These incredible folks are working to grow the game of rugby in Canada. We have a diverse group of athletes, coaches and community builders who are inspiring the next generation of rugby players. You can read each of their bios to learn about the clubs and programs they are part of. At Gilbert we truly believe that rugby makes your life better - through not only the teamwork, fitness and confidence grown by playing, but by the community and support that rugby is uniquely known for. We are so incredibly grateful and proud to have the opportunity to support these Champions and shine a light on the projects they are connected to. The roster below travels from Ontario to the West Coast, from the West Coast to the East Coast, and the East Coast over to Quebec.



Instagram: @candacescholten  
Location: Stratford, Ontario
Current Clubs: Guelph RFC
Playing Positions: Full back and Centre
Current programs: Ontario Blues Player, Coaches mini and juniors, with now joining in helping the University of Guelph Rugby program, Canadian Classics Player, Canadian Touch League Player, as well as a Rugby League Player for the Ontario Ospreys and Canada Ravens while sitting on the board as a Club Promotion Lead. With Candace being the Domestic Lead for the Waterloo Region Rugby with excitement in promoting a different Code of Rugby in Ontario

Candace lives by the "what's next" sort of attitude, some people would describe her as "she takes on a lot", but she truly wants to make every day as special as she can, and she wants to live a life filled with opportunities and wants to be an inspiration to those around her. With beginning her rugby journey at Conestoga College and falling in LOVE, she loved the physicality on the field and how you truly are putting your body on the line for your teammates. Playing one season there, she succumbed a terrible concussion, and thought that she may never get to play rugby again, but a long 4 year later Candace made her way back on the field. Playing that first season back and won "Ontario Rugby Player of the Year", she then had her son and made a quick return to rugby that spring in 2018. Last year Candace decided to tryout for the Ontario Blue Program and found herself on that starting lineup in her first season, as a 30-year-old woman. Candace believes anything is truly possible if you believe in yourself. With wanting people to realize it's not to late to try things, to go big, and to push yourself. Every time there is an opportunity to get more involved in rugby, Candace takes that as another way for her to grow, a way for her to help grow this game, and to inspire others to find passion in something.



Instagram: @aurorabarbs 
Location: Aurora, Ontario
Current Clubs: Aurora Barbarians
Playing Positions: Coaches at various levels
Current programs: Khalil is the current President of the Aurora Barbarians, founder of the Misfits and Great North 7s, as well has being a general manager for TRU and for Rugby Canada’s U18M. Khalil always makes time to support all rugby’s core values of diversity & inclusion including Mixed Abilities Rugby, being a key supporter of both TIRF and Iroquois Roots with going out of his way to find everyone a place in the game. 

When Team Canada acknowledges the giants, they stand upon, Khalil Ajram stands tall among them. Khalil's impact on growing the game of rugby is vast and hard to encapsulate in words, as he tirelessly contributes to numerous aspects of its development. As the driving force behind junior development in Ontario, Khalil serves as the President of the Aurora Barbarians, the founder of the Misfits and Great North 7s, and holds roles as a General Manager for TRU and Rugby Canada’s U18M team. Beyond his official titles, Khalil embodies rugby's core values of diversity and inclusion, actively supporting initiatives like Mixed Abilities Rugby, Iroquois Roots, and TIRF. He goes above and beyond to ensure everyone finds their place in the game, making time for players of all backgrounds. Khalil's dedication to rugby families across the nation is truly commendable, and we are grateful for everything he does.



Instagram: @ajaxwanderers
Location: Ajax, Ontario
Current Clubs: Ajax Wanderers, Brampton Rugby Club, and Rugby League
Playing Positions: Second Row
Current programs: Qais during the school year coaches Grade 9 and 10 boys 7s and 15s at the local high school. While in the summer he is a Senior men’s player for his club. He is very involved in giving back and assisting where needed on his “off” days from rugby.

Qais journey with rugby began in 2010 when he was introduced to the sport in grade 9. Prior to that, he had a background in soccer but faced ridicule from teammates, parents, and even his own family due to his pigeon-toed stance, which made kicking the ball accurately a challenge. Disheartened, he gave up soccer in grade 6 and focused solely on school volleyball for two years. It wasn't until grade 9 when his two best friends encouraged him to give rugby a try. It was something they could all do together. Although he only played a brief two minutes that year, he was fully committed, attending every practice, and cheering at every game. In grade 10, Qais seized the opportunity to start in a preseason tournament, and from then on, he never looked back, earning a spot on the starting lineup throughout high school.

Joining the Ajax Wanderers in the summer of 2011 opened doors to new friendships and elevated their game to a higher level. During university, Qais played for Trent University's team, and last summer, he ventured into coaching, which reignited his passion for the sport. Coaching allowed him to give back to the club that had given him so much joy and growth, providing a space where he could have fun and continuously challenge himself. Since 2017, he’s been coaching at his club year-round, including working with his current high school's feeder program for U16 boys' teams. This involvement allows him to witness firsthand the growth of students who start as novices and evolve into skilled players over the years, transitioning from school sevens and fifteens to summer fifteens before advancing to U18s and senior high school rugby. Qais finds it incredibly rewarding to see their development journey and be a part of shaping them into the best players they can be.




Instagram: @ajaxwanderers
Location: Smith Falls, Ontario
Current Clubs: Canadian Jax Unified RFC & Lanark Highlanders RFC
Playing Positions: Coach and Enabler
Current programs: Dave is currently an active member playing for the Lanark Highlanders RFC, while coaching for Carleton University Ravens men rugby program, the St.Peter’s High School girls rugby program, and has been an executive and coach at Canadian Jax Unified RFC in Ottawa.

Dave began his rugby journey at the age of 15 while attending Acton District High School, where his passion for the sport ignited. Since then, he's remained deeply involved in the rugby community, continually honing his skills, and contributing to various roles. His current roles include being an active member of the Lanark Highlanders RFC, where he continues to thrive and contribute on the field, serving as a coach for the Carleton University Ravens men’s rugby program, mentoring and guiding young talents to reach their full potential. With additionally, being involved as a coach for the St Peters High School girl’s rugby team, nurturing the next generation of female rugby players. 

While Dave is active in the rugby community in various ways his most passionate involvement lies with the Canadian Jax Unified RFC in Ottawa. As a part of the executive team and a coach, Dave is dedicated to offering a safe and inclusive rugby experience to players of all ages challenged with disabilities. The Canadian Jax Unified RFC holds a special place in his heart. Having him actively contributed to the growth of the Canadian Jax RFC from its grassroots level to its status, which has been both a challenge and a fulfilling journey. Annually, the club organizes a successful returning rugby jamboree, where they bring together an average of 180 student athletes with mixed abilities, to promote inclusivity and sportsmanship. The team's dedication has been recognized as they were featured at the Bingham Cup in Ottawa 2022. With having an aim to participate in the upcoming Can/Am event in Sarinac NY, alongside teams from New York and Washington, showcasing the spirit of unified rugby.

Dave’s dedication to the Canadian Jax stems from a strong belief in providing athletic opportunities for individuals with disabilities, especially in the realm of rugby. Together with Leeann, Steve, and the team, Canadian Jax Unified RFC strives to create a supportive environment where everyone can thrive and enjoy the beautiful game of rugby. In summary, Dave’s rugby journey has been shaped by a deep passion for the sport and a commitment to inclusivity and growth within the rugby community.



Instagram: @lara.morrison.02  &  @caldeoncavaliersrugby
Location: Alliston, Ontario
Current Clubs: Caledon Cavaliers
Playing Positions: Hooker
Current programs: Lara currently plays for the Caledon Cavalier, while also co-captaining the junior girls team. Meaning she is heavily involved in getting girls involved in playing in schools and the surrounding communities. Lara is also a referee and strongly encourages other girls to take the course because of there being so few other women at games and event officiating. This summer she will also be helping the Caledon Cavaliers with coaching the younger aged children. 

Lara wants the rugby community to know that her passion and love for rugby runs deep. With a true passion and interest in getting women and girls involved with rugby at all levels – playing, coaching, and officiating because she believes it is so important to have role models for females interested in playing. While fostering a positive and welcoming environment for the women and girls who are interested in trying the sport.  As it has opened a door for her to a sport where both sides of the sport are equal between the girls and guys. With rugby being so open, and everyone having a place on the field playing Lara knew this was the perfect environment for her. As rugby has created a welcoming environment on the pitch and off and is the most positive sport she has been around.

The Caledon Cavaliers club president, Mike Iacovelli, has been so involved with their club and was a driving force to push Lara and help her grow her knowledge outside of just playing. Asking for Lara’s input to help grow the girls’ team when she was one of the only girls who joined and organized a clinic so other females who were interested could get their level 1s. With Mike jumping on the opportunity to help and grow the girls’ side of the club, and truly wanting Lara’s input made her feel important not only to the club but to the sport as well. Which in return made her want to get even more involved in the sport.



