Minor, Junior Rugby Players tackle the heat at the 8th Annual National Capital Youth Rugby Festival


Minor and Junior rugby players from Ontario, Quebec and touring sides from England and Wales braved the heat this past weekend and took over Twin Elm Rugby Park for the 8th annual National Capital Youth Rugby Festival.

The 2011 edition of the festival proved to be another great weekend for the development of youth rugby and the Eastern Ontario Rugby Union was proud to welcome minor and junior players to Ottawa again this year.

This year’s festival provided no shortage of jaw dropping plays and hard hitting, fast paced rugby action.

The weekend kicked off on Saturday morning with the mini (minor) jamboree portion of the festival which has become a cornerstone of the weekend and truly what makes the event worthwhile.

105 kids aged 6-14 stole the show on fields 2-3 providing a glimpse at some of rugby’s future stars.

Participating clubs included:

Barrhaven Scottish U10, U12, U14,     Ottawa Indians U6, U8, U10, U12, U14

Ottawa East U6, U8, U10                     Oakville Crusaders U12

Bytown Blues U14

Craig Bridgeman and the Barrhaven Scottish did an excellent job of organizing the mini rugby jamboree once again this year.

Festival organizers would like to recognize the rest of the rest of the clubs that participated in the festival.

U15/U16 girls:

Peterborough Pagans                            Highland RFC                                         St Anne’s Saints

U18 Girls:

Kingston Panthers RFC                          Ottawa Indians RFC                              Ottawa Irish RFC

Ontario Junior Storm U16                    Barrhaven Scottish RFC

U16 Boys:

Kingston Panthers RFC                          Barrhaven Scottish RFC                     Ottawa Irish RFC

Belleville Bulldogs                                       Bytown Blues                                    Ottawa Indians RFC

Ontario Junior Blues U14                           Highland RFC

U18 Men:

Barrhaven Scottish RFC                          Ottawa Irish RFC                               Kingston Panthers RFC

Bytown Blues RFC                                     Highland RFC                                         Ottawa Beavers

Ottawa Indians RFC

This year the festival was also very fortunate to have touring sides present from Europe:

From England: U18 Leicester Grammar School and from Wales: Glantaf School at both U16 and U18 and also from Wales U16 Cym Rhymni.

Having touring sides in Ottawa to be part of the festival was a really great learning experience for both parties and a measuring stick for the Eastern Ontario Representative teams.  The Eastern Ontario Rep sides at both U16 and U18 played very hard competitive matches against our international guests. Leicester Grammar school also arranged a friendly with Ottawa Irish U18’s and Cym Rhymni likewise with their billets and hosts for the weekend Barrhaven Scottish.

The two Welsch sides Cym Rhymni and Glantaf treated fans to an all Welsch match on Saturday afternoon which turned into one of the matches of the weekend as the two sides went back and forth not giving an inch to the opponent. The speed and skill of these players was on full display much to the delight of everyone who was able to take in the match.

All the players, coaches, parents and volunteers who participated or were involved with all the teams in the festival were the true winners on the weekend.

The festival would also not have been possible had it not been for excellent refereeing from the Ontario Referee Society Focus Group, High quality athletic therapy from Kathleen DeJesus Gauthier from Return to Play Therapy, Event sponsors Gatorade and Algonquin College Residence services and not to mention the hard working staff at Twin Elm Rugby Park and volunteers from the Algonquin College Sports Business Management Program.

Thanks to all for helping make 2011 another successful year for the National Capital Youth Rugby Festival.  We are already looking ahead to 2012.