The sport of rugby continues to grow in the Sea to Sky Corridor. Starting next fall, another team will hit the pitch with the Squamish name attached.
The Squamish Axemen are looking to fill the hunger for local rugby and representative Ally Mac said momentum for the sport has been building the past few years.
“With the fantastic groundwork that the Lepines [Rob, Sarah, Jake, Dave and Sheilagh] have all put into getting the Howe Sound high school rugby team successfully established, this is the perfect opportunity,” he said. “There is a core group of local residents in the corridor who have grown up playing rugby and have got together to hopefully bring rugby back to Squamish.”
The emergence of the Sounders high school rugby club and the Sea to Sky Eagles rugby league club have increased interest and awareness in the sport. Mac said there is a database of close to 20 players and a handful of others willing to jump on board.
The Axemen would play rugby union, similar to what the Sounders play in the high school leagues, with a season running from September to March. Mac said this type of schedule shouldn’t interfere with the Eagles, who run throughout the summer. He said a partnership could be established with the clubs, with players being encouraged to suit up for both squads.
Mac is looking for players aged 17 and up and no experience is needed. The plan is to have a men’s team in place for September but a U19 team could also be established if there’s enough interest. His three-year plan would see a competitive men’s team, a more recreational men’s team, a U19 team and a women’s squad. He added that a youth team is also possible if there’s enough demand.
He said the Axemen are looking to join the B.C. Rugby Union’s (BCRU) third division for its debut year.
“This is an established league in the Lower Mainland and also includes teams from Vancouver Island, Kelowna, Abbotsford and Seattle,” he said.
BCRU games usually occur on Saturday mornings and Mac said the Axemen are looking at potentially hosting home games at Don Ross Secondary School (DRSS).
He said the team is looking for locals to get involved both on and off the field.
“At this point we are in urgent need of dedicated and committed people who can help us off the field as well as on the field,” he said. “This includes coaches, committee members, sponsors for kit [uniforms] and a post-match host which would include food for both teams. And also a home venue for the Axemen to go to after training and games.”
For more information on the team, visit them on Facebook by searching Squamish rugby-union or by contacting the club at email@example.com.