Instagram: @GroundskeeperEdgar
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Current Clubs: Twin Elm Rugby Park, Bytown Blues, OBBRFC, and Burlington Centaur Alumni
Playing Positions: Back Row, Wing, and Fullback
Current programs:  Secretary on the board of Directors at Twin Elm Rugby Park. Since his move to Ottawa, he has been dedicated to the stewardship of this great institution and am working diligently with the community to improve the facility. He recently obtained his referee certification and hope to be able to give back more then he has received from Rugby.           

 James Edgar is passionate about rugby, particularly the sense of community and positive role models the sport provides. They believe that rugby offers a structure for personal development both on and off the pitch and values the friendships made through rugby, which last a lifetime. James started playing high school rugby at White Oaks S.S. and summer club rugby at Oakville Crusaders before joining the Burlington Centaurs, where they were introduced to men's rugby and the culture they aim to preserve and pass on to the next generation. They are currently the incumbent Secretary on the board of Directors at Twin Elm Rugby Park in Ottawa, dedicated to improving the facility and giving back to the rugby community through stewardship and volunteerism.

James has a diverse background in rugby, including playing with his High School team against the under 19 national squad while on on tour in Barbados. Experiencing Caribbean culture and strengthening bonds with teammates while overseas. James is currently training for a spot on a club rugby team and actively promotes the game on social media and through fraternal networks. James runs a small business distributing Allett Mowers and integrates opportunities to promote rugby, particularly through grounds keeping and international sports communities. They are an active member of various organizations related to recreational facilities, sports turf management, and fraternal orders, including the Ontario Recreational Facilities Association, Sports Turf Canada, and the Goodwood Masonic Lodge. Additionally, James supports charitable causes such as the Shriners Hospital for Children Montreal and the Canada Rugby Foundation, demonstrating their commitment to giving back to the community and promoting rugby at various levels.



Instagram: @scottygchristian
Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Current Clubs: Brampton Beavers
Playing Positions: Flanker and Lock
Current programs:  Teacher and Coach at David Suzuki Secondary School and assistant coaching at Humber College.

            Scott Christian is a high school teacher who found rugby after their university wrestling days, appreciating the community and inclusivity the sport offers. They enjoy sharing rugby with students who may not have experienced it before, believing it provides opportunities for success beyond high school. Tremaine and Alex at the Brampton rugby club encouraged them to return to rugby, igniting their passion for the game once again. Scott has been coaching in the Peel Region for roughly 10 years, finding joy in seeing high school athletes continue to play rugby.

Scott has played for the Canadian Wolverines and have had great experiences in Boston, Cleveland, and Tampa Bay. He currently teaches and coaches in Brampton, starting rugby programs or coaching at multiple high schools in the area. They are involved in coaching junior boys, senior boys, and varsity girls’ rugby at David Suzuki Secondary School, as well as assisting with the women's 7s program at Humber College. Additionally, they help organize and run a high school clinic for Brampton schools, showcasing their dedication to growing the sport and giving back to the rugby community.


Instagram: @petraawoodsfit
Location: North York, Ontario
Current Clubs: Scarborough RFC
Playing Positions: Fullback, Centre, Flanker, and Wing
Current programs:  Coach, player and referee for local clubs

Petra is passionate about rugby, seeing it as a sport that fosters courage and confidence in young women. They celebrate the uniqueness of each player and believe that every aspect of rugby, from practices to tournaments, is life-changing and enjoyable. Petra’s first introduction to rugby was through a friend from dance class, Sydney Miller, who directed them to a rugby tryout at Mayfield Secondary School. Lead coaches John Tutty and Kirk Robertson further encouraged their rugby journey by bringing them on tour to England & Wales, solidifying their love for the sport.

Petra is described as an overly passionate rugby player who wants as many people as possible to enjoy the positive aspects of the game, such as socializing, making friends, developing leadership skills, and touring the world. They founded Scarborough RFC in 2021, focusing on serving the youth in the Scarborough, Ontario region and creating a safe-sport environment for anyone interested in rugby.


Instagram: @adebola_27
Facebook:  N/A
Location: Paris, Ontario
Current Clubs: Brantford Collegiate Institute
Playing Positions: Flank and Lock
Current programs:  Player for Brantford Collegiate Institute and will be joining the Brantford Harlequins

            Adebola is a student athlete who loves rugby for its ability to help them forget worries and stress, providing a fun and supportive community. As with being a student athlete it can be difficult juggling studies, relationships/friendships, and rugby games/practices. Out of all the sport Adebola has ever tried, rugby has given her the most welcoming, heartfelt, and sincere support that she has ever received from any sport she has ever been involved with. Since beginning to play, her coaches and teammates have brought out a side of her that she did not know existed inside of her this whole time. The inclusiveness of the rugby community brings her the most joy from the sport.

With her coaches, Ms. Link, Ms. Vance, and Ms. Grierson inspired them to be involved with rugby, with Ms. Link recognizing their potential early on. They started playing rugby recently with their school team and plan to join a league team with the Brantford Harlequins to extend their rugby experience. Adebola is passionate about increasing inclusivity and diversity in rugby, particularly encouraging black athletes to join the sport. They have participated in OFSAA and play as a forward, specifically as a flank and lock, showing leadership and calmness on the field.

Rugby is a game which means you can not take things personally. Adebola shows this to her teammates, coaches, and even her family/friends who are supporting me at games to be a calm person on a field. As with wanting to grow the game and be a positive role model, how she conducts herself as a person and player is important. She is involved in the game by partaking the role as a leader and taking initiative. Being a role model for others younger or older helps them learn from their mistakes. Adebola brings a sense of leadership to her community and shows them that rugby is a game of respect, dedication, and motivation



Instagram: @beastie.sports
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Current Clubs:
Playing Positions: Eightman, Flanker, Prop, Hooker, and Lock
Current programs:  Player to her club Toronto Amazons, but helps volunteer coach as well.

Zoe values rugby for its sense of family, acceptance, and teamwork, believing that there's a place for everyone on the rugby field regardless of size or athletic ability. Their mother encouraged them to play, and they were also inspired by family friend Lisa Desario from Balmy Beach's women's team. Her home club is Toronto City - Toronto Amazons, and they are connected with various teams such as the U18 Canada East National Team, Eastern Ontario Provincial Team, Toronto Reds & Misfits, and OBDA.

Their best rugby experience so far was making the U18 Canada East National Team and training in Ottawa, where they met the Canadian Women's team, fueling their desire to play for their country. Zoe is also a volunteer coach with Toronto City Rugby Club, coaching U6-U10 players and is involved in bringing rugby back to their high school. Additionally, they are connected with Toronto Reds Rugby, Misfits, OBDA, Ontario Jr Blues, Eastern Canada National Rugby Team, and Scarborough Sharks Hockey League.



Instagram: @allearsenault
Facebook:  N/A
Location: Kingston, Ontario
Current Clubs:
Playing Positions: 7s – Scrumhalf, Hooker, and Winger. 15s – Full Back, Scrum Half, and Wing
Current programs:  Coaching and refereeing in her hometown. Player for various clubs.

Alle, whose name isn't mentioned in the provided text, has been playing rugby for the past three years, initially getting introduced to the sport by friends Taylor Perry, Elise Voskamp, and Caity Williams, who continue to inspire them. They started with their college team and, despite initial nerves, fell in love with rugby, especially 7s. Alle's journey in rugby has led them to meet great players and coaches, motivating them to get involved in refereeing and coaching with Rugby Ontario and in their hometown of Kingston. They are passionate about rugby's impact on confidence and growth and are excited about upcoming tournaments like the New York 7s and Tropical 7s in Florida. Additionally, they are involved in coaching their old high school team and training students in rugby-specific strengths. Joining rugby truly made Alle love the sport more than she could ever imagine, it’s made her more confident with the way she plays. She hopes that everyone can find that in rugby the same way she did. In the short period of time since she started playing it has felt like a lifetime.



Instagram: N/A
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Current Clubs: Rainbow Griffins
Playing Positions: Wing and Lock but has played every single position throughout their journey
Current programs:  Player and President for Rainbow Griffins. While working with the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation (TIRF), as a Facilitator and Regional Captain, spreading the love of rugby to communities across the GTA through house-leagues, school visits, and tournaments. With also being apart of Rugby Ontario’s Youth Development committee, a council of youths looking to address several issues and build the youth programs in the province.

Nate Ives, he/him, has been deeply involved in rugby for over a decade, with a passion for its inclusivity and community spirit. Starting at Lake City Secondary School in British Columbia, he found his love for the sport and has since been active in various Toronto teams. Nate's journey includes significant mentors like his parents, Ian Royer, and Amanda Neale-Robinson, who have guided him towards leadership roles within rugby. Currently serving as President of Rainbow Griffins RFC, Nate is dedicated to promoting rugby within the 2SLGBTQ community and creating inclusive spaces. His work with the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation and Rugby Ontario's Youth Development committee showcases his commitment to growing the sport's accessibility and impact. 

