Lighting the Prairie Fire for the Coast to Coast Cup

It’s going to be a trial by FIRE for the return of the Prairie Fire!

 

History

The Prairie Fire holds a strong place in the hearts of many within our Province. In its conception and early years, the team competed in the prestigious Rugby Canada Super League (RCSL) from 1998 to 2008 and the Rugby Canada National Junior Championship (RCNJC) from 2009 to 2010. The program has historically held high value in the History of high-performance Rugby in Canada as near the end of the Super League, the team was competing in the Finals, if not winning.

 

Today

After a hiatus, the Saskatchewan Prairie Fire is back and stronger than ever. This U25 Selects team is a rep touring team on the rise and the Coast to Coast Cup is the preliminary tour for the reconstruction. We are calling all eligible players to get informed and come practice to join the Fire Squad!

 

Practices/Training/Costs

Practices occur on Sundays at 12:00 PM (noon) to compensate most players’ busy weeks and are located at the Football Field in Davidson, SK.

The dates for these practices are as follows: May 26, June 2, June 9. There is a potential for more practices following the tour, and news will be revealed within team communications.

There will also be a Pre-tournament Camp held in Regina, SK from June 15-17 to prepare the team for departure as there will be the travel day on the 18th and the debut game on the 19th.

Costs for the tournament are as follows: $1000/player with a $300 deposit due June 1st.

 

Coast to Coast Cup

The Coast to Coast Cup is a major competition for young high-performance athletes across Canada. The Coast to Coast Cup allows our players to compete against top-tier talent from across the country and beyond, representing not only themselves but also our proud province of Saskatchewan.

The tour will go from departure day on June 18th to return day on June 23rd through Halifax, NS.

The games will be as follows:

Game 1: June 19 @6:30 PM Vs. Atlantic Privateers

Location: Graves-Oakley Memorial Park

Game 2: June 22 Final Vs. Calgary Mavericks or Toronto Arrows Academy

Location: Wanderer Grounds Sport Complex

All games will be streamed on the Rugby Network. 

 

Watch for updates via the SaskRugby social medias on Instagram and Facebook for Livestreaming updates, tour updates, and much more!

Saskatchewan opens the 2024 season with a new Strategic Plan

Saskatchewan Rugby is excited to launch the 2024-2029 strategic plan, the map to a robust future for rugby in Saskatchewan. This forward-thinking and long-term plan is a result of collaborative sessions with the board and members, where they got to provide their ideas and feedback.

“We, the Saskatchewan Rugby Board of Directors are working to start a strong structure for the game and participants—now and in the coming years,” says Interm President Jason Brandt. “The timeline is designed to maximize the Canada Games cycle, so we will have a chance to get items up and fully running by the 2025 games, and then reassess and make any adjustments as we head into the next cycle in 2029.”

The full version of Saskatchewan Rugby’s new strategic plan can be found HERE

The new mission and vision statements reflect an active and positive mindset with a forward focus.

Vision

A quality and welcoming rugby community

Mission

We advance lifelong rugby experiences

The strategic plan solidifies the organization’s priorities and will act as a filter to make decisions. That includes the values laid out in the plan.

Respect

Show respect to ourselves, those around us, and the game.

Integrity

Act honestly and equitably in and around the game.

Passion

Passionately find excitement, attachment, and belonging to the rugby family.

Solidarity

Connect and foster an inclusive community through the game.

Discipline

Commit to safety and accountability for the game.

These values reflect the focus on making rugby in Saskatchewan accessible and equitable. Saskatchewan Rugby aims to re-energize and advance the sport in Saskatchewan.

The plan is built to address member needs, and designed to align with Sask Sport, a funder and a leader in the province. Sask Sport’s new sport development framework will be linked to funding reporting, and Saskatchewan Rugby’s outcomes and initiatives for the next five years are divided into the three pillars used in that framework: athlete development, capacity for support, and sport in community.

