Following another successful season in 2017-2018, the UBC Men’s Rugby Program is looking forward to the new campaign. Despite the departure of some veteran players such as Nathan Rees and Cam McWilliam, there is still a large core of players returning with Premier League experience. This seasoned contingent, combined with a strong group of new recruits, augurs well for the immediate future of the program which has garnered much success and praise over the last five seasons. ‘The return to excellence’ of the rugby program at UBC owes much to the drive of committed Alumni along with the vision of committed and outstanding rugby staff, an integrated support system and world class facilities.
The outcome has been the emergence of one of leading rugby programs at any level in North America. The vision has been of a fully integrated approach to preparation which has included high performance rugby coaching along with world class strength and conditioning through UBC’s Head Coach of Strength and Conditioning Joe McCullum. Besides directing the program for the rugby players McCullum is also responsible for the University’s 29 teams and 650 athletes. A leader in his field, he has also coached multiple world medalists, Olympic medalists and professional NHL and NFL athletes.
More importantly, this integrated approach is still evolving. As an example, the players are now much more aware of the importance of nutrition through the expertise of Emma McCrudden who has worked as an applied Performance Dietitian for the English Institute of Sport. McCrudden worked with a variety of sports including England Netball and Bob Skeleton along with being the lead dietitian for Leinster Rugby. In 2013, she joined the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific in Vancouver and has worked with a large number of national team athletes as well as swimmers, the Vancouver Whitecaps Youth teams and the Vancouver Canucks. She now works full time with athletes from UBC.
When it comes to sport facilities, UBC leads the charge in providing world-class facilities. Over two thirds of UBC Sports Facilities have been built or significantly renovated in the last ten years. UBC Sport Facilities have also established strong partnerships with Professional, National and Provincial organizations such as the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Vancouver Canucks, Tennis Canada, Field Hockey Canada, Swimming Canada and BC Rugby. The Rugby facilities, highlighted by the Gerald McGavin Pavilion and perhaps the best playing surface in the province, and supported by one other grass field and two World Rugby approved turf fields, provide a center of excellence, a daily high performance level training environment that enables UBC athletes to excel at the highest level.
The core values of the Rugby program at UBC are encapsulated in its mission statement: Great Education, Great Rugby, Great Tradition. The priority for all the athletes is the completion of their education and this focus on academic welfare and personal development ensures that the players are tracked throughout the school year with continued weekly support offered through the Thunderbird Study program and our own Rugby Study program.
This academic support of athletes in the UBC Rugby program is matched by another salient feature of the Thunderbird Program, its ongoing tradition of developing Provincial and National talent. Just recently, ten UBC athletes were involved with the Rugby Canada U20 Selection Camp for the World Trophy Event in Romania. In addition, over the course of the last five years a significant number of players have made themselves available for representation at all levels of Provincial and National Team programs.
Canada National Team 2015-2018: Capped - Brock Staller, Ben Lesage, Andrew Coe and Theo Sauder
Canada National Sevens Team 2015-2018: Phil Berna and Andrew Coe (Harry Jones already an established member)
Canada U18: 2013 – Harjun Gill, Karsten Leitner and Ben Lesage
Canada U18: 2014 - Braydon Williams, Declan Kelly, Nolan Howell, Cole Keffer and Foster Dewitt
Canada U18: 2016 – Nicolas Frost and Liam Doll
Canada U19: 2017 – Jake Lan, Matt Ye, Michael Smith, John Jubenvill, Owain Ruttan, Christoph Stangl
Canada U20: 2013 – Neil Courtney, Jorden Sandover-Best, Charlie Thorpe, Connor Hamilton, Alex Mascott and Thomas Roche
Canada U20 2014: Neil Courtney, Connor Hamilton, Ben Lesage and Harjun Gill
Canada U20 2015: Phil Berna, Andrew Coe, Theo Sauder, Cali Martinez, Karsten Leitner and Harjun Gill
Canada U20 2016: Andrew Coe, Theo Sauder, Cali Martinez, Connor Sampson, Nakai Penny and Cole Keffer
Canada U20 2017: Liam Doll, Elias Ergas, Nick Frost, Fraser Hurst, Connor Sampson, William McDougall-Percillier, Evan Norris
Canada U20 2018: William McDougall-Percillier, Kevin Vertkas, Elia Ergas, Tyler Rowland, Michael Smith, Owain Ruttan, Sam Turner
Canada Maple Leaf Sevens 2014-2018: Jorden Sandover-Best, Nathan Rees, Theo Sauder, Andrew Coe, Karsten Leitner, Jake Lan, Kevin Vertkas
The UBC Rugby Program is committed to providing its student athletes with an outstanding experience, enabling them to excel at the highest level and inspiring them to succeed in both life and rugby.