Through playing with multiple Toronto teams and working with the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation for two summers Nate has now taken up a leadership position as President of Rainbow Griffins RFC. His most memorable experience was being the youngest team captain at the Bingham Cup in Ottawa 2022, marching in the last two Toronto Pride Parades. With Rainbow Griffins RFC he has helped spread the love of rugby to the 2SLGBTQ community and seen it help a lot of folks who may have left sport due to traditionally toxic spaces and bad memories associated or who may just be looking for a sense of community. 


Instagram: N/A
Location: Elora, Ontario
Current Clubs: Fergus Highland RFC
Playing Positions: Second Row for Masters League
Current programs:  President and Coach of Fergus Highland RFC

            Joe Bowley’s journey in rugby spans over 40 years, beginning as a player in the mini division and culminating in a senior role at the Market Bosworth Rugby Club in the UK. His love for the sport led him to become deeply involved in various facets of rugby, from playing to coaching, refereeing, and club administration. For Joe, rugby isn't just a sport; it's a way of life deeply ingrained in his family and community. Upon emigrating to Canada 19 years ago, he found a new home in the local club of Fergus, Ontario. The club became a family where Joe has dedicated himself to growing the game and fostering a strong sense of community.

Joe draws inspiration from his first coach in the UK, who instilled in him the values of respect, teamwork, and community. This coach's influence laid the foundation for Joe's approach to rugby, prioritizing camaraderie, and sportsmanship over winning. Over the years, Joe's contributions to rugby development have been extensive. He played a pivotal role in establishing and expanding the mini and junior programs at Fergus Highland Rugby Club, promoting the sport among local youth and schools. His leadership extends beyond the field as he has served as the president of Fergus Highland Rugby Club for eight years. He also held the position of director of rugby, focusing on bridging the gap between high schools and the club to create a seamless pathway for aspiring players. As a coach, he has dedicated himself to nurturing young talent both at the club and local high schools. His coaching efforts aim not only to develop skilled players but also to instill a love for the game and a sense of belonging within the rugby community. Additionally, Joe is a qualified referee, ensuring fair play and providing opportunities for players across all levels.

Joe's involvement in rugby has taken him across the globe, from England to New Zealand, the USA, and Canada. Through exchange programs and international connections, he has facilitated life-changing experiences for players, highlighting the transformative power of rugby beyond borders. His vision extends beyond the rugby field to encompass the broader community. He played a key role in establishing the clubhouse as a hub for various local activities, strengthening ties between the club and the community. Joe Bowley’s legacy in rugby is one of inclusivity, community, and transformation. His tireless efforts have not only shaped the Fergus Highland Rugby Club but have also touched the lives of countless individuals, inspiring a love for the game and fostering lifelong connections within the rugby family.



Instagram: N/A
Location: Selwyn, Ontario
Current Clubs: Peterborough Pagans RFC
Playing Positions: N/A
Current programs:  Player and volunteer with Peterborough Pagans

            Amy Baker is more than just a rugby player; she's a driving force behind the vibrant and inclusive community at the Peterborough Pagans rugby club. Her passion for the sport extends beyond the field as she tirelessly works to create opportunities and foster growth for players of all abilities and backgrounds. Amy serves as a mentor to aspiring players, guiding them through their rugby journey and opening doors to new opportunities. Her dedication to growing the game is evident in her advocacy for inclusivity, particularly for transgender athletes and those with mixed abilities.

Amy's impact transcends the boundaries of their club as she actively engages with other clubs and provincial bodies to promote inclusivity and accessibility in rugby. Her efforts have helped create a more welcoming environment for all participants, regardless of their background or skill level. Her love for rugby knows no bounds. She traveled to Paris to witness the Rugby World Cup, immersing herself in the global rugby community and drawing inspiration to further her advocacy efforts back home.

Recognizing the need for more inclusive rugby programs, Amy spearheaded the introduction of mixed abilities rugby in Peterborough. Her dedication to this initiative has seen the program flourish, providing opportunities for players of diverse abilities to enjoy the sport. As the mini’s rugby coordinator for Peterborough, Amy has played a pivotal role in expanding the program and introducing young players to the joys of rugby. Her enthusiasm and commitment have inspired others, including past champions, to get involved in coaching minis rugby and promoting mixed abilities within the sport. Amy Baker’s impact on the Canadian rugby community is immeasurable. Through her advocacy, mentorship, and tireless efforts to promote inclusivity, she has transformed our club into a welcoming and supportive environment for all. Amy's passion for rugby and dedication to empowering others serve as a beacon of inspiration, driving positive change both on and off the field.


Instagram: @keagandalton_
Location: Poplar Hill, Nova Scotia
Current Clubs: Pictou County Rugby Club
Playing Positions: Flanker
Current programs:  A coach for the junior programs of his club, and player.

            For Keagan, rugby isn't just a sport; it's a fierce battleground where every moment is a test of strength, skill, and determination. He thrives on the adrenaline rush that comes from fighting tooth and nail for every inch gained with each touch of the ball. Bryan Campbell, his mentor, played a pivotal role in nurturing his love for the game and instilling in him the drive to compete at the highest level. Despite starting his rugby journey just two years ago, he has already made significant strides in the sport. With his dedication and passion for the game, it has propelled him to international arenas, where he has had the privilege of representing our country on the u19 Atlantic Rock side in Cardiff, Wales. This experience broadened his perspective of the game and fueled his desire to excel further.

In addition to his exploits on the field, Keagan is deeply involved in nurturing the next generation of rugby players through my club's rookie rugby program. As a coach for junior rugby, he has had the opportunity to mentor and guide young talents in the u10 and u12 categories last summer. Sharing his knowledge and passion for the sport with aspiring players brings him immense joy and fulfillment. Beyond club rugby, Keagan plays a pivotal role in recruiting players for his high school team. He is passionate about introducing newcomers to the exhilarating world of rugby and fostering a sense of camaraderie and competition within our school community. 

As he continues to hone his skills on the field and impart his knowledge as a coach, Keagan is committed to pushing the boundaries of his capabilities and contributing to the growth and development of rugby at all levels. Whether it's competing fiercely on the field or nurturing the talents of tomorrow, Keagan is dedicated to leaving a lasting impact on the rugby community. With every match, every coaching session, and every recruitment effort, Keagan strives to embody the values of the sport and inspire others to join him on this exhilarating journey.


Instagram: @maddie.denn  &  @halifaxrugby  &  @igrclubhouse
Location: Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia
Current Clubs: Halifax RFC
Playing Positions: Front Row and occasionally Flanker
Current programs:  Player and President for Halifax RFC. While also serving as a Trustee and member of the executive committee of International Gay Rugby (IGR).

            Rugby has been more than just a sport to Maddison; it's been a family for over two decades. The unique bond formed through the trials of a full 80-minute game solidifies relationships in ways she’s never experienced in any other sport or community. Their journey into rugby began over 20 years ago when their older brother introduced them to the game during high school. For much of Maddison’s time in the rugby community, they grappled with the fear of not being able to bring their whole self to the game. However, when they came out as transgender, their fears were dispelled by the overwhelming support and acceptance they received from their rugby family. This experience underscored the transformative power of inclusive athletics, particularly within the queer community.

Inspired by their own journey, they've dedicated themself to spreading the message of inclusive rugby. Maddison spearheaded the creation of the Halifax Pride Rugby Program in 2022, aimed at introducing members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community to rugby. Serving as the program's head coach, they've witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of rugby on individuals from diverse backgrounds. As the president of Halifax RFC, they are committed to expanding their youth programs to foster the growth of the local rugby community. Additionally, Maddison serves as a Trustee and member of the executive committee of International Gay Rugby (IGR), a global charity advocating for inclusion in rugby. Through IGR, they work tirelessly to ensure the existence of safe spaces for queer athletes and advocate for inclusivity within national unions and World Rugby.

Maddison’s involvement with IGR has taken them to various events and conferences, including the "Rugby is my Pride" symposium and conference in Paris during the World Cup. This opportunity allowed them to train at the FFR's national rugby center and experience the excitement of the Ireland vs. New Zealand semi-final match at le Stade de France. In 2024, IGR will host the Bingham Cup in Rome, Italy, with over 3000 participants expected. As we continue to advocate for inclusion and diversity in rugby, Maddison is proud to be part of a movement that is reshaping the landscape of the sport globally. Rugby is truly a sport for all, and they honored to play a role in promoting its inclusivity and diversity. Through advocacy, volunteer work, and leadership roles, Maddison strives to create safe and welcoming spaces within the rugby community, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to experience the transformative power of the game.


