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Girls rugby gives athletes another option at South Delta Secondary

Sevens program back up and running after season in South Fraser development league

South Delta Sun Devils senior girls teams have enjoyed plenty of success over the years in soccer, volleyball, field hockey and basketball. Now another sport has taken flight again.

The Sun Devils sevens team just wrapped up its campaign, marking the first time rugby has been offered exclusively to female student athletes at the Tsawwassen school in recent years.

With just eight players, ranging from Grades 8 to 12, the girls work their way through the South Fraser Development League schedule, even relying on some opponents’ assistance for certain games due to minor injuries.

Coach and SDSS teacher Sean Waymouth says the main objective of the season was to get the team up-and-running, regardless of the roster size.

“The whole point of the season this year was to spark interest, get the information out there, and try and show younger grades that we do have another sport that someone else can participate in,” he explained. “Not every athlete is a soccer or a volleyball player. They may still want to participate in sports, but there never was a fit for them until now.

“One of the big things about rugby is that it’s for every size, every shape and skill of a player. All different people are needed to play rugby.”

It’s the exact same reason why football has long been a popular sport for male student athletes at the school.

Waymouth’s challenge was getting his players to understand the rules and the technical skills of the game. He had just two players with previous rugby experience. Only basic fundamentals are taught in PE classes.

“One of our girls actually played for the junior boys team last season and scored most of our tries because she was so dominant with her prior experience. Another one of girls started to play club rugby for Bayside in the fall so she had that experience as well. The other six had never really played before,” he said. “Really the season was all about learning and building a love for the game.”

B.C. School Sports have established girls rugby sevens and 15 leagues with provincial championships. That’s the end goal for the SDSS program in the years to come.

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