Three students from the Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary School rugby program are chasing their dreams and could soon be playing their sport at an elite level.
Jordan Brown was invited to Canada’s under-18 women’s team, Simon Paul was invited to the Canada under-18 men’s team, while Taylor Herron was invited to Team BC’s under-16 women’s team.
With a hefty travelling schedule, pressure, stress, and keeping up with school work, these young athletes face a real challenge to reach an elite level team of the sport they’ve fallen in love with.
For Brown, the pros vastly outweigh the cons.
“Struggling to chase these dreams requires a lot of time and commitment throughout all areas of our lives. If you compete in clubs, high school, regional and provincial teams then your season can be up to 10 to 12 months of the year and that’s not including off-season training.
I’ve played for Team BC for two years now and with that comes some pressure, of course, because of the level of competition that you play at and how badly you want to push yourself as a player to compete to the best of your ability,” said Brown, who’s still awaiting possible acceptance for Team Canada.
“Rugby is such an impressive sport because it can include any person with any body type and any personality; when these worlds would never usually collide — they do out on the rugby pitch. I think that’s really what makes the game important, no matter the level you’re playing at, because you create a melting pot of people who actually work together for a common goal and recognize the importance of simply being a team.”
Playing rugby to the best of their abilities is every athletes’ focus.
Day in and day out they practice to ensure that when game time comes, they’re ready to go out leave it all on their respective pitch.
Paul did exactly that, and though he didn’t make the squad, he’s using his tryout with Team Canada to ensure only improvements to his game.
“Playing against other top-level players and competing with them, seeing where I need improvements and where I (can) dominate in the game,” said Paul.
“The most pressure I’m having to deal with is the pressure I place upon myself to succeed and to achieve my goals, along with the pressure of my family, friends and supporters wanting me to succeed as much as I possibly can.”
The pressures of playing any sports can be tough, but for Herron, the pressures are nothing compared to the feelings she gets when playing rugby.
“I never thought that rugby would be my sport.
A lot of people think I’m absolutely insane for playing in the forwards being my size.
However, it’s given me so much confidence to be able to go out and do what people don’t expect of me.
Nobody expected the 120 pounds stick to tackle (bigger players). I’ve had to hear from so many people try to put me down only to step onto the pitch and prove them wrong,” said Herron after making Team BC. “Being able to chase this dream has been an indescribable feeling.
From the stress that was in the tryouts, all the way to the excitement of the first jersey presentation, and the pride knowing that you belong on that pitch. Rugby has shown me so many paths I can take in my future and given me so many experiences already.”
Brown, Paul, and Herron all look forward to the places rugby will take them.