With the recent forest fires and the worsening air quality there is an elevated risk when playing sports. With this increased risk Sask Rugby is implementing a new policy for the health and safety of the members of the community. This policy uses the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) to help make the decision to […]
8 Saskatchewan athletes, Gabrielle Senft (Regina, SK), Elle Douglas (Saskatoon, SK), Molly Watson (Avonlea, SK), Laney Aikens (Briercrest, SK), Brett Kannenberg (Lumsden, SK), Madisyn Pluhowy (Regina, SK), Matt Klimchuk (Regina, SK) and Owen Watson (Avonlea, SK), were named Gilbert Champions in the 2020 Gilbert Champions program. These players received a Gilbert training kit and the opportunity to promote and mentor the growth of rugby in their communities with Gilbert Canada. Senft and Douglas will also be working with and mentored by the incredible team of 2020 ELITE GILBERT CHAMPIONS: Kayla Moleschi, Josiah Morra, Britt Benn and Jake Thiel – ALL members of the Rugby Canada team, and passionate advocates for how rugby has provided incredible life experiences both on and off the pitch.
Gabrielle Senft started as a high school player in Saskatchewan and quickly gained a reputation in the sport for her athleticism, talent, and tenacity. Senft has now played both 15s and 7s across Canada in British Columbia and across the world in Australia and England, all while being a force to be reckoned with on the Canadian National Team. In her Gilbert Canada profile, Senft reflects on the value of community in rugby: “Most importantly the community that rugby holds is something that has really drawn me to continue playing rugby all over the world”.
Elle Douglas started as a mini player in the Saskatoon Mini Rugby program and has since played for the Saskatoon Sirens, North Sask Wolverines, and Team Saskatchewan. You might recognize her from Sask Rugby’s 2016 #ChampionHer video. In her Gilbert Canada profile, Douglas recalls this experience as an inspiration for her rugby dreams: “A big role model for me would be Kayla Mack. I first met her when I was 11 years old and I was doing an interview for women’s rugby. I remember being super excited to meet somebody who had played for Canada and was from Saskatchewan. She gave me a signed Canada warmup jersey from her playing days. I was so starstruck! Kayla really inspired me to pursue my dreams!”.
Molly Watson started as a mini rugby player with Regina Minor Rugby, and has been apart of the Macdowell Rugby Academy and has continued with these programs. In her Gilbert Canada profile Watson expresses her interest in the sport: “I like all the different skills you can do and learn! I like that it can be challenging and I can be competitive when I play”.
Laney Aikens is currently playing rugby for the national senior women’s 7s team and has helped coach at the Macdowell Rugby Academy in Saskatchewan. In her Gilbert Canada profile Aikens explains why she loves rugby: “I love the aggression that comes along with rugby. Ever since I was a small child I have always had so much grit and now that there is a sport where I can use my aggressiveness as an asset, it makes for more success”.
Brett Kannenberg is the head coach at Macdowell Rugby Academy in Saskatchewan. His Gilbert Canada profile explains that he enjoys the sport of rugby because “[e]veryone has a place… [t]he inclusiveness of the sport makes it possible to be invilved at all age levels, abilities, desired competition, not to mention it is global”.
Madisyn Pluhowy started playing on the provincial team in 2019 and is currently playing senior rugby with the Lady Condors in Regina. In her Gilbert Canada profile Madisyn expresses her love for the sport and the community: “I love the community that surrounds rugby as a whole. After losing a great deal of weight one of my friends mentioned rugby and I’ve never looked back. Rugby has revealed true friends that have supported me in the continuation of my weight loss journey and overall in life. I’m forever thankful for being included and excepted in such a tight nit community that rugby brought to me”.
Matt Klimchuk started playing rugby in high school and has since played senior rugby and in the U.S.. In his Gilbert Canada profile Klimchuk shows his admiration for the sport: “I love not only the immense culture behind the sport, but also the dynamics of the game. To me, a rugby player is not only a prime example of a incredible athlete, but also a person of strong character and work ethic. To me rugby Is the ultimate sport”.
Owen Watson has played both high school and provincial rugby, with a bright future ahead of him. In his Gilbert Canada profile Watson shared why he loves rugby: “I love the fact that Rugby has provided me with opportunities to travel to Florida to play in the Tropical 7s last April and play in the LA 7s tournament this past March. I love how much fun I have playing and learning new skills and meeting new people. I love the fact that I am not a very big kid but there is a position for me to play in a sport that I love!”.