Instagram: @ChadSooley
Twitter: @fullprop
Location: Saint Johns, New Brunswick
Current Clubs: Saint John Trojans
Playing Positions: Front Row
Current programs:  A coach at multiple levels, including club, high school, and provincial teams, I am committed to guiding the next generation of rugby players.

            Rugby is more than just a sport to me; it's a way of life, a culture, and a family. The camaraderie and sense of belonging, both on and off the pitch, have been the cornerstone of Chad’s rugby journey. Mentors like Greg Horgan and Neil White have played instrumental roles in shaping his love for the game and instilling in me a deep sense of appreciation for its values and traditions. Throughout Chad’s two-decade-long involvement in rugby, he’s had the privilege of contributing to various capacities, including as a player, referee, coach, board member, and rugby parent. Each role has provided unique insights and experiences, enriching his life in countless ways. I firmly believe that nurturing a love for rugby at a young age not only strengthens the local and provincial communities but also fosters the growth of rugby across Canada. Witnessing the joy and excitement in children's faces as they achieve milestones on the rugby field, whether it's scoring their first try or making their first tackle, has been immensely rewarding.

As a coach at multiple levels, including club, high school, and provincial teams, Chad is committed to guiding the next generation of rugby players. Coaching allows him to impart not only the technical aspects of the game but also its rich culture and values. Seeing young athletes develop their skills, gain confidence, and find a sense of belonging fills him with pride and reaffirms his passion for the sport. Beyond rugby, Chad is actively involved in Fundy Bay Youth Community Hockey as a coach and board member, further underscoring his dedication to youth development and community engagement. Through his involvement in both rugby and hockey, he strives to create positive experiences and opportunities for young athletes to thrive and excel. Whether as a player, coach, or community member, Chad is committed to promoting the values of rugby and fostering a sense of belonging and unity within their communities. Through dedication, mentorship, and a deep love for the sport, Chad aims to leave a lasting impact on the lives of those he encounters on and off the field.



Instagram: @sooleyemma
Location: Saint Johns, New Brunswick
Current Clubs: Saint John Trojans
Playing Positions: Hooker and Prop
Current programs:  Player and volunteer for St. John Trojans

            Rugby has been a significant part of Emma’s life since she was 10 years old, instilling in her a deep appreciation for teamwork, camaraderie, and community spirit. Over the years, Emma’s cultivated strong relationships within the rugby community, both as a player and as a volunteer. Playing for Team New Brunswick since the age of 14 has not only honed my skills on the field but has also enriched my sense of belonging within the rugby fraternity. Within her club, the Trojans Rugby Football Club, Emma takes pride in giving back whenever she can. During the summer months, she dedicates her time to coaching rookie rugby teams, introducing young players to the joys of the sport, and helping them develop their skills. Additionally, she actively participates in organizing and setting up events, including senior games and fundraisers, demonstrating her commitment to the growth and success of the club.

Beyond the confines of our club, Emma is deeply involved in initiatives aimed at benefiting the broader community of Saint John. As part of their club's efforts to build a clubhouse, she is actively engaged in activities to support local youth. From coaching rookie rugby to assisting with fundraising events, Emma strives to make a positive impact and foster a sense of belonging among young individuals in our community.

In addition to rugby, she is also involved in Fundy Bay Youth Hockey, further showcasing her passion for sports and community engagement. Through her participation in multiple sports, she aims to promote the values of teamwork, dedication, and sportsmanship among youth in Saint John. As a strong advocate for youth involvement in sports, particularly among high school-aged girls, Emma actively encourages them to explore rugby and other athletic opportunities. By directing interested individuals to their club and providing guidance and support, she hopes to inspire a new generation of rugby enthusiasts and foster a vibrant and inclusive sporting culture in our community. Rugby has not only shaped her as an athlete but has also instilled in her a sense of responsibility and belonging within my community. Through her ongoing contributions to the Trojans Rugby Football Club and engagement in community initiatives, she is committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity, camaraderie, and sportsmanship, both on and off the field.



Instagram:  @lochlann_strand
Location: ST John’s, Newfoundland, and Labrador
Current Clubs: Swiler RFC
Playing Positions: Second Row/Back Row
Current programs:  Representing the Swilers Rugby Club, the Newfoundland Rock, and the Memorial Seahawks as player.

            Having tried my hand at various sports, none have capturing Lochlann’s heart quite like rugby. The sense of community and the lifelong friendships forged on the rugby field are unparalleled. It's an experience that transcends the game itself. Lochlann’s introduction to rugby came through the encouragement of his best friend, Finbar Browne, and he is forever grateful for his nudge in the right direction. Alongside him, Lochlann navigated through the Newfoundland provincial rugby program, where he found mentors in the coaches who guided me along the way. Representing the Swilers Rugby Club, the Newfoundland Rock, and the Memorial Seahawks fills him with immense pride, as these teams have become an integral part of his rugby journey.

The rugby community in Newfoundland is something truly special. Despite their smaller population compared to other provinces, their passion for sport knows no bounds. The camaraderie and spirit within their community are unmatched, making every game and every training session a memorable experience. One of the highlights of his rugby journey was the U19 Atlantic Rock tour to Cardiff, Wales. It was an unforgettable experience to play rugby at such a high level in a culture so different from his own. The tour broadened his horizons and deepened his love for the game.

Lochlann is an advocate for rugby, both on and off the field. Through social media, he shares his rugby experiences to showcase the incredible opportunities and experiences that this sport has to offer. Whether it's sharing highlights from games or spreading the word at provincial program practices, he is dedicated to showing both current and potential rugby players the transformative power of the sport. Lochlann is proud to be a part of the vibrant rugby community in Newfoundland and excited to continue sharing his passion for the sport with others.



Instagram: @isaiahhball
Facebook:  &
Location: ST John’s, Newfoundland, and Labrador
Current Clubs: Dogs RFC and Newfoundland Rock
Playing Positions: Back Row
Current programs:  Player for Dogs RFC and Newfoundland Rock

            Passion, intensity, and a love for the game – these are the driving forces behind Isaiah’s journey in rugby. As a dedicated player, he thrives on the intensity, passion, and discipline that rugby demands. From the adrenaline rush of the game to the camaraderie with his teammates, rugby is more than just a sport to him; it's a way of life. Beyond the thrill of competition, Isaiah is deeply passionate about the growth and development of rugby in Canada. He believes in the potential for rugby to thrive at the professional level in our country and is committed to playing a role in its expansion. Whether it's through grassroots initiatives or advocating for more opportunities for players at higher levels, Isaiah is dedicated to seeing rugby flourish across Canada.

One of the ways he contributes to the growth of rugby is by actively engaging with young players and introducing them to the sport. He is involved in organizing rookie rugby programs for young kids, providing them with a fun and supportive environment to learn and develop their skills. Additionally, Isaiah spearheads open high school rugby practices, inviting teenagers to experience the excitement of rugby firsthand. Sharing his passion for rugby extends beyond the field. He takes every opportunity to promote rugby within his school community. From spreading the word about practice sessions and meetings to encouraging others to give rugby a try, he uses social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram to reach a wider audience. His school, O'donel High School, also supports these efforts by sharing information about rugby events and opportunities on their official accounts. Through Isaiah’s dedication and passion, he hopes to inspire others to join him on this incredible journey, as he works to elevate the sport of rugby in Canada.



Instagram: @havenemmaleah
Location: Kensington, Prince Edward Island
Current Clubs: Rugby PEI
Playing Positions: Inside Centre, Eight man, and Second Row
Current programs: Player of Rugby PEI

            Haven is an 18-year-old female hailing from the picturesque town of Kensington, nestled in the heart of Prince Edward Island. Growing up, sports have always been a central part of her life, but rugby holds a special place in her heart. It's more than just a game to her; it's a connection to her family history and a way to honor the memory of her late uncle, Adam MacLennan, who was a true rugby enthusiast. Haven’s journey with rugby began at a young age when her parents signed her up for the local flag rugby team in grade one. From that moment on, she was hooked. The spirit of the game and the sense of camaraderie among the players drew her in, fueling her passion for the sport. As she progressed through school, she eagerly awaited the opportunity to join her school's rugby team once she reached grade ten.

Now, as she navigates through her senior year, she is deeply involved in promoting rugby both within her school and community. At school, she actively recruits new players, spreading the love for rugby and encouraging others to join their team. During the rugby season, Haven spearhead tailgate events to bring their schools community together and rally support for their team. Looking ahead, Haven is determined to continue her rugby journey at the university level. With each passing day, she dedicates herself to building muscle, honing her skills, and growing as an athlete in preparation for the opportunity to compete at the varsity level. Beyond my personal goals, Haven aspires to establish a flag rugby league in her community, providing younger generations with the same opportunity to fall in love with rugby that she was fortunate enough to experience. Through rugby, she’s found not only a passion but also a sense of belonging and purpose. And as she continues her journey, she carries with her the memory of her uncle and the lessons he taught her about the true essence of the game.


