Doing Rugby Right in Burnaby
From training players headed for Canada’s national teams to hosting games with squads from around the world, the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club is doing everything it can to draw more attention to and grow the sport.
“I would say awareness is on the rise,” according to Club president Simon Smoldon. “We have instilled a strong culture here by supporting our athletes and doing all we can to keep people involved.” Hosting games with international teams is an important part of the effort to promote the sport to local audiences. “We always like to host,” added Smoldon following recent Saturday afternoon game with the College Rifles, a visiting team from Auckland, New Zealand. “We do rugby right, here, is what we say.”
Chris Tautinaga, Director of rugby for the College Rifles, called the Burnaby fields and facilities “awesome.” He appreciated the opportunity for his development team members to get more experience as they move forward in their playing careers. And, to do that in places such as Burnaby, is ideal. “It’s a beautiful setting here with the mountains behind us,” adding that many team members have never been anywhere outside of Auckland.
Smoldon said “with so many other distractions,” in the urban environment of the Lower Mainland, “people can find other things to do.” That’s why his Club is always looking for ways to keep the focus on drawing more attention to the sport.
He points to the growing interest in rugby with a large crowd of more than 29,000 fans at BC Place Stadium in early November to watch a game between New Zealand Māori and Team Canada. That game set a new attendance mark for a single rugby match in Canada.
Anyone thinking of playing with the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club is welcome to come out to practice and meet the coaches and players. Find out more at http://www.burnabylakerugby.com/ or contact Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org .