Ontario Jr. Blues Winter Combine #3 Recap
April 3rd, 2019
On Saturday, March 30th, The Ontario Jr. Blues Program held the third and final combine of its High Performance Academy – commonly referred to as The Program. With over 200 athletes in attendance at the Whitby dome, athletes were put through a variety of tests conducted by Kris Robertson (Rugby Canada), Sean Harrison and Jeff Watson (Elite Training System or ETS). This combine marks the end of year 2 for the High-Performance Academy, a 5 month off season training initiative started in 2018. Over this two-year period, The Program has grown by over 100 athletes and the Rugby Ontario HP staff are excited for further growth in 2020. “We were really happy with the growth of the academy from 2018 to 2019” said Sean Medeiros, Rugby Ontario’s High-Performance Coordinator. “The regional approach that we adopted this year allowed us to engage significantly more athletes across the province, giving more athletes the opportunity to compete year round.”
The HP staff attribute the significant growth in player development to the numerous provincial coaches engaged in the program. Their level of expertise and delivery of content have left players exiting the academy poised for success at the club and high school levels. “With more coaches engaged this year, athletes received significantly more one-on-one coaching, allowing athletes to learn skills at a very technical level.” The Program has also been able to engage the Match Official community more in