Check out and share their full Ambassador program features on Gilbert Canada’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Sask Rugby is so proud of these athletes and all their contributions to the sport of rugby in their communities.
For explanations and footage of the laws in question, visit: www.world.rugby/the-game/laws
Saskatchewan Rugby has jurisdiction over all sanctioned rugby in Saskatchewan. On behalf of its member clubs and Sub Unions, it shall have the power to administer discipline for any incident, conduct, or behaviour during rugby events which Saskatchewan Rugby considers prejudicial to the interest of the Union or the game of Rugby Football (refer to 4.03 of the Sask Rugby Bylaws)
The importance of the reputation of rugby cannot be overstated, and care must be taken, especially by players, team management and officials to prevent the reputation of the game from being diminished by the actions of a few. Any reported incidents shall be dealt with in accordance with Sask Rugby Disciplinary Procedures.
It is NOT the function of the disciplinary Committee to determine guilt.
The referee’s decision on culpability is final.
List of Sanctioned Players
NOTE: Length of sanctions are determined from World Rugby Regulations 17, Appendix 1
History of Rugby in Saskatchewan
It may surprise some to know that rugby in Saskatchewan pre-dates the formation of Saskatchewan itself, with the first recorded game of rugby being played in the settlement of Regina in 1883. In this inaugural match, members of the North West Mounted Police competed against the citizens of Regina, with the locals coming out on top. The province of Saskatchewan wasn’t formed as its own province until 1905.
Rugby initially came to Canada as part of Canada’s connection to Britain, the sport’s homeland. Various codes and variations of the game of “football” were played across the country as a popular pastime before the formation of the Rugby Football Union in London in 1871 led to the dissemination of a consistent set of rules across the commonwealth.
Following this initial match in Regina, rugby in Saskatchewan existed as an intermittent pastime with few organized matches taking place and no formal governing body taking shape. It wasn’t until 1890, when a local union was formed to organize a tour to Winnipeg and began a football rivalry that exists to this day, that rugby gained a real foothold in the future province of Saskatchewan. A split of home and away victories in the two tour matches provided incentive for subsequent competition.
After this period rugby looked to be off to a lively start, with a bi-annual tournament being hosted to crown the champions of Manitoba and the North-West Territory. However, participation of teams in this tournament was sporadic – for instance, the inaugural champions from Winnipeg failed to defend their title in the fall of 1891 but participated in and even hosted subsequent competitions – and the sport was eventually overtaken in popularity by what we now call Canadian football and soccer.
While rugby’s popularity in Saskatchewan was initially located primarily in Regina, Moosomin, and Whitewood, groups in Saskatoon attempted to re-popularize rugby throughout the 1920s with varying success.
Phil Degenstein (Captain) – Scrum-Half / Centre – Campion Grads
Greg Brock – Scrum-Half – Condors
John Hartung – Prop – Campion Grads
Tom Duke – Prop – Rogues
Don Alexander – Prop / Hooker – Rogues
Bill Folk – Hooker – Campion Grads
Greg Kraus – Lock – Campion Grads
Ken Neiszner – Lock – Lifesavers
Geoff McLeod – Lock – Condors
Scott Law – No. 8 – Campion Grads
Doug Degenstien – No. 8 / Flanker – Gophers
Dan Duke – No. 8 / Flanker – Rogues
Derrick Gillis – Flanker – Rogues
Adam Alback – Flanker – Rogues
Steve Hopkins – Flanker – Campion Grads
Kent Kammermayer Fly-Half – Wild Oats
Mike King – Center / Fullback – Rogues
John Hort – Center – Moose Jaw
Mike Embury – Center / Wing – Rogues
Brian Macadam – Center / Wing – Campion Grads
Dave Arsenault – Wing / Fullback -Rogues
Cliff Rusconi – Wing – Lifesavers
Lee Ann Balliett – Prop
Kristie Bonstrom – Prop
Jillian Brandt – Lock
Robin Brandt – Prop
Diane Chestolowski – Wing
Tracy Dencsak – Center
Tara Eckert – Scrum-Half / Wing
Jennifer Farley – Lock
Holly Flicek – Flanker
Elizabeth Ford – Center
Julie Foster – Wing
Andrea Grzesina – Lock
Christina Johnson – Scrum-Half
Lise Moellman – No. 8
Shayna Notschke – Fly-Half
Sandra Scott – Flanker / Center
Natasha Seon – Fly-Half
Micah Seon-King – Flanker
Laura Stoughton – Wing
Teresa Uleryk – Prop / Hooker
Sara Ulmer – Center
Raina Wallace – Hooker
Lorrie Anne Weber – Hooker
Dana Yurach – Wing / Fullback
Crouch Bind Set!
