Erika Clark’s involvement in rugby includes working as a coach for the DP Todd Secondary teams and as president of the Prince George Vixens’ women’s squad.
So naturally, she’s going to promote the sport.
Clark said this year has been particularly positive for rugby, as she’s coming off another summer holding the youth program for five- to 12-year-old players. She said the impact can be witnessed at the high school level.
“We have more high school teams this season than we’ve had in years in Prince George,” she said. “This is a really good season for high school rugby.”
Clark said 30 children registered for the summer youth program, in which players met on Tuesdays in May and June. For players between the ages of five and seven, they focused on agility, balance, coordination, ball handling and tackling. The older participants held more scrimmages and played touch rugby.
Helping Clark coach the sessions in May and June were Heather Ouellette, Tammara Kostya and Sarah Chisholm.
Also in the summer, Prince George had an under-14 boys team. The team, coached by Theo Ludwig and James Hope, travelled to Edmonton for competition.
On the weekend, Clark’s Vixens squad got in on the rugby action in the city as a participating team in the annual Wolf Pack tournament at Masich Place Stadium.
The Vixens were in a women’s division with two other teams, UNBC and the Edmonton Pirates. The Pirates, who featured a mix of Edmonton and Prince George players, won the competition with a 24-5 triumph over UNBC in the final.
“We’d really like to get more teams out,” Clark said. “We had some women come from the Edmonton Pirates team, as well as some men from the Edmonton Pirates here. But it’s really tough getting the teams to travel.”
The Prince George Gnats, UNBC, Prince Rupert and Terrace participated in the men’s draw.
The UNBC men’s and women’s squads are preparing for the annual Gobbler tournament in Abbotsford during Thanksgiving weekend, Oct. 9 to 12.