UNSUNG HERO - Dave 'Bing' Crossley
CW Women's Rugby - A History - Final Installment
CW: Dave, you were a player of some ability. Can you tell us how you were first attracted to the game?
DC: When my father was stationed in Chilliwack during my high school years, I played a multitude of sports including rugby. Rugby was not my main sport during those years, but in my grade 12 year, my father was posted to Belgium. It was there, that I took up the sport with the local military men’s team. At this point, surrounded by British military men of Welsh, Scots, Irish and English descent, I was introduced to the game's culture both on and off the field. We played in the Belgian 1st Division and had Sunday “tours” to play our games. It was at times, classic coarse rugby but gave me enough of an introduction to the game to want to play more. I was immediately attracted to the physicality and running with the ball in hand. I loved the expansive game and even though slotted in the engine room during my University years, I sought out the open spaces whenever I could.
CW: What teams did you play for? What are some of your most memorable occasions with the game of rugby?
DC: I played at the varsity level at UVIC from 1980 to 1985, and was a member of the Tide squad for most of those years (either U19 or Senior). In my last year at Uni, I had a Canada trial for an Austrialian tour that summer. Short-listed for the squad, I was eventually asked to tour but having suffered an injury in the regular season, was unable to travel. I had many memorable occasions with the game of rugby. All of the UVIC international tournaments were great memories. In my first year, we played Cambridge University in the final in front my first (& only) big crowd at Centennial stadium. It was likely only a 1000 people but it felt like much more! I also recall one very intense match vs Sydney University under the lights at Wallace. It was one of those games that went by in a blur of intensity. When the dust has settled, we were tied a 22 apiece, a fitting result for a see-saw match.
As with many sports, it is the teammates and camaraderie that stays with you long after your career is over. My UVIC years epitomized that ethos and am still friends with many of my teammates from that period. The Valhalla spirit lives on and we still get together even after 30 years to relive those times!
CW: Where to now??
DC: Right now, my focus is on my wife and I’s nine-month adventure to Central/South America, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific (NZ, Australia, Samoa, etc.). I will, of course, follow CW and the progress of the programs from afar but will relish a break and come back refreshed for the next phase of the program!
WOW! Thank you for your time taken out of your super busy schedule, as well as your contributions to our club. We wish you and your wife, Rhona, a most enjoyable, safe and interesting “sabbatical”. Ed. Another very healthy and vitally important off-shoot of the CW Women's program has been the gender equity component, with the men embracing the introduction and success of their female counterparts. Go, CW!
R.I.P., Blair Bellis. It is with sadness, we announce the passing on September 16th of Blair Bellis. Blair played for the "Baby Blues" for many years, mostly on the wing or at fullback. He was ready at the drop of a hat to fill any void that seemed to often occur in the 80's! He was a gentle man who showed much wisdom, if one stopped to have a brew with him. He relished his time as a player and continued his patronage at The Temple and The Park until last season. Our sympathy goes out to wife, Judy and daughters, Bleiddyn and Rhianydd.
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