Last Tuesday the provincial government announced it is lifting many restrictions on outdoor team sport starting on May 30 allowing it to return in Phase 1 of the Re-Opening Road Map. The current restrictions on indoor sport and outdoor individual sport will remain in place until June 20 when the province reaches Step 2 in the Re-Opening Saskatchewan plan.
Please note that although restrictions have been lessened, It is important that we all continue to follow our guidelines and procedures in place to mitigate the risk and provide a safe environment for all participants. Member organizations needs to use its best judgement and can also go above and beyond what is required in the government guidelines.
It is our sport’s time to show the rest of Saskatchewan that Rugby is safe, we have an excellent Return to Play plan and our members are the experts in our sport and can effectively manage the safe return of rugby in our communities while keeping everyone participating safe.
All 3 parts of our Return to Rugby Plan remains in place: Preparing to Return (including sanctioning process), Managing Return and Ensuring Safe Return.
Sask Rugby in line with Rugby Canada and World Rugby requires a 6 week progression of contact training be made available by each member club prior to participation in any full contact rugby competition. This is to allow all clubs time to follow the guidelines laid out by the World Rugby document linked below.
Beginning May 30, 2021 competition and game play for outdoor team sport can proceed with the following requirements:
- Participants may not compete if they are feeling unwell.
- Players and Coaches will be screened for Covid 19 Symptoms prior to arriving at practise and games, using the online Sportlomo system.
- League play is allowed to resume; however, tournaments are not permitted at this time.
- No interprovincial travel, teams competing in regional interprovincial leagues need to contact the Business Response Team prior to beginning play.
- Capacity must be in compliance with the public health orders for public outdoor gatherings for each playing surface or game area. Public outdoor gatherings are set to expand to a limit of 150 people on May 30th as part of the Re-Opening Roadmap.
- Water bottles should not be shared, when balls and pads are shared, cleaning and disinfecting must occur between use
- Commonly touched equipment used for game play (eg Match Balls) is routinely replaced or disinfected during the course of practise or play
- Coaches, officials, and players who are not on the field are not required to wear masks outdoors under the public health order. However masks may be worn if they are more comfortable with that layer of protection.
- No shaking hands, high-fives, etc
- Spectators not from the same household should maintain two meters physical distancing.
- Spectators must remain in the designated areas. Masks are not required to be worn outdoors under the public health order but they may be worn if spectators are more comfortable with layer of protection.
- Hand Sanitizers approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN) or soap and water handwashing stations should be available for participants and spectators.
- Public washrooms, when available, are cleaned and disinfected regularly, and soap and water or hand sanitizer is available.
- Daily Attestations and Attendance tracking for coaches, officials and players should be maintained within SportLomo to assist with contact tracing for 30 days in case of a confirmed case of COVID-19.
There are some great resources available to help clubs manage both the physical and mental aspect of returning to contact rugby. World Rugby Resource and Coach Association of Canada through The Locker Leading Return to Sport ELearning HERE.
For more information on Saskatchewan Rugby’s Return to Play visit https://www.saskrugby.com/rtpadmin/ and if you have any questions please contact our Covid Manager Sena Debia, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish all of you a safe and enjoyable return to rugby in Saskatchewan!
Sask Rugby’s 2021 Annual General Meeting date is set for Tuesday, Mar 30, 7:00PM via Zoom. Call for nominations to the board and other meeting agenda items can be sent to email@example.com.
At this meeting the membership will ratify boards and committees with a vote, approve any changes to policy or documents, and discuss any relevant issues brought forward. Sask Rugby encourages representatives from all clubs and community programs to send a representative. Meeting minutes, including any documents discussed, will be available on our website.
