Sportsmanship and sport development were key parts of the first rugby 7s championship tournament organized by Rocky View Sports, May 12, and for some schools it was their first chance to try their hand at this version of the sport.
Along the way, players from Bow Valley High and Cochrane High, collectively known as the Bears, won the junior and senior boys divisions and earned the first ever RVS rugby 7s banners.
The junior boys won the banner against Springbank while the seasoned senior boys beat Bert Church, who were taking their first crack at the game.
On the girls side of the tournament, the senior girls placed second to Springbank 2 and the junior girls placed fourth in the division won by Chestermere.
Roberta Stinn, the Cochrane Wild coach and an alumni of the girls' high school team, says the teams enjoyed the opportunity to try 7s, although they regularly play 15s.
"All of the girls ended the day exhausted but with smiles on their faces. They both made it to the semi-finals, which I was very proud of, and they both came out with at least one win a piece. I think we have some amazing 7s players, however, as a whole, I think Bow Valley/ Cochrane High will remain a 15s team, but carry forward entering 7's tournaments."
Corrina Bauer, a long-time rugby advocate, was excited to see the response to the sevens tournament and believes it could lead to more rugby being played in Rocky View schools.
"We decided to try a tournament and see how much interest there would be because we're looking to try and development a 7s league within Rocky View and then maybe a 15s league if we can get enough schools interested," says Bauer. "This is why I was so excited that Bert Church and Croxford had some teams out for the tournament. It's fabulous."
Brian Utley, of Rocky View Sports, says the tournament was a hit and drew several new players to the sport. They hope to continue the tournament next season.