On Saturday, June 23, 2012, the grounds of Rideau Hall were transformed into a playground for the 29th Annual Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Teddy Bears’ Picnic, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Their Excellences the Right Honorable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston invited residents and visitors in our nation’s capital to join them for this family-day event. Since this year’s picnic will be taking place on Olympic Day, Canadian Olympians will be onsite to talk about the benefits of physical activity and healthy living.

This year, on the occasion of Olympic Day and in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), representatives of Olympic sports were present for the public to participate in sport demonstrations.  Rugby Canada as a new addition to the Olympic family was represented by the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club.

Members of the Ottawa Irish, including former national team members Al Charron and Rob Turk were on hand to promote physical activity, rugby and specifically rugby mini programs across Eastern Ontario.  The volunteers had a great time putting rugby balls into the hands of 4 to 8 years olds.  Most of the kids had heard of rugby and seen it played before but had never had the opportunity to pass, kick and run with one. There were some kids with some amazingly instinctive skills for rugby who we a  re just not reaching.  Hopefully more events like this will increase rugby exposure and continue to push our sport more main stream.


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