New opportunities abound for the U20 women's program in 2010. The national age grade, overseen by Kris de Scossa, will look to continue to develop female players of the future and the year ahead is filled with events to do just that. With development camps to be led by top Canadian coaches, tests against stringent international competition and a new strength and conditioning program for the player pool, the U20 program is bound to progress.
In the summer of 2009, the program set a solid platform with a successful development tour to England to play in the Nations Cup and a very impressive performance at the National Festival competition in Ontario. As the U20 players have demonstrated their skills and love for the game, the bar is being raised by coaches and players alike.
Introduced this year was the National Coach Mentoring Scheme which effectively saw Jason Young and Chal Smyth delve into a learning process with an opportunity to grow and evolve their coaching. Young is continuing his involvement in the scheme into 2010 with several other coaches who have been identified, eager to add to the resources of the Canadian Women’s Program.
Among these coaches are Beth Barz from Ontario coaching Queens University, who led the Gaels to a respectable fourth-place finish in the OUA this season; JP Lavoie from Quebec, currently coaching with FISU 7's ahead of the 2010 FISU Championships in Portugal next July; and Pat Fleck, ex national men’s player and U20 Vancouver coach.
The calendar of development and competition will move up a gear in 2010 with tests against the USA in January in Tampa, Florida; the Champagne Classic competition in San Diego, California in March; and the U20 Nations Cup in July. A dense, competitive schedule will provide the U20 player pool with ample opportunity to prepare, compete and improve within the larger framework of the development pathway.
Development camps are also planned for February, May and June of next year in preparation of the aforementioned events. NSWT Strength and Conditioning Coach Paul Balsom will be advising the players on 'Life Cycle' programs. Additionally, he will be initiating protocols that will underpin the progression of these athletes as they strive to become future NSWT players.
Coaches that are identified by Geraint John, High Performance Director, will have the opportunity to be mentored through the program of high performance, to enrich their coaching skills and subsequently enhance the performance pathway of U20s through to the NSWT program. These coaches will be joining de Scossa and John Long in a team of coaches which will perform together at camps and throughout the program’s development.
With the Rugby World Cup 2010 around the corner, de Scossa sees this succession planning as crucial to the long term development plan for women’s rugby in Canada.
U20 Team to travel to USA in January
Stacie Becker St Albert AB University of Alberta St. Albert Rugby Club
Laurie Biewald Ottawa ON University of Western Ontario Ottawa Irish
Meagan Chambers Abbotsford BC Heritage Park SS Abbotsford
Maggie Cogger-Orr Thornhill ON McMaster University Toronto Scottish
Tia Croteau Surrey BC Enver Creek Secondary Bayside Sharks
Danika Gulliford St John's NL Memorial University Baymen Rugby Club
Stacey Hake North Vancouver BC University of Lethbridge Capilano
Magali Harvey Ste-Foy PQ St. Lawrence Club de Rugby De Quebec
Alex Hendricks Lethbridge AB University of Lethbridge Lethbridge
MacKenzie Higgs Aurora ON University of Guelph Aurora Barbs
Randi Hunter Abbotsford BC University of Victoria University of Victoria
Jessica Jacobs Caledon ON Mayfield Secondary School Brampton RFC
Jacqui Laidler Anmore BC Bishops University United Rugby Club
Morganne Linthwaite Guelph ON University of Guelph Highland RFC
Misha Maric Toronto ON Brock University Balmy Beach
Ellen McGregor Souris MB University of Calgary Brandon Barbarians
Katie McNally Guelph ON University of Guelph Highland RFC
Kayla Moleschi Williams Lake BC n/a William's Lake RFC
Laura Murphy-Burke Surrey BC University of Lethbridge Bayside RFC
Casey Thorburn St. John's NL Memorial University Swilers
Amanda Thornborough Brandon MB University of Manitoba Brandon Barbarians
Kelsey Willoughby Lethbridge AB University of Lethbridge Lethbridge
Mentor Coach - Kriss De Scossa (Calgary, AB)
Coach: Jason Young - (Vancouver, BC)
Therapist: Laura Libby
Manager: Penny Delaney
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS