EORU Club Profile: Ottawa Beavers and Banshees RFC

The EORU is featuring a long standing club this week, the Ottawa Beavers and Banshees. We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of EORU Profiles!

Club name:
Ottawa Beavers & Banshees RFC (OBBRFC)

Home pitch/location:
Twin Elm Rugby Park

Jersey colours
Beavers – red & white, Banshees – hunter green, orange & white

Years active:

Number of members:

Men, Women, Junior Boys & Junior Girls 

What is your club’s claim to fame?
The Club has a long history in the establishment and growth of rugby in the Ottawa area over the past 70 years.
The Beavers are Ottawa’s original rugby club (1951), and the Banshees are the first women’s team in Ontario (1979). The two clubs merged in 2001 to form the Ottawa Beavers and Banshees RFC that we know today. Since our creation, an estimated 4,000 players have come and gone through our Club!
One of the Club’s founding members, Freddie Miller, also helped co-found Rugby Ontario. As the OBBRFC grew over the years, the Club split off to create the Ottawa Ospreys (née Indians) and Bytown Blues in 1961 and 1971, respectively, helping to shape the current landscape of rugby in Ottawa. 
In the 1970s, the Beavers and Banshees co-founded Twin Elm Rugby Park along with the Ottawa Ospreys, Ottawa Irish and Bytown Blues. The Park has since become the hub for rugby in Eastern Ontario, and has hosted numerous international tests and tournaments over the years (some notables include Canada vs. England 1993, Canada vs. France 1994, and Canada vs. USA 2015).
Over the course of its history, the Beavers and Banshees have competed in (and occasionally won) some of the highest divisions in Ontario and Quebec Rugby. The Beavers were the last Ottawa team to bring home the Ontario Marshall Cup in 2004.
As of 2019, the OBBRFC boasts the largest senior rugby program in Ottawa, as well as one of the most influential social media presences for club rugby in Canada.
Can you tell us about some great club memories?
The best part about the enduring history of the OBBRFC is that there are generations’ worth of memories that can be recounted – interestingly, though, many of them often echo the same traditions, experiences, and values that make rugby such a fun sport to participate in. It is surprising how many stories that took place in the 50s could easily have taken place in 2019! Some of our recent memories include: 
– When we got to cheer on our own Eric Howard while he played for Canada at our home pitch in the Canada vs. Russia international test (2018). More recently, some of our players even went to Japan to cheer him on against the mighty All Blacks in the 2019 Rugby World Cup!
– Being the first team to play rugby at Ottawa’s TD Place (2016 & 2018), which will now be going on to host the Ottawa Aces pro rugby league club starting in 2021. 
– Helping to establish the Ottawa Mixed Abilities Rugby Program, which peaked when we were able to participate with them in the half-time show at the Canada vs. Russia game in 2018. This was such a rewarding experience!
What is the club’s favourite team to play against and why?
Too many to name! The Burlington Centaurs are always a great group of guys and gals. We have played them frequently at the Oktoberfest 10s tournaments in Kitchener-Waterloo over the years, and we have had some home-and-home pre/post season matches with them over the past few years. They put up strong (but friendly) competition on the field, and they always know how to social. Westmount also deserves a nod too, if we can squeeze in a second club!
Do you have any shoutouts or thank you’s? 
All of our sponsors that have helped us grow over the past few years – McKeen Metro Glebe, Bytek Volkswagen, and the Whalesbone Group, if we can only name a few – but also a big thank you to all of our members for hanging in with us over the past few months while we endure this whole COVID thing. The Beavers and Banshees will be back in a jiffy!