Young rugby players from across Surrey and White Rock will be representing their province over the next two weeks, after a handful were selected by Rugby BC to compete at both under-16 and under-18 Western Championships.
The U16 tournament is the first to hit the field – it begins Thursday in Kelowna and wraps up Sunday – with both U15 and U16 squads taking part. B.C.’s U15 boys side will include Bayside Rugby Club members Brady Reeleder, who is from Delta, as well as Nolan Dunning and Michael Palmer, who are from White Rock. A fourth Baysider, Surrey resident Quinlan Koth, was also named to the team as a non-travelling reserve.
Team BC’s U15 girls team counts one Peninsula resident, Bayside’s Ellie Frost, among players on its roster, while the U16 girls team also includes one local player – White Rock’s Sadie Gluvic, who also plays for Bayside. Last summer, Gluvic was a member of the provincial U15 side.
Rounding out the local contingent in Kelowna are two members of the provincial U16 boys team – Brendan Kim and Kieran Martin, both of whom play for Bayside.
The B.C. team will compete against other provincial teams from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The U18 Western Championships hit the field the following week – Aug. 1-4 – in Regina, with a total of seven boys taking part on two teams. Bayside’s Raymond Chou, Spencer Macdonald and Erik Neibuhr, as well as Surrey Beavers’ Graeme Godard will suit up for the U18 team, while two others – Bayside’s Silas Abbot and David Begin – will play for the U17 team, and Surrey Beaver Dylan Dosanjh will serve as a non-travelling reserve.
On the girls side, Bayside’s Michelle Veerman will serve as a non-travelling reserve player for the U18s, while Nicolette Duchesne – who last year played for the U16 team – will do the same with this year’s U17 side.
Players were chosen for the teams during selection camps earlier this summer. Combined, more than 500 players tried out for teams in all four age groups.
“This year’s BC Rugby Rep XV Team Selection Camps have been a real highlight for both players and coaches,” Aaron Takel, the growth and development manager for Rugby BC’s men and boys program, said in a news release.
“We engaged players across a multitude of different challenges and development sessions, working to expand their rugby horizons and forge strong bonds between teammates. It will be exciting to see how this culture, attitude and playing style translates on to the field at upcoming tournaments.”