Instagram: @ellenmurphy5
Location: Borden, Prince Edward Island
Current Clubs: PEIRU, Bluefield High School Rugby, and the Special Olympics
Playing Positions: Prop
Current programs:  Serving as the PEIRU Jr. Women's Program Lead and Head Coach, as well as the Bluefield High School AAA Women's Rugby Head Coach. Manager for PEIRU Senior Men and the Canada Games Men's Program, and as a member of the PEIRU Board of Directors, she is dedicated to advancing the sport and fostering its growth within our community.

As an active participant in the PEIRU (Prince Edward Island Rugby Union) and CRFC (Charlottetown Rugby Football Club) Club, Ellen’s experienced firsthand the unparalleled sense of camaraderie and friendship that defines the rugby community. On the field, she revels in the intense battles and competitive spirit of the game, where opponents become allies once the final whistle blows. Rugby has been more than just a sport for her; it's been a guiding force in her life, shaping her decisions and leading her to incredible experiences, including her university rugby journey. Off the field, Ellen is deeply passionate about coaching and witnessing the growth of athletes under her guidance. It's immensely gratifying to see individuals evolve not only in their skills and understanding of the game but also in their confidence and self-belief. Serving as the PEIRU Jr. Women's Program Lead and Head Coach, as well as the Bluefield High School AAA Women's Rugby Head Coach, allows her to contribute to the development of the next generation of rugby players and leaders.

Beyond coaching, Ellen is heavily involved in the Island rugby community through various volunteer roles. As the Manager for PEIRU Senior Men and the Canada Games Men's Program, and as a member of the PEIRU Board of Directors, she is dedicated to advancing the sport and fostering its growth within her community. Additionally, her involvement with Special Olympics PEI as a Staff member and Powerlifting Coach reflects my commitment to inclusive sports development and providing opportunities for all individuals to thrive. Ellen is grateful for the opportunity to work alongside passionate athletes, coaches, and volunteers who share her dedication to rugby's growth and development on Prince Edward Island. Through my roles within PEIRU, CRFC, and Special Olympics PEI, she strives to create a supportive and inclusive environment where athletes of all abilities can excel and find joy in the game. Rugby has given her so much, and she is honored to give back to the sport and community that have shaped her into the person she is today.


Instagram: @yukonrugby & @eric_fekete 
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Current Clubs: Yukon Rugby
Playing Positions: Back Row or Sevens Utility Forward
Current programs:  Player and Coach at Yukon Rugby and local high schools. While sitting on the board of directors for Yukon Rugby.

            Eric see’s rugby as a real-life game of chess, where complex strategies intertwine with raw power and agility. He believes training for rugby isn't just about physical fitness; it's about honing skills that are applicable to all aspects of life. Whether he is on the field or hitting the slopes for skiing or biking trails, the skills he’s developed through rugby training serve him well in all walks of life. One of the most remarkable aspects of rugby, especially in Canada, is its incredibly welcoming community. Every rugby event feels like a reunion of old friends, and the bonds formed on the field often transcend the game itself. As a coach, Eric has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of rugby in the lives of young players. It's incredibly rewarding to see kids who struggled to find their place elsewhere flourish in the rugby community, gaining confidence in themselves and developing essential social skills along the way.

Eric’s journey in rugby has been shaped by inspiring mentors like Adam Ahnshan from Rugby NS and Charlie Feht from Yukon Rugby. Their passion for the sport and dedication to its growth have motivated him to continue playing and eventually take up coaching. Coaching alongside Adam and working with Charlie to develop grassroots rugby in the Yukon has been both fulfilling and inspiring. He is deeply involved in coaching kids aged 9-12 and high school students, sharing his love for the sport and helping them develop both on and off the field. Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for Yukon Rugby, where they are working to establish a Yukon 7s rep team and organize regular 7s games for senior and junior rugby players. To expand their reach, he has initiated efforts to enhance their social media presence, starting with an Instagram account for Yukon Rugby Federation. As a member of the Dalhousie Rugby Alumni Association and the Yukon Rugby Federation, Eric is committed to fostering the growth and development of rugby at all levels. Through the collective efforts, they aim to not only create opportunities for young athletes but also strengthen the rugby community in the Yukon.


Instagram: @andre_laurendeau_sport &  @parcolympiquerugby
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Current Clubs: Parc Olmpique Rugby and Andre-Laurendeau
Playing Positions: Fullback, Scrumhalf, Winger, Fly-half, and Inside Centre
Current programs:  Player for Parc Olympique Rugby

            From the bonds formed with teammates to the invaluable life lessons learned on the field, rugby has shaped Jules into the person he is today. Inspired by his father and brothers, he embarked on his rugby journey with a deep commitment and passion for the game. Jules thrives on being an integral part of his teams, leading by example and bringing a dynamic energy to every game. As a player, he prioritizes the enjoyment and camaraderie of the sport, believing that the connections forged on the field are what make rugby truly special.

Having experienced rugby's evolution firsthand, particularly within Canada's rugby community, Jules recognizes the potential of young players in shaping the sport's future. Programs like Cégep André Laurendeau's showcase the talent and dedication of emerging rookies, emphasizing the importance of nurturing, and supporting the next generation of rugby players. Which is a program he is proud to be a part of.



Instagram: @evegodinn
Location: Ste-Briggitte-De-Laval, Quebec
Current Clubs: Campus-Notre-Dame-de-Foy & Club De Rugby De Quebec
Playing Positions: Second and First Row, with also playing Centre for four years.
Current programs:  Captain and Player at Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy, and certified coach.

            Rugby for Eve is a way to forget about everything else in her life. It is a way to calm her anxiety and feel good about herself. She also loves how every body type can be included in the game, she has never felt good with her body before she started playing rugby. Everyone is supportive about who you are, what you do and how you feel. Rugby also makes her feel powerful as a woman. Every time she plays rugby, she feels strong and like I could take over the world. She is proud when she tells people that she is a rugby player because some people might think women are not strong enough to play the sport and it opens their eyes on how women also have a place in sports that might be "Only for men''.

Next, this sport has made her meet all of her best friends. All of her best friends met through rugby, which I love because we can meet up and talk about scrums for hours, but if she talked about scrums with non-rugby players, they might think that they are a bunch of weirdos giving each other big hugs. The rugby community is the safest place she knows, she can talk about everything without EVER feeling judged. Also, rugby is a big motivation for Eve in terms of school. She's in a program which makes her lucky enough to practice this sport everyday, but for that she needs to stay excellent in school. Rugby motivates her to continue my studies. Eve wants to go to university to be a teacher and also play rugby at the same time. This sport also made her grow as a person. Eve is a person who takes failure really badly, but believes you can't be good at rugby if you don't fail. She has failed A LOT of times but all of these failures have made her grow as a player and as a person. Eve is learning with rugby that failure is not an option, it is inevitable and it makes her accept those failures and take them as an opportunity to grow. She has been a non-traveling reserve for the Quebec u19 team, which she considered to have been the biggest failure of my life but since then, she thinks about this moment and uses it to be a better player and one day, be on the traveling lineup on a Quebec team. Failure for Eve is really hard to take but slowly, because of Rugby, she'd learned to accept it and use it in not a self-destructing way but as a good opportunity to take and be the player she wants to be.




Instagram: @mathilde.lepagetremblay
Location: La Marche, Quebec
Current Clubs: Campus-Notre-Dame-de-Foy & Club De Rugby De Quebec
Playing Positions: Fly-half
Current programs:  Captain and Player at Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy, and certified coach.

            What sets rugby apart for Mathilde is the profound sense of connection and support among the 15 players on the field. There's no feeling quite like when all the pieces come together and succeed as a team. Mathilde’s journey into rugby was inspired by her sisters, who started playing when she was just 8 years old. Their work ethic and passion for the sport motivated het to join a team as soon as she could. Over the past 7 years, rugby has become her passion and her purpose. Currently, Mathilde has the honor of serving as the captain of my team at Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy, where she is also a student. Representing Quebec on several occasions, including the U19 Canadian Rugby Championship in Vancouver, where they clinched the Canadian championship title, has been a highlight of Mathilde’s rugby career.

One of the most memorable experiences was playing in Bordeaux, France, with her school team in March 2023. Witnessing the significance of rugby in their society and the early age at which they start playing has inspired her to promote the growth of rugby in my community. As a certified coach, she is committed to giving back to the sport by coaching high school girls during the spring season. Additionally, Mathilde is preparing to undergo referee certification, furthering her commitment to rugby both on and off the field. For her, rugby isn't just about the game; it's about the connections forged, the lessons learned, and the community built along the way. She is dedicated to spreading the spirit of rugby and empowering others to experience the same sense of camaraderie and fulfillment that she has found in this incredible sport.


