Ominous clouds hovered over Toronto last Thursday morning at 8 am. Is it still on? was the question asked by the coaches and organizers of the Flag Rugby Day at Broadacres school.
YES! came the answer via text and email. Barb Graydon had checked and the weather was going to clear.
On Thursday November 3rd, Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) along with Rugby Ontario facilitated a skills session and tournament at Broadacres school in Etobicoke. The purpose was to give schools in western Toronto an opportunity to learn more about flag rugby and compete in a short round robin tournament.
For the past two years, TIRF has worked with Barbara Graydon at Broadacres school. She has been instrumental in growing the game in the west region of the Toronto District Elementary School Athletic Association – more commonly known as TDESAA. “Our first attempt in the spring of 2015 we had two schools including Broadacres” said Barb. This year, close to 100 players participated from North Kipling, Millwood, Dystrom, Briarcrest, George R Gauld, and of course Broadacres.
The sky did clear as Barb had predicted. The morning was spent on Flag rugby skills. Passing and catching a rugby ball, flagging, defence, and familiarization with the rules of the game. The afternoon tournament involved each team playing three games. The coaches were permitted onto the fields to coach the teams as they played. “By the last game you could really see the understanding start to show” said Leanne Stillman, Toronto Nomads Minis Rugby director and TIRF volunteer.
“I think we’ve built enough capacity to run a full fledged TDESSA west region tournament next fall” said Barb Graydon. Judging by the enthusiastic response from the coaches and players at the Rugby day, this prediction will also be correct.