Athlete Development

Expected Outcomes

  • Enhance and communicate athlete recruitment and development programs, initiatives, and resources
  • Clarify roles and strengthen relationships to support athlete development

 

Major Initiatives

  • Define the athlete participation opportunities
  • Enhance and implement the long-term athlete development framework
  • Establish an annual competition and events calendar

Capacity for Sport

Expected Outcomes

  • Define a participation pathway for coaches, officials, administrators, and volunteers
  • Increase the recruitment and retention of coaches, officials, administrators, and volunteers
  • Update Sask Rugby’s historical resources

Major Initiatives

  • Expand resources that support coaches, officials, administrators, and volunteers
  • Increase recognition of coaches, officials, administrators, and volunteers
  • Publish an updated edition of Sask Rugby’s history book
  • Create a historical archive and display

Sport in Community

Expected Outcomes

  • Diversify the variations of rugby played
  • Expand engagement with underserved populations

Major Initiatives

  • Support the development and expansion of rugby programs across the province
  • Implement and promote a Rugby in Community database
  • Support regional competition development

To help modernize Saskatchewan Rugby and the approach to the sport in Saskatchewan, the plan will need help with implementation at all levels, including member clubs and volunteers.

“Collaboration was key to creating a strong strategic plan, and it will be key to bringing the plan to life,” says Brandt “Everyone will need to work together: the board, players, officials, administration. We have identified the need to strengthen Saskatchewan Rugby as an organization to support the game, our members, and participants.”

As the 2024 season approaches, Saskatchewan Rugby is finalizing an operational plan to translate the high-level goals in the strategic plan into measurable targets and tactics to make the plan a reality. Members can expect to hear more as both plans move forward.

 

 

Annual General Meeting – April 21, 2024

The Saskatchewan Rugby AGM is scheduled for April 21, 2024 at 2205 Victoria Ave in Regina, SK at 11am.

 

There will be a Junior and Senior Planning session to start and the business portion of the AGM will begin at 12:30pm. Please contact your Club President for further details.

2024 AGM Agenda

SAGM Minutes 23 DRAFT

2024 AGM Voting Allocation

2023 – Financial Statements – Saskatchewan Rugby Union

New Strategic Plan

Guiding Questions for the Planning Session

Job Opportunity – Youth Summer Jobs

Saskatchewan Rugby is looking to hire youth workers for a variety of summer positions in 2024 out of Saskatoon, Regina, Lloydminster and Meadow Lake.

 

Sport Program Coordinator (Regina, Saskatoon, Lloydminster, Meadow Lake) – Job Description 2024 Sport Program Coordinators HERE

Sport Program Administrative Coordinator  (Regina) – Job Description 2024 Sport Program Administrative Coordinators HERE

Grounds Maintenance Labourer (Saskatoon) – Job Description 2024 Grounds Maintenance Labourer HERE

 

These positions are funded through the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) wage subsidy from Employment and Social Development Canada. CSJ provides wage subsidies to employers to create quality summer work experiences for young people aged 15 to 30 years. These positions are subject to funding approval as our applications are currently under assessment, however they are typically approved as full time (30 -35 hours per week, between 9 – 12 weeks, between April 24, 2024 to August 30, 2024.

Please email your resume with a cover letter detailing how your skills and experience would make you a great fit for this position by March 31, 2024, to:
Email: jobs@saskrugby.com

We’d like to thank all applicants for your interest in Saskatchewan Rugby, only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

Kristine Lovatt’s rugby journey continues to find success

Over the last decade and a half, Kristine Lovatt has played for 12 rugby teams across Canada and travelling to three continents to referee games all the way up to Olympic qualifiers. An impressive feat for anyone, but especially for someone who had “literally never even heard the word rugby” before she started attending Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in 2006.

Both Lovatt and the game have grown a lot since she started playing. She had always been sporty, and the school encouraged one sport a season. When the time came to choose her spring sport in 2007, it was an easy decision.

“My options were softball and rugby,” Lovatt said. “And despite being relatively athletic, I become the most uncoordinated individual when you put any sort of object in my hand to play a sport.”

Though the highest levels of the sport were in her future, a relaxed and comfortable environment is what helped develop her love for the game. The sport season at Athol Murray was often very intense, but the start of rugby in the spring was just the opposite. She calls the difference between seasons “that feeling of taking your jeans off at the end of the day.”

The environment was nurtured by her coach, Darren Beaulac. His focus on making the game fun was formative for Lovatt. “It’s pretty hard to imagine I would have stuck around in the sport in those early days had he not been creating that kind of environment,” she said.