Instagram: N/A
Location: Saint-Hubert, Quebec
Current Clubs: Lock’s St Lambert
Playing Positions: Coach
Current programs:  Assistant coach for both senior women’s teams and juniors.

            Rugby embodies a unique fusion of physicality, strategy, and teamwork that captivates Adama. It's not just a sport; it's a way of life, characterized by intense physical contests and deep strategic thinking. Beyond the field, rugby's culture of sportsmanship and respect resonates deeply with him, reflecting values of integrity and camaraderie that transcend the game itself. As an assistant coach for both the senior women's team and the juniors, his core commitment is to cultivate an inclusive, supportive, and competitive environment that embodies the spirit and values of rugby. At the Locks, they prioritize not only developing skilled rugby players but also nurturing well-rounded individuals who embody the ethos of integrity, respect, and teamwork.

The teams focus extends beyond the field; we believe in providing accessible, high-quality training and resources to all participants, irrespective of their background or skill level. By offering sessions in high schools and expanding their reach within the community, they aim to enhance the rugby landscape in Canada while fostering a culture of support, health, and mutual respect. As an avid rugby enthusiast, Adama is dedicated to fostering a deeper appreciation for the sport within his community. Organizing introductory rugby clinics for children and adults with Rugby Quebec has been just one aspect of this endeavor. Looking ahead, he’s determined to expand our reach further, bringing rugby to more schools and neighborhoods, with the hope of nurturing talent that could represent our community at higher levels of competition. To the Canadian rugby community, Adama extends an invitation to join them in their journey. Whether as players, supporters, or partners, together, we can continue to grow and celebrate the rich tradition and vibrant future of rugby in Canada.

ST. ALBERTS!event-list

Instagram: @sarfcyouthrugby   &   @U23edmontongold
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Current Clubs: St. Albert’s and Rugby Alberta
Playing Positions: Coach, and ex-Prop
Current programs:  Coach and sit on the St. Albert rugby club board as well as Rugby Alberta’s board

            Paul Looker doesn’t believe rugby is just another sport; it's a platform for teaching invaluable life skills both on and off the field. Growing up in England, rugby was ingrained in the fabric of school sports programs. However, it wasn't until his son got involved with rugby in Canada that Paul discovered his passion for coaching and giving back to the community. Meeting Derrek Seelinger, the U15 coach for his son, ignited his passion for coaching. Under his guidance, Paul became hooked on the idea of shaping young minds through rugby. Currently serving as the Junior Director at St. Albert Rugby Club, Paul responsible for overseeing the U13 - U18 age grades and spearheading efforts to grow the game within the community.

Paul’s coaching journey has been diverse and rewarding, encompassing various age groups and formats, including 7s, 10s, and 15s. From coaching U15 boys and girls at the club level to leading U16 and U18 teams at regional and provincial levels, Paul has been deeply involved in nurturing young talent. Organizing annual trips to the Kamloops 7s tournament, with over 48 St. Albert youth in attendance, has been a highlight of Paul’s coaching tenure. He is currently running winter training sessions for U13 and up, as well as U15 boys' indoor training, emphasizing the importance of skill development and fostering a fun, safe environment for youth to thrive.

Paul’s commitment to growing the game extends beyond coaching; by actively collaborate with new coaches to ignite their passion and develop their skills. As an ambassador to the USA women's 7s team during their tournament in Edmonton, Paul has had the privilege of showcasing the spirit of rugby and fostering international connections. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, he sits on the St. Albert Rugby Club board and RA board, working tirelessly to secure funding for equipment and organize events aimed at promoting rugby within the community. For Paul, rugby isn't just about winning matches – although nice; it's about instilling values of teamwork, respect, and community engagement in the next generation of players. As a coach and mentor, he is committed to shaping young athletes into not only skilled rugby players but also responsible and engaged community members.



Instagram: @_graciecampbell_
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Current Clubs: Calgary Hornets and San Clemente Rhinos
Playing Positions: Inside and Outside Centre
Current programs:  Player and coach with Calgary Hornets and San Clemente Rhinos

            Rugby isn't just a sport for Grace; for her it's a platform for women and girls to embrace their physicality and aggression in a community that celebrates their strengths. Grace’s journey with rugby began in high school, but it wasn't until she joined Team BC U18 under the guidance of Coach Stuart Crowley that she truly became invested in the game. Currently, she proudly represents both the Calgary Hornets and the San Clemente Rhinos, having previously donned the jersey of the University of Calgary Dinos. Her passion for the sport extends beyond playing; I'm deeply involved in the development of high school girls' rugby in Calgary.

At Evolved Sport Science, Grace will run skills clinics for grade 9-12 girls, aiming to instill confidence in newcomers and provide aspiring players with the tools to elevate their game. Rugby has taken her on unforgettable journeys to Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa, enriching her life with experiences she'll forever cherish. In addition to my playing and coaching commitments, Grace trains and works at Evolved Sport Science, where she hosts skills sessions for high school girls, empowering them to own their skills and excel on the field. Her dedication to female rugby players extends to her involvement with The 99 Social on Instagram, where she collaborates on content directed towards the rugby community as a whole.

Having been a competitive basketball player throughout her life, she made a pivotal decision to pursue rugby after high school, drawn to its unique blend of athleticism, camaraderie, and empowerment. Grace doesn’t see rugby as just a game; it's a calling, a platform through which women and girls can thrive, assert their strengths, and inspire the next generation of players.


Instagram: @conaldonnelly
Facebook:  N/A
Location: Garibaldi Highlands - Squamish, British Columbia
Current Clubs: Mount Allison University & Whistler Wolves
Playing Positions: Hooker, Flanker, and have dabbled in the backs as a Fly-half.
Current programs:  President and Player of Mount Allison’s Men’s Rugby.

Having dedicated over a decade to the game of rugby, Conal has experienced the spectrum of emotions that come with it - from the exhilarating triumphs to the crushing defeats. Yet, through it all, not once has he stepped off the pitch regretting his choice to play rugby that day. One of the aspects he cherishes the most is the sense of community fostered within a team and club environment. Across various clubs he has been fortunate to be a part of, Conal has witnessed firsthand how rugby cultivates bonds stronger than steel. This sense of unity stems from rugby's core principle: teamwork. It's not just about individual talent but about how a group functions as a cohesive unit. Off the field, he has applied these values to his academic pursuits and personal relationships, enriching both aspects of his life.

Throughout his rugby journey, he has been guided by inspiring mentors, none more impactful than Yves Pellerin, coach of Mount Allison Men's Rugby. Yves reignited Conal’s passion for the game after a hiatus following his relocation to Canada. His dedication to coaching and the sport has left an indelible mark on him. Driven by a desire to expand rugby's reach, he actively participates in a community touch rugby program in Squamish, BC, aimed at fostering inclusivity. Aspiring to replicate this initiative in his university town of Sackville, NB, bridging gaps and introducing newcomers to the sport's camaraderie.

As the former Vice-President and newly elected President of Mount Allison Men's Rugby, Conal committed to nurturing a thriving rugby community. Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, they've rallied, culminating in winning the Maritime Division II title. Now, my focus is on establishing structures that connect alumni with current players, ensuring the sustainability and growth of rugby at Mount Allison. Conal’s involvement extends beyond the confines of the field. Managing the team’s social media presence, he has successfully enhanced their online reach and engagement, epitomizing rugby's modernization, and appeal. Additionally, spearheading merchandise initiatives has not only boosted club revenue but also amplified our visibility within the university.

Communicating rugby to unfamiliar audiences entails highlighting its transformative power. By emphasizing its values of respect and teamwork, he has attracted newcomers seeking a supportive community. Strategic partnerships, such as organizing Rugby World Cup watch events, have further endeared rugby to the local community, showcasing its excitement and inclusivity. For Conal, rugby isn't just about the game; it's about the enduring connections forged both on and off the pitch. While a match may last 80 minutes, the friendships and memories created endure far beyond.


Instagram: N/A
Location: Comox Valley, British Columbia
Current Clubs: Rapids Rugby, MacDowell Rugby, BC Rugby, Thunder Rugby, and her high school
Playing Positions: Scrum-half and Inside Centre
Current programs:  Player for Rapids, MacDowell, BC Rugby, and Thunder Rugby. While coaching at her high school and officiating games within her community.

            From the very beginning, rugby has been more than just a sport to Novah; it's a way of life, ingrained in her very being. Born into the heartbeat of the club, thanks to her parents' deep-rooted love for the game, rugby runs in her blood. Fuelled by an unwavering passion for the sport, she’s embarked on a journey that's taken her across continents and competitions. From the electric atmosphere of the LA 7s with Thunder Rugby to the sun-kissed fields of the Tropical 7s in Florida with MacDowell Rugby, and the rugged terrain of the Westerns in Alberta with BC Rugby, each experience has shaped Novah as a player and a person.