Follow the link below to register and receive the meeting agenda.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Mar 30, 2021 07:00 PM Saskatchewan
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
SASK RUGBY ANNUAL AWARDS
Beginning in 1996, Sask Rugby began recognizing the contributions of its many volunteers through annual Volunteer Recognition Awards. This award program inducted 4-6 key contributors to the Volunteer Recognition Hall of Fame each year to acknowledge the huge role volunteers and community members played in the growth and development of rugby in Saskatchewan.
Today the Volunteer Recognition Program lives on with the Sask Rugby Annual Awards, acknowledging 7 outstanding members for their contributions in coaching, officiating, rugby development, and sport.
Annual Awards Winners
Regina Rugby Clubhouse 4025 25th Ave, Regina SK
Regina Rugby Union President: Jody Fry (Interim)
President: Robin MacDowell
Age Group(s): Minor (12 and under), Junior (13-19)
Saskatoon Rugby Fields 134 English Cr, Saskatoon SK
North Saskatchewan Rugby Union President: Janet Marcoux
Coordinator: Jason Brandt
Age Group(s): Minor (12 and under), Junior (13-19)
Prince Albert Rugby Club
(Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks & Prince Albert Panthers)
Max Clunie Field
690 Gary Anderson Way
Prince Albert, SK
Coordinators: Mark McElligott & Danette Senterre
Gender(s): Men’s & Women’s
Age Group(s): Senior (20+), Junior (13-19)
2021 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
As of September 1st, Saskatchewan has 5 clubs delivering rugby in the province! During this gradual return to sport Sask Rugby wants to recognize and congratulate clubs – and sub-unions – that have completed sanctioning requirements in order to deliver the game we love in a safe and fun environment. To all our registered clubs who were unable to deliver rugby this season, we thank you for all your work to sustain the rugby community and hope to see you on the pitch next season.
MacDowell Rugby Academy, Regina
MacDowellRugby is a Canadian rugby academy and mentorship program focused on developing high performance rugby athletes. We are open to any skill level from beginner to experienced! During the academy sessions, you will be provided with the opportunity to gain knowledge and ask questions of our position-specific coaches who will be available throughout the length of the program. Our specialist coaches work in one-on-one and mini-unit situations with the players, so you have the opportunity to observe and interact with these position specific specialists during this time. There will be a focus on problem solving in different game situations. You will discover the intricate details of each playing position and the various roles, responsibilities, skills, techniques, and physical and mental attributes that players require to play at the highest level.
Regina Minor Rugby, Regina
Regina Minor Rugby is back! After we had to cancel our spring sessions for the high school boys and for our minis, we knew that we had to do everything we could to get going in the fall again. Our goal this year was to keep the costs as low as we could, encourage kids to come out and remember how much they love rugby! Regina Minor Rugby always wants to grow the sport of rugby in Regina and we are proud to say that we have 40+ kids aged 4 to 14 joining us on Sunday afternoons at the RRU. We are doing skill based training with the kids, while limiting contact to the best of our ability!
Gophers RFC, Saskatoon
Gophers Rugby is happy to announce that we have been sanctioned to return to play. We are now able to resume official rugby activities in line with Saskatchewan Rugby’s Return to Play Plan and our own COVID-19 safety protocols. Training sessions will be resuming shortly at the Saskatoon Rugby Fields (134 English Crescent). Individuals must be registered with Rugby Canada to participate in training. Information on training times can be found on our website (http://saskatoongophersrugby.com/) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SaskatoonGophersRugby/)
About Us: Founded in 1968, the Gophers Rugby Club has a long tradition in Saskatoon of combining serious rugby with a strong social atmosphere. We pride ourselves on being a family, albeit one that also likes to play rugby. Rugby is a game of teamwork, determination, and respect. As a club, we seek to embody these values off the field as well by creating a strong and supportive network of individuals that extends far beyond the chalked lines of the pitch.
Moose Jaw RFC, Moose Jaw
Returning to the rugby scene in full force, Moose Jaw RFC has men’s and women’s programs for all skill levels. While their 2020 season has come to a close, they are already preparing for a 2021 spring season.
The Regina Rage was created in 2009 with the goal is to promote and help foster the growth of women’s rugby within Regina and Saskatchewan. The club is open to any women who are interested in trying out the sport. While their 2020 season has come to a close, they are already preparing for a 2021 spring season.