As we move forward following the enormous success of the program in the last five seasons, it is time to look at what we need to sustain this continuing level of performance. With a program of over 100 players and with a staff of more than a dozen coaches and trainers, it is perhaps no surprise to hear that it costs, on average, approximately $3,000.00 per player to operate on an annual basis. A significant amount of the operating budget comes from fundraising and donations from Alumni, Supporters, Parents and Players. For the program to maintain its current state of excellence we need to ensure that the efforts to fundraise successfully continue as we provide the best environment possible to develop talented individuals in the best rugby program in North America. While we have been successful in attracting donors to the program, we do need to let all our supporters know the ways in which they can contribute to its sustained success.
Monthly Giving: While we already have a number of donors that contribute on a monthly basis, we are actively looking to grow these numbers. One donor at a minimum of $5.00 per month will raise $60.00 per year. Our aim is to attract over 100 new donors in this category raising a minimum of $6,000.00 per year. Of course, we really want more than that cup of latte or bottle of beer per month. 100 new donors at $10.00 per month would raise $12,000.00 per year and at $20.00 would raise $24,000.00. This year we have a donor in place to match up to $30,000.00 that we raise in new monthly giving donations over the course of the year so, if you are interested in becoming a new Monthly Donor, you can contact Dave Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the following link.
UBC Rugby Thunder Renewal
This contribution is tax deductible.
Gerald McGavin Pavilion Seats: We already have a significant number of seats at the Pavilion with plaques bearing the names of the contributors. This contribution is valued at $1,500.00 with our most recent donations raising some $9,000.00. If you are interested in becoming a new Seat Donor, you can contact Dave Brown at email@example.com
This contribution is tax deductible.
Rugby Canada Selection Camp for 2018 World Trophy
First, congratulations to the 6 UBC players who were selected for the U20 World Trophy currently taking place in Romania:
Elias Ergas – (Collingwood
Will McDougall-Percillier – (Brentwood)
Tyler Rowland – (Mentor College)
Owain Ruttan – (St Mary’s)
Michael Smith – (Earl Marriott)
Kevin Vertkas – (Mentor College)
Opening Home Game of the 2018-2019 Season
UBC will host Rowers in all three divisions on September 8th:
11.15am – U23 Men v Rowers
12.45pm – Braves v Rowers
2.30pm – Birds v Rowers
UBC Thunderbird Team Recognition on September 8th
We will be recognizing the 1988 Thunderbird Team that won the Club’s first ever National Championship, the Labatt’s National Sub-Union Championship. Please join us in celebrating this success and legacy.
Alumni and Supporter Welcome for Final Training Session on September 6th
We invite all Alumni and supporters to come to the clubhouse on Thursday September 6th to join us as we complete our preparation for the new season. Training starts at 5.00pm and the Clubhouse will be open after training at 7.00pm.
The fixture list for the Fall is below:
Thunderbirds V Rowers
Braves V Rowers
U23 V Rowers
Thunderbirds @ Seattle
Braves @ Seattle
U23 @ Surrey
Thunderbirds @ Meraloma
Braves @ Meralomas
U23 @ Meraloma
Thunderbirds V Westshore
Braves V Westshore
U23 V Richmond
October 5th Holiday Weekend
Thunderbirds @ Ravens
Braves @ Ravens
U23 V Kats
Thunderbirds @ UVic
Braves @ UVic
U23 @ Bayside
October 27th National Championship Qualifiers in Kelowna
Thunderbirds V Burnaby
Braves V Burnaby
U23 V Squamish
November 10th Remembrance Day Weekend
Thunderbirds @ Capilano
Braves @ Capilano
U23 @ Capilano
November 24th National Finals in Victoria
Thunderbirds V Ravens
Braves V Ravens
December 9th Make up
Game Day Sponsors
We are still looking for potential game day sponsors for our potential 9 home games to cover costs for game day events and food. Get in touch with Dave for details at firstname.lastname@example.org or by cell at 604-671-4283.