But her love for rugby extends beyond the thrill of competition; it's about the community and support it offers. Inspired by her upbringing, she’s taken it upon herself to spread the joy of rugby wherever she goes. At her current high school, with the guidance of her mother, she initiated a rugby program, aiming to instill the same passion for the game in others that burns within herself. Additionally, Novah organizes mini programs to introduce youngsters to rugby, normalizing it alongside more traditional sports like soccer and basketball. Whether it's through try-rugby sessions or rallying support for club and school games across the valley, Novah is dedicated to fostering a love for rugby in every corner of her community. Moreover, she contributes to the sport's growth by officiating matches for local clubs, ensuring fair play and sportsmanship prevail on and off the field.

Novah’s ultimate dream? To don the national colors and represent our country on the international stage. With the ball as her compass, she is steadfast in her pursuit, knowing that rugby will continue to shape her life journey, both on and off the pitch.


Instagram: N/A
Location: Duncan, British Columbia
Current Clubs: Cowichan Piggies, and MacDowell Academy
Playing Positions: Fly-half
Current programs:  Player for Cowichan Piggies, and MacDowell Academy while getting their level one rugby officiating certification as he is eager about rugby’s development.

Rugby is a way of life, a passion that burns deep within Trace. From its physicality to its strategic depth and the unparalleled camaraderie among teammates, rugby embodies everything he loves about sports. Trace’s journey with rugby began in the vibrant city of Abu Dhabi, UAE, where he was introduced to the game by my parents. Though his dad wasn't a rugby player himself, his unwavering support and encouragement, coupled with his athleticism, shaped Trace into the player he is today. Now, back in Canada, Robin MacDowell serves as Traces mentor at the esteemed MacDowell rugby academy, guiding him on this exhilarating rugby odyssey.

Upon returning to Duncan, BC for high school, Trace seamlessly integrated into the rugby community, finding his place both at the MacDowell academy and on the Cowichan Piggies club team. Despite being one of the smallest players on the field, he takes immense pride in his defensive prowess, fearlessly tackling opponents and anchoring the defensive structure. As a flyhalf, he embraces the role of a vocal leader, providing guidance and motivation to his teammates on the pitch. His rugby journey has been enriched by international experiences, having competed in numerous tournaments across the Middle East, including a memorable trip to Doha, Qatar. Rugby isn't just a pastime for Trace; it's a lifestyle. With 15 hours of weekly training at the MacDowell academy and regular club fixtures with the Cowichan Piggies, rugby occupies a central place in his daily routine.

Beyond playing, Trace is deeply committed to growing the game within his community. From coaching junior teams to running "learn to play rugby" programs in elementary schools, he is dedicated to instilling the same passion for rugby in others that fuels him. Recognizing the importance of officiating, he is currently pursuing his level one rugby officiating certification, eager to contribute further to the sport's development. For Trace, rugby isn't just about winning matches; it's about fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie, both on and off the field. It's about the thrill of competition, the joy of teamwork, and the lifelong friendships forged through shared experiences. Rugby isn't just a game; it's his calling.


Instagram: N/A
Location: Duncan, British Columbia
Current Clubs: Cowichan Piggies, MacDowell Rugby Academy, & Thunder Rugby
Playing Positions: Fly-half, Inside and Outside Centre, Winger, and Fullback
Current programs:  A part of Cowichan Rugby Club, MacDowell Academy, Thunder Rugby, Tsunami North Island Rugby, and Cowichan High School Rugby, each one contributing to my development both on and off the field.

            Rugby isn't just a sport to Iain; it's a way of life, a journey that has shaped him in profound ways. From the opportunities it has afforded him to the sense of community it has provided, rugby holds a special place in Iain’s heart. Iain’s traversed various teams and clubs, each one contributing to his growth as both a rugby player and a person. Every teammate he’s had the privilege to play alongside has left an indelible mark on him, forging bonds that transcend the game itself. The rugby community feels like a second family, with lifelong friendships formed on the field.

The sport has been a gateway to new experiences, allowing Iain to travel to distant lands and connect with fellow rugby enthusiasts across the globe. Representing his country on the national stage has been a childhood dream come true, a testament to the dedication and perseverance nurtured through rugby. Moreover, rugby provided him with the opportunity to pursue higher education while competing at the post-secondary level, a privilege he is am forever grateful for. Growing up at the Cowichan Rugby Club, following in his father's footsteps, rugby has been a constant presence in my life, from minis to senior levels.

Joining the MacDowell Academy in his senior school years has further honed his rugby skills, knowledge, and fitness, propelling him to new heights. The opportunity to travel with Team BC to New Zealand in 2023, and with the Dog River Howlers to Colombia in 2024, and Mexico with MacDowell Rugby has been nothing short of incredible, enriching his rugby journey with unforgettable experiences. In his quest to share the joy of rugby, he’s actively engaged in initiatives to grow the sport within my school and club. Whether it's introducing newcomers to the game or participating in programs like Thunder Rugby, aimed at involving Aboriginal youth in rugby, Iain’s dedicated to expanding the rugby community. For Iain, rugby isn't just about winning matches; it's about the camaraderie, the personal growth, and the sense of belonging that it fosters. Rugby isn't just a sport; it's a way of life, a passion that continues to shape my journey.


Instagram: @_olivianewsome  &   @uvicwrug
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Current Clubs: University of Victoria, and the Lanark Highlanders
Playing Positions: Wing and Outside Centre
Current programs:  As a current a player on the University of Victoria Womens Rugby team as well as a member of the Lanark Highlanders rugby club. Olivia has started coaching the Girls Island Academy, which is run through UVIC, and we coach girls on the island ages 14-19. With wanting to make a positive impact on girls in the sport in the hopes of having more female athletes continue it throughout their lives, Olivia took to coaching as she’s found that many young girls struggle with trying to stay in sports. She plans to start running an academy this summer with the Lanark Highlanders, as she has found rugby isn’t a popular sport within that area, especially with the women.

            Olivia is deeply inspired by the incredible individuals she’s had the privilege to know throughout her rugby journey. From teammates to opponents and coaches, each person has left an indelible mark on her love for the game and her commitment to its community. My passion for rugby was ignited by witnessing the Canadian Women's Rugby 7s Team clinch bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Prior to rugby, Olivia dedicated her time to gymnastics and soccer, but the allure of rugby's intensity and camaraderie drew her in completely. She now has been immersed in rugby for seven rewarding years.

Originating from Calgary, Olivia began my rugby voyage with the Calgary Saints, later progressing to represent the Calgary Mavericks and Alberta Wolfpack. Transitioning to Ontario, she joined the Lanark Highlanders while earning a spot on the Eastern Ontario Rugby Unions selects team. Olivia’s rugby journey expanded further as she pursued higher education at the University of Victoria, where I proudly donned the jersey for the Women's Varsity Rugby Team. One of the highlights of her career was representing the U18 Nationals 7s team at the Commonwealth Games in Trinidad and Tobago, an experience that fueled her ambition for greater achievements.

Beyond the field, Olivia has delved into coaching, starting with volunteering for the Lanark Highlanders' minis program. Currently, she leads the Girls Island Rugby Academy at UIVC and is laying the groundwork for academies and summer camps with the Lanark Highlanders, eager to nurture the next generation of rugby enthusiasts. One individual who has continuously inspired Olivia is Krissy Scurfield, a remarkable teammate from provincial teams and university rugby. Witnessing her excel on the national stage fuels Olivia’s aspiration to join her one day in representing the country at the highest level of rugby.



Instagram: @xavier.lee.18
Location: Coquitlam, British Columbia
Current Clubs: United RFC
Playing Positions: Flank, Eight man, and Coach
Current programs:  Player for United RFC and Coaching at Dr. Charles Best Secondary.

Xavier is deeply passionate about rugby, finding joy in the intense competition on the pitch and the camaraderie that follows, where everyone comes together to celebrate regardless of the outcome. Their journey in rugby was guided by their high school coach, Mr. Startin, who continues to coach U-18s at United and high school teams at Dr. Charles Best Secondary. Having played rugby since middle school, Xavier is proud to be a part of the sport's growth in Canada. They envision rugby becoming even more significant, reaching new audiences, and showcasing its positive impact on communities by fostering connections among friends and family.

One of Xavier's most memorable rugby experiences was representing the Fraser Valley Venom and winning a provincial rugby championship, highlighting their dedication and skill on the field. They also give back to the sport by coaching their old high school team and supporting other schools in reviving their rugby programs. Xavier is not just a player but a passionate advocate for rugby's growth and influence, both on and off the field.




Instagram: @keigangeneroux & @cougarsmrugby
Facebook:  N/A
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Current Clubs: Campion Grads and Regina Cougars
Playing Positions: Lock & Flank
Current programs:  Keigan is a player for the University of Regina Men’s Rugby team and Saskatchewan Rugby. He is not only a player but sits on the University of Regina’s Varsity Club Athletics Board on behalf of the Men’s Rugby Team. While also working for Saskatchewan Rugby in the past in various roles.