Another major advantage for Lovatt was that she got involved in the sport as it really began to expand for women in Saskatchewan. When she was just 15, she got to play on Team Saskatchewan’s U19 team—simply because there weren’t that many girls who wanted to play. Many of her school teammates were playing for the provincial team, so there was plenty of encouragement to try out for a spot.

“I tried out for Team Sask because I could,” Lovatt said. “Most years if you showed up you could play; there were only a couple cuts. It kind of fell into my lap and I was playing a whole heck of a lot more than I thought I would be.”

She stuck with rugby—at school and at the provincial level—through high school and when she moved out to Nova Scotia to attend Acadia University. But it was the chance to make a few extra bucks (AKA: beer money) in grad school that brought her a new challenge. She took her first refereeing course through Saskatchewan Rugby in March 2017 and officiated for the first time at a boys’ high school game that spring.

She quickly learned that refereeing was an even better use of her skills and personality than playing had been. “My overall personality has fit better in this context of the game,” she said. Her years as a player helped her build a broad knowledge of the game and an understanding of the rules in context, and she says her new role is a natural fit for her organizational skills and gut feelings.

The shift from player to referee might have been unexpected, but it took off quickly for Lovatt. Within a few months of starting to officiate, she was traveling to other provinces and meeting “some of the best referees in the country.” Not only did she enjoy meeting new people, but those connections also helped her leap to the next level as a ref—by the fall of 2017, she was refereeing university-level games.

“Within six months I had already achieved what it took me 12 years to achieve as a player,” she said.

Then in 2022, things really took off—which Lovatt certainly wasn’t expecting after the pandemic had her questioning how involved she would be in rugby going forward. That year, she got the opportunity to referee the Canada Games, which led to travelling to Mexico that fall to ref at the RAN Super Sevens. Since then, she has refereed games around the world:

  • South Africa, April 2023: World Rugby Development Academy
  • Ottawa, July 2023: World Rugby Pacific Four Series
  • Langford, August 2023: Olympic Qualifiers
  • Chile, October 2023: Pan American Games

Next on the schedule is the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Uruguay in March 2024, and though every new experience is exciting, it’s the people and the experience that keep stoking the fire for Lovatt.

“Rugby gave me a place in the world,” she said. “Refereeing in particular is what has…taught me that if you do things because you love them, because they matter to you and you value them, that’s going to lead to an authentic and meaningful life.”

She credits the game with helping her tolerate failure, build a strong work ethic, and balance responsibility, but most importantly to be part of a supportive community—on and off the field. After all her experiences, she wants to help others who could find their place on the field, too.

“I just want to stay involved with the game for as long as I can,” she said. “…I want to play my part in helping other people fall in love with the game.”

 

Job Opportunity – Sport for All Sessional Coaches

Rugby is seeking energetic, organized and collaborative people to join their team on behalf of Rugby Canada who is supporting the financial means for this position through Sport Canada.

The position requires great organization, communication and problem solving skills. Prior experience organizing sporting programs is ideal.

Reporting to Saskatchewan Rugby’s Development Officer, the position is a Part Time (9 hours per week) seasonal position running from March 2024 to July 2024. The YDO/Sessional Coach  will be expected to work approximately 10 hours per week although workload may vary.

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL JOB POSTING:

Sport for All – Sessional Coaches Ad

Sask Stars Shine in Pan-Am Games

Congratulations to Saskatchewan Rugby’s very own Kristine Lovatt and Carissa Norsten who represented Canada and Saskatchewan at the 2023 Pan-American Games in Santiago Chile.

  

Carissa Norsten was named to the Canadian National Women’s 7s team. The team opened the tournament with two impressive wins: 41-0 vs Chile and 69-0 vs Mexico with Norsten scoring 1 try in the second game. The squad booked their spot in the semi-finals with a 29-21 win vs Brazil with Norsten once again going over for her 2nd try of the day. On day 2, the team confidently beat Colombia 45-14 in the semi-finals with Norsten scoring once again. In the Gold medal match, Canada faced their rivals the United States and after a hard fought 14 minutes fell just short of the Gold medal with a score of 19-12. The young team finished the tournament with a Silver Medal!

