist with youth development, as well as help young adults become less stand-offish with local police.

Keith Axelson, vice principal at Caledonia, said in the past rugby has been an on- and-off thing for children in the area mostly due to a lack of coaches with interest to take the sport on.

Hall will be assisted as head coach by Kevin Berndt, a teacher at Skeena.

Felkar, Kurisu and Cooper also have plans to help out.

If there is enough interest generated for a Senior girls team Felkar has volunteered her time to coach a senior girls team.

Axelson and Hall have both said they expect the team to play against other northwest rugby teams this season.

“We are really looking forward to our inaugural year,” Hall said, adding they are just going to get the team started and see where it goes.