New Flag Rugby Program Enjoying Successful Launch

March 28, 2019


Ottawa Junior Flag Rugby

March 28th, 2019


A former provincial level coach in Ottawa has created a youth rugby program that is getting back to the basics.  Aaron McDonald is a former Ontario U17 Women’s coach and former Assistant coach with the U18 Canada Junior Women’s program. Aaron wanted to create an environment for young players to develop a love for the game, with limited coaching.  “We don't have enough time where we can just go out and play, be creative and learn how to be successful in a non-structured way, while also having fun” said Aaron.  “I wanted to have a rugby event for kids, no coaches, no coaching, no drills, just playing.”

 Aaron created the Ottawa Junior Flag Rugby program with the goal of helping young players develop their rugby skills, using a game-centred approach. There are no coaches or coaching, other than clarification of the rules. The program is offered to all Ottawa/Hull youth, boys and girls, aged 12-15. All players are mixed on different teams as fairly as possible. “It’s a fantastic program that allows young players to simply play games and develop a love for the sport” said Rugby Ontario Development Manager Ryan Jones, who attended a session in person. “Without coaches around, players get to assert themselves as leaders and learn basic rugby skills at the same time”.

 The non-club affiliated program has received support from all local clubs, the Ottawa Gee Gees, Carleton Ravens, National players Ghislane Landry and Julia Greenshields and National coaches John Tait, Colette McAuley, Francois Ratier and Jack Hanratty. “We have 2 weeks left and we've had over 50 kids so far in our first season. Last week, we had a player grubber to himself and score. He’s 13. We really couldn't have asked for a more successful start” said Aaron. The program is expected to run next off-season as well.

 For more information on the program, visit the Ottawa Junior Flag Rugby website . 


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Dalton Finkbeiner

Communications and Marketing Coordinator - Rugby Ontario

647-560-4790 x 1006