A longstanding local sports tradition reaches a milestone this weekend in Kelowna.
The 30th annual Ensign Cup charity rugby match will be played this Saturday, 4 p.m. at City Park.
The game is held each year in the name of Rusty Ensign, a former Kelowna Crows player who was seriously injured in a rugby match on May 22, 1982 in Edmonton. The first Ensign Cup was played the following year and hasn’t missed a beat in three decades since.
“I’m truly honoured and humbled the game has been going on this long,” said Ensign who was rendered a quadriplegic from the injury. “That people come out for a good cause each year is really, really nice to see.”
The match will be an inter-club contest between the Kelowna Crows over 30s and the under 30s.
The over 30s will be looking for revenge this year after taking a beating at the hands of the youngsters in 2011.
The all-time record for the trophy for old guys/Kelowna Crows is 14 wins, while the under 30s/Okanagan Swagman have 13 wins, with two games ending in a draw.
Proceeds from the 2012 Ensign Cup will go to Kelowna Youth Rugby’s U19 team to assist in the purchase of new jerseys.
The game typically raises more $1,000 for charity.
Former Team Canada player and Kelowna resident Gary Dukelow has donated a coach’s or players invite to Shawnigan Lake Academy—valued at $799—which will be raffled off during the game.
Funds are raised at the game through donation.