Rusty Ensign (middle) celebrates with the 2019 Ensign Cup participants as well as daughter, Kersty. Photo: Rusty Ensign

Rugby fundraiser returns to Kelowna for 37th year

The Ensign Cup is back May 11

It’s the Old Boys versus the Young Boys, for the 37th year.

The Ensign Cup is back May 11. The annual charity rugby match returns this weekend to pit the Kelowna Crow’s finest above 30 and below 30.

“It’s a grudge match to be honest,” said Rusty Ensign.

READ MORE: Kelowna Sun Devils catch 3 wins in weekend series’

Starting in 1982 after Ensign was badly injured during a rugby game, the Ensign Cup has emerged as a fun charitable event, including past and current Kelowna rugby players, that has made yearly charitable donations to spinal chord research, including the Rick Hansen Foundation.

This year, the funds raised will help Kelowna rugby teams with league expenses like jerseys, equipment, travel and accommodations.

“We raised $1400 last year, and we get support from Rugby Canada and have a 50/50 draw,” said Ensign.

“Mostly, it’s a reunion for the guys.”

READ MORE: Kelowna wants to grow slightly in size

In its 36 years, the affectionately-named Old Boys have won 18 times, the Young Boys have won 15, and the game has come to a draw three times.

Ensign said that the he knows the Young Boys are looking for a win after suffering a 61-33 loss last year.

READ MORE: Old boys win the day at annual Ensign Cup

The Ensign Cup kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Parkinson Recreation Centre.

The day is packed with rugby as the Kelowna Crows men’s rugby team plays Vernon at 11 a.m. and afterwards is the parents versus kids touch game.

Friends, fans and rugby enthusiasts can look for a donation box going around during the day.

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