Kristine Lovatt saw much of the pitch as a referee in the following games:

Paraguay vs Colombia

USA vs Paraguay

Paraguay vs Chile

Brazil vs Colombia (Bronze Medal Match)

David Jukes | 2023 Sports Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Moose Jaw’s David Jukes who has been inducted into the Moose Jaw and Districts Sports Hall of Fame for 2023.

From 1970 to 2010, Jukes established himself as a premier rugby player, coach, and administrator. David was named to the Saskatchewan provincial team from 1974-1987 and in 1980 he was named to the National team as an alternate.

Administratively, Jukes has spent countless hours supporting the community rugby program at the Barry MacDonald Rugby Field. He has been an executive member of both the Moose Jaw and Saskatchewan Rugby boards and has an award named after him: The Dave Jukes Award, for most outstanding junior forward.

Please join us in congratulating David Jukes on this great accomplishment.

2023 Western Championships

Saskatchewan Rugby sent three teams to compete at the annual Western Championships in Calgary, Alberta from August 4-6th 2023. Our three teams competed against many other great teams from across Canada, fought hard and learned a lot on and off the pitch.

The U16 Girls team included athletes from Manitoba and Saskatchewan and was composed of: Chloe Flanagan, Rayne Youngblut, Zara Wilson, Ginger Newstead, Cyan Beeching, Abigail Hall, Kaia Nolan, Katryna Mattern, Molly Watson, Aubrey Perillat, Rayan Abdelkerim, Sarah Murphy, Tatumn Milligan, Kieran Milligan, Keeley McMaster, Felicity Sahulka (MB), Paityn Bourgouin (MB), Bella Reid, Ava Page (MB), Adeline Dunwoody (MB), Kayel LaBelle (MB), Austyn LaBelle (MB), Samidhri Galhenage, and Kendra McEwing.

The U18 Girls team was made up of Saskatchewan and Alberta athletes named: Kathrina Klassen, Emma Dziurzynski, Kianna Gonie, Nessa Ross, Kendra Brown, Jessica Perepelitza, Emry Marchand, Shaylee Haftner-Lett, Tayler Parkinson, Erika Jimenez, Emilie Gatin, Hailey Temple, Josephine Tolentino, Raelyn Reinson, Mikayla Hamel-Sronchenski, Ella Rondeau, Nevada Weisbrod, Chloe Hedges (AB), Anela Murrel-Hebert (AB), Julia Michalczyk (AB), Larissa Atamanchuk (AB), Cass Steel (AB), Katie Share (AB), and Kiana Bryne.

 

The U18 Boys team saw one British-Columbia athlete join the Saskatchewan roster composed of: Jonah Lopez, Jaru Steyl, Hunter Burant, Owen Watson, Moe Norsten, Nolan Hall, Ayden Scrimbitt, Kaden McCarthy, Bryn Rondeau, Jaxon Rondeau, Cameron Neudrof, Carter Speidel, Chance Rivers, Steven Stadnyk, Finn Grahame-King, Walker Millbury, Mason Topley, Matthew Tysiaczny, Iain Anderton-Teasdale (BC), Erik De Necker, AJ De Necker, Sam Wagner, Austin Kemp, and Ray Monks.

Premier Rugby 7s x Sask Rugby

The 2023 Premier Rugby 7s expanded 2023 season saw multiple Saskatchewan Rugby stars competing for various franchise teams across the United States.

Spencer Boldt; Notre Dame Alumna and Sask Rugby star signed with the Experts franchise for her third season. The Experts started their season off strong winning the first stop of the series in San Jose on July 16, and clinching their ticket to the Championship tournament in DC.

Carissa Norsten & Christina Norsten; this Sask rugby sister duo have been making waves both in the US and Canada over the past few years. Carissa signed with the Loonies franchise for her second season and Christina signed for her very first season. The Loonies coached by Sask Rugby coaching legends Brett Kannenberg and Robin MacDowell had a fantastic season, winning at home in Minnesota on the first stop of the series, then clinching their championship tournament spot in San Jose and finally becoming the 2023 Premier Rugby 7s Champions for the second season in a row on August 7th.

Lucas Scheck; the Sask Rugby star resigned with the Headliners franchise for his second season. The team fell short of a championship tournament spot, battling against tough competition from the get go.

We are incredibly proud of these Saskatchewan athletes and their continued success. The future is bright!