Squamish kids flocking to play rugby, says club head coach

Squamish Axemen Youth Rugby Club hosting massive jamboree on May 5

Squamish youngins are showing a hankering for rugby, it seems.

Launched four years ago, the Squamish Axemen Youth Rugby Club has grown from 12 kids to more than 70 players this season.

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"It has just exploded," said head coach Sean Carter, adding the club has about five supportive local sponsors.

"We are the only club that trains twice a week so we tend to clean up. We do very well."

Currently, the club consists of players from kindergarten to Grade 7.

The kindergarten/Grade 1 program started in March.

Next season, the club will expand to have a team for Grade  8 students.

Carter said that while parents worry about concussions with sports, there is no contact in rugby until Grade 4.

"That is worldwide in rugby," he said, adding unlike football, players in rugby don't collide.

"In rugby, we don't do that. We tackle to the ground and head placement is very, very important."

In the four years the club has been running, they have had no concussions, Carter said.

As for his pitch for why kids might like rugby, Carter said to think of it in terms of good versus bad.

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"Think of having something golden and precious and being chased by the bad guy," he said.  "You are always being chased by somebody. It is like a huge game of chase, but with a ball involved.... Totally Harry Potter, but all the magic is in the feet."

The club is hosting the end of season Lower Mainland Youth Rugby League Jamboree on Sunday, May 5th at the Don Ross Middle School and Brackendale Elementary fields, where team practices are usually held.

There will be a couple of hundred kids of all ages playing flag and full-contact rugby, according to organizers.

To find out more or get involved in youth rugby, go to www.squamishyouthrugby.com, or find them on Facebook at Squamish Youth Rugby.

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