Canada West Communications
- New Canada West Women's Rugby Sevens Series launches in January 2017
- Partnership with B2ten and Rugby Canada will provide new opportunities for student-athletes looking to compete and study in Canada
- The Series is a three-year pilot project, featuring scholarship opportunities for all six Canada West member institutions that are participating
NEW WESTMINSTER – Canada West, B2ten and Rugby Canada are proud to announce the launch of a new rugby sevens pilot project.
Beginning in January 2017, the Canada West Women's Rugby Sevens Series will provide Canadian female student-athletes the opportunity to pursue the game of rugby sevens, while studying in Canada.
The project, which will include joint funding from B2ten and Rugby Canada, will see the creation of a three-tournament rugby sevens series involving six Canada West institutions – the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of the Fraser Valley, University of Lethbridge, and University of Victoria.
Coming off Canada's women's rugby sevens bronze at the Rio Olympics, B2ten and Rugby Canada are committed to producing the next generation of Olympians by growing the game at Western Canadian universities that share their collective goal of developing high performance rugby programs here in Canada.
The three-year pilot project is part of B2ten's ongoing mandate to help in the development of elite Canadian athletes and promotion of sport and active lifestyle in creating a healthy and dynamic society.
"This initiative builds a pathway to the sevens national team while offering student-athletes the opportunity to pursue their university studies in Canada," said B2ten's Dominick Gauthier. "We are pleased to join Rugby Canada, the participating universities and Canada West in support of women's rugby sevens, a sport we believe Canada is well suited to challenge for gold in at the Olympic Games."
Through their joint support, which will include scholarship opportunities for players at all six competing institutions, B2Ten and Rugby Canada are committed to helping Canadian female athletes pursue their athletic careers, including an opportunity to progress to the national team.
"The launch of the Canada West Women's Rugby Sevens Series is a fantastic initiative that will see tremendous growth of female sevens players," said Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen. "The competition will provide a new pathway to our national sevens programs and will act as a great development tool for players."
The pilot project aligns with Canada West's ongoing efforts to develop new athletic opportunities for our student-athletes, as they pursue academic and athletic excellence at some of Canada's finest post-secondary institutions.
"Canada West appreciates the partnership with Rugby Canada and B2ten. Together we are committed to growing women's rugby sevens in a way that aligns university sport with the development of our national team program and helps motivate our top student-athletes to stay in Canada, while pursuing their post-secondary and international goals," said Victoria Athletic Director and Canada West Vice President of Planning and Research Clint Hamilton.
The Canada West Women's Rugby Seven Series opens January 21 and 22 in Edmonton, Alta. as the University of Alberta hosts the inaugural event, before further tournaments at the University of Victoria (February 4 and 5) and University of British Columbia (February 18 and 19).
The winner of the series will be crowned following the final tournament of the series, as determined by cumulative series points.
About Canada West:
Canada West is the premier university athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship contribute equally towards moulding outstanding graduates and community leaders.
Canada West – Training leaders, building champions.
Canada West TV: www.canadawest.tv
B2ten exists to make a material contribution to Olympic sport in Canada.
About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada. Rugby Football has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s. Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men's Rugby World Cups and seven Women's Rugby World Cups. As a regular on the Men's and Women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game. Canada's Women's Rugby Sevens Team also made history in 2016, capturing the first-ever Bronze Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
To support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved with, Rugby Canada has put an emphasis on developing its junior programs. Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the 2019 Men's Rugby World Cup in Japan and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.