Victoria Mini Rugby - Golden Anniversary

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Victoria Mini Rugby - Golden Anniversary

Today is an opportunity to announce a landmark achievement! Upcoming, on May 10th is a celebration of fifty years of mini rugby in GVSD #61 schools, (1972 – 2024.) The program has catered for Victoria girls and boys, being a co-gender initiative for some thirty years! The program is primarily the responsibility of Mick Eckardt, a man who has been tireless for these fifty years. Mick is a former NSMT player. Between 1974 to 1978, he represented Canada on five occasions. 

In the early days he coached and headed the program at five Elementary Schools at the same time, coordinating rules, running clinics, seeking support for coaches and sponsor teachers, and organizing schedules.  At the Annual Jamboree there have been as many as fifty teams participating. Teams have come from Sooke, Duncan and Vancouver to play in the Jamboree.  It is fair to estimate that it has had direct or indirect influence on over 15,000 boys and girls over the past fifty years. 

The program has been a leader in innovation as the game of rugby has evolved and the need for enhanced safety has become expected.  This Jamboree was the first in the B.C. rugby world to introduce weight limits to ensure safety and unique methods to develop confidence in contact. As mentioned, gender equity was introduced, and one of the latest innovations has been the introduction of a concussion protocol. The program has recruited sponsorships, with Victoria clubs being generous, and this ensures each player takes home a T shirt at day’s end. Currently, the program is seeking to add female referees to blow the whistle at this year’s Jamboree. This event will be held at Gordon Head Middle School, commencing at 9:30 a.m.

It is a program that has been supported by many organizations, including all of the member clubs of the VIRU,

 In all, news that is deserving of being spread to the rugby community and beyond.