Their Opportunity Spotlight: Megan Bent
February 15th, 2019
(WHITBY, ON) - Growing up in a family with two older brothers, standing her ground was the only way Megan Bent could survive. “The theme in my house was trample or get trampled on” said Megan. “You had to have tough skin, you had to fight back”.
Thanks to her brothers, the sports that peaked her interest the most were ones that had a physical aspect to them such as wrestling and rugby. Her first experience playing rugby came a few years before high school. “My first introduction to the sport when I was about 10 or 11. A family friend was involved with the Oshawa Vikings” stated Megan. “She had asked me to come out and try rugby. I remember really enjoying it, but at the time we were not financially stable enough to pay the fee and continue with the team, so I stuck with school sanctioned sports.” Still, her love for the sport never left. “ I was attracted to rugby because it really is a team sport” said Megan. “Everyone has a part to play and none of those parts are small. Rugby accepts people of all sizes, big, small, short, tall, fast and strong.”
When Megan wanted to play rugby in high school, her family reached out to Their Opportunity. A registered charity, Their Opportunity provides funding to families, who face a financial barrier, allowing them to enroll their children in sports. Randy Gill is the co-founder of the organization. As a child, Gill required financial support from outside his family to enroll in sports and set out to form an organization that supports young athletes. “I was fortunate to be supported and got to pursue my dream of being a hockey player” said Gill. “Through the process, I was also being developed as an individual and when we started this organization, I wanted this to be the core of what we do and that’s developing quality people.”
Megan received support from Their Opportunity and was able to continue to play the sport she loves. She played throughout high school for both her school, O'Neill Collegiate, and her club, the Oshawa Vikings. Megan credits her high school coach, Dawn Manerowski for getting her to the next level. “She pushed me to become a better rugby player. She saw potential in me when I didn't think I had it” said Megan.
Currently a student at Carleton University, Megan was a member of the Carleton Raven’s rugby team in 2016-2017. This past semester, she took time off to focus on her mental health. Megan intends to continue to play rugby and is looking forward to returning to the field soon. Her post-secondary rugby career would not have been possible without Their Opportunity. “The organization helps remove the burden from young athletes” said Bent. “Most kids are aware of their families hardships. Its amazingly crucial that Their Opportunity has come to be and that they continue to provide support for kids”.
Another unique aspect of Their Opportunity is their 'Give Back” program. All athletes who have received funding are required to complete community service projects. The organization helps to run food drives and other charity events in the community. “It's the way that community works.” stated Randy Gill. “Community is about supporting on another. When you have been supported by someone, I feel it’s important to do the same for someone else in any way you can” Gill added.
It was because of Their Opportunity that Megan was able to continue her rugby career and allowed her to play in front of her friends and family. “My family has been amazing supportive. Their opportunity wasn’t around when my brother was younger and he always says to me I’m living out his wildest dreams” said Megan. “They come to all my games, and are the loudest supporters, to an embarrassing level. They are the first ones to congratulate me, their support means the world to me.”
Megan says the sport of Rugby has taught her so much and lead her to relationships that will last a lifetime. “The great part about Rugby is you also get a different family, your rugby family” said Bent. “I have my rugby sisters. They are always their to support me. It’s amazing to have inherited a new family through Rugby.”
Rugby Ontario and Their Opportunity are proud to work together to reduce the financial barriers to participation in all areas of Ontario. For more information on Their Opportunity and funding available please visit their website.
ABOUT THEIR OPPORTUNITY
Their Opportunity Their Opportunity is a grassroots charity in Durham that exists to provide low-income families (total household income of $45,000 or less) with the means to enroll their children in organized sports and recreation programs. Additionally, within 3 months of receiving funding, each child is mandated to “pay-it-forward” through our Giveback Program. Our program inspires hope while teaching essential life skills of teamwork and compassion; proving that only one change in a child’s life can create an opportunity for inspiration and change, while further impacting our community
ABOUT RUGBY ONTARIO
Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to establish a stronger identity for rugby in Ontario by promoting the sport’s core values and by fostering a culture of inclusiveness and excellence on and off the field of play.
To learn more, visit http://www.rugbyontario.com/
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
Communications and Marketing Coordinator - Rugby Ontario
647-560-4790 x 1006