July 26th, 2021

Rugby clinic a hit with youth


By Dale Woodard on July 17, 2021.

It was the Come Try It Rugby Clinic, so Georgia Gorzitza came out and tried it.

With both age groups and under a hot sun to boot.

The Come Try It Clinic – hosted by University of Lethbridge Pronghorns rugby players Savanna Collison and Keegan Brantner, who are also Youth Development Coordinators for the Junior Rugby Alberta Association, was divided into players aged five to 14 for the first half and players 15-17 for the second half.

Turning 15 in two weeks, Gorzitza took part in both sessions.

“I’ve played it at school and really liked it,” said Gorzitza during one of the many deserved water breaks. “I thought I would come out and see what it was all about.”

Gorzitza’s exposure to rugby was in gym class at school.

“I like that it’s like football, but it’s different. It’s lot of running and activity,” she said. “It’s cool to learn the different passes because it’s quite different from the versions I’ve played before.”

Not even the heat wave that has been blanketing southern Alberta over the past two weeks was going to keep Gorzitza from taking part in both age groups.

“I definitely think I’ll be here again,” she said.

Collison and Brantner as well as a few volunteers ran Friday afternoon’s sessions.

“(They said) to get out there more and just be involved,” said Gorzitza, who is now eyeing a possible spot with the Lethbridge Rugby Club.

“That was kind of my game plan today,” she said. “To come out and look into the rugby club.”

Brantner noted the number of younger athletes who partook in the first session.

“We had quite a few younger kids, which was really good, to have the more little kids come out and learn at a young age,” she said. “In our older group we have a few less people, but we have some volunteers who have come out and run some drills with them, which is really nice. We can still get exposure to the game of rugby. But with the little kids it was just to get them running, having fun, playing games and they all really seemed to enjoy it.”

The younger group proved to be eager learners

“They were really invested and didn’t even want to get water breaks,” said Collison. “A lot of them were actually quite skilled. We did a kicking drill and they were very impressive.”

If fact, one of the athletes has already committed to coming out to the Lethbridge Rugby Club’s Monday and Wednesday junior sessions.

“So that’s exciting, hopefully we’ll get a couple more by the end of the day,” said Collison, who coaches the minis and juniors with Brantner on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The Monday and Wednesday minis run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and the juniors follow from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Players must be registered and can do so on the Lethbridge Rugby Club Instagram and Facebook page.

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