Keigan fell in love with rugby through the inviting community and atmosphere surrounding the sport. Introduced by Ryland Gibb to the Cougars, they quickly embraced the gentlemanly yet aggressive nature of rugby. Playing in the Sask Men's league alongside Gibb, Keigan found their passion in every aspect of rugby, from practice to games and team culture. In their free time, he is dedicated to growing the sport. Whether recruiting players in the gym or fostering a strong team culture, he is deeply committed to rugby's development. His experience includes working with Sask Rugby, facilitating U16 & U18 programs, contributing to a university team's growth over two years, and supporting startup teams and their club. 

One of Keigan's most memorable rugby experiences was traveling with the University team to Nicaragua for a 7's tournament, enjoying plenty of beach rugby in between matches. As the head representative for University of Regina Cougars Men's Rugby, he plays a crucial role in ensuring the club's longevity and engages in touring efforts with Campion Grads RFC. Keigan embodies the spirit of rugby, finding fulfillment in the sport's community, camaraderie, and shared purpose.



Instagram: @kaia_nolan_
Location: Rouleau, Saskatchewan
Current Clubs: Athol Murray College of Notre Dame & Saskatchewan Rugby
Playing Positions: Fly half & Centre
Current programs:  Player for Athol Murray College of Notre Dame and Saskatchewan Rugby.

Kaia Nolan, hails from a farm in the beautiful southern landscapes of Saskatchewan. With rugby has been her passion and dream, fueling her desire to play at the highest levels of the sport. The draw to rugby for Kaia was its inclusive nature, both on and off the pitch. Unlike many other sports, rugby welcomes players of all sizes and experience levels, creating a diverse and inviting environment. Despite the challenges of being a rugby player in Saskatchewan, where the player pool may be smaller, the tight-knit community makes the sport even more special and cherished. As a child, she was surrounded by older role models who played rugby and looked up to them as her mentors and brothers. Their toughness and camaraderie inspired her to join the sport, and she quickly fell in love with the game. Rugby not only became her passion but also strengthened the bonds within the rugby family.

One of the most memorable experiences in Kaia’s rugby journey so far was traveling to Mexico City with MacDowell Rugby. The tournament was intense, but what made it truly special was the camaraderie off the field. After battling fiercely on the pitch, they came together with players from other teams, forging friendships and sharing experiences over dinner. It was a testament to the unique bond that rugby creates among players worldwide. Back home, Kaia has been on a mission to grow rugby, especially among girls within her high school. Despite the challenges of rugby being removed from high school sports in Saskatchewan, she is determined to find opportunities for their team to play and compete. Kaia’s mom has played a pivotal role in Saskatchewan Rugby, managing tournaments, collaborating with rugby officials, and championing initiatives to expand the game in their province. Outside of rugby, she is actively involved in community activities, from working at the local rink to coaching junior girls' volleyball. Kaia uses her platform on social media to share her rugby journey, inspire others, and break the stereotype that rugby is a violent sport. Through her experiences and passion, I hope to encourage more girls to join rugby and showcase the incredible opportunities and camaraderie the sport offers. Kaia would love for you to join her on this amazing journey as she continues to grow and strengthen the rugby community, one game at a time!



Instagram: @stevostadnyk
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Current Clubs: Regina Highlanders RC, Varsity Cougars, and Saskatchewan Rugby
Playing Positions: Flanker
Current programs:  Steven is a current player for the following teams Regina Highlanders RC, the Varsity Cougars, and Saskatchewan Rugby. He is also consistently involved with the Rookie Rugby program ran by Saskatchewan Rugby, where he helps teach and expose the youth to the glorious game of rugby, but most importantly ensuring they are having fun while doing it.

Rugby is more than just a game to Steven; it's a vibrant community filled with camaraderie and the opportunity to forge lasting friendships. What he loves most about rugby is the sense of belonging it creates and the incredible friends he has made along the way. One such friend and teammate who has been a guiding light in his rugby journey is Nolan Hall, whose mentorship has been invaluable. As a passionate member of the Canadian rugby community, Steven believes that the sport of rugby, especially in Canada, needs greater support and mentorship to nurture its growth, particularly among youth players. It's crucial to provide opportunities and guidance to the next generation of rugby enthusiasts, ensuring that they not only learn the game but also develop a love and respect for it.

Throughout his rugby journey, Steven’s had the privilege of traveling across Canada with Sask Rugby, expanding his experience with the game and, most importantly, having a lot of fun along the way. These experiences have not only broadened his perspective but have also connected him with fellow rugby enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds, strengthening the bonds of his rugby community. While he is actively involved in Rookie Rugby, a program run by Sask Rugby aimed at teaching and exposing youth to the wonderful world of rugby. Their focus is not just on skill development but also on ensuring that every young player has a blast while learning the game. Additionally, Steven contributes to the local rugby clubhouse by assisting in organizing events like barbecues to raise funds and support initiatives that promote youth rugby growth. His journey in rugby has taught him the importance of giving back to the sport and the community that has given him so much. Steven is committed to being a positive influence, a mentor, and a supporter of rugby's growth, particularly among the youth who represent the future of the beloved game.



Instagram: @rugbymanitoba
Location: La Salle, Manitoba
Current Clubs: Morris High School, Manitoba Southern 7s Boys, Rugby Manitoba, and MacDowell Academy
Playing Positions:
Current programs:  Justin coaches in Manitoba, currently as the head coach of the Morris High School team, the Manitoba Southern 7s Boys team, and is the Youth Development Officer bringing flag rugby to children grades 5-8 across southern Manitoba. Justin is also currently working towards becoming apart of the MacDowell Academy Coaching team. With the focus of developing into a professional coach.

Rugby, to Justin, is more than just a sport; it's an incredible fusion of power, finesse, and class that transforms into a captivating spectacle every time. Whether it's a fierce match on the field or a coaching session developing new talents, there's always an element of excitement and discovery that keeps him deeply passionate about the game. His journey in rugby has been diverse and fulfilling, spanning from his teenage years to adulthood. With having the privilege of experiencing rugby at various levels, from high school to club, provincial, university, professional, and even national competitions. These opportunities not only deepened his love for the sport but also taught him invaluable lessons about teamwork, resilience, and dedication.

However, his playing career took an unexpected turn when family matter took precedence during my teenage years. In response, Justin made the difficult decision to reduce his playing commitments and eventually stopped altogether to be with his family. This period of transition led him to discover a new passion: coaching. Justin began his coaching journey by leading a newly formed JV program at his old high school. It was there that he realized the immense joy and fulfillment that comes from developing players and helping them become the best versions of themselves. This passion for coaching led him to pursue a career in teaching and to establish a rugby program in the small town of Morris, MB.

Today, Justin is proud to say that the rugby program has grown, with nearly 40 students actively involved and passionate about the game. His goal is to continue coaching and nurturing young talents, providing them with the same opportunities and guidance that shaped his own rugby journey. Justin is tremendously grateful for the mentorship and encouragement he received from individuals like Robin MacDowell, who inspired him to take his coaching skills to the next level. With each coaching opportunity, Justin is on a continuous learning journey, seeking to improve himself and positively impact those around him through the wonderful sport of rugby.



Instagram: @rugbymanitoba
Location: Niverville, Manitoba
Current Clubs: Brumbies Women Rugby Club
Playing Positions: Eight
Current programs:  Tahnee currently is a World Rugby Coach Educator and teaches coaching course within her province. While head coaching for the local high school girls rugby team, and the regional U17 girls team as they prepare for the Manitoba Games this summer.

Rugby isn't just about the game on the field; it's a holistic experience that allows me to relieve stress through physical exertion while simultaneously building my character. My journey in rugby was guided by my mentor and biggest supporter, my mom Colleen Horton, whose passion for the game ignited mine. One of the most rewarding aspects of her rugby journey has been the lifelong friendships she has formed. The camaraderie and shared experiences with teammates have created bonds that go beyond the game itself. These friendships have enriched Tahnee’s life in ways she couldn't have imagined.

Tahnee’s love for rugby is something she wants the Canadian rugby community to know and share. It's not just about the competition; it's about the values, the spirit, and the sense of belonging that rugby instills in all who embrace it. This passion has led her to become a coach and mentor for youth within her community, where she strives to pass on the same love and dedication for the game that has shaped her. Witnessing the transformation of young players as they discover purpose, strength, and confidence through rugby is incredibly rewarding. It's a testament to the power of sport in shaping individuals and communities. Rugby has also taken Tahnee on incredible journeys across cities like San Diego, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Calgary. These experiences have not only broadened her perspective but have also connected her with rugby enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds, further solidifying her love for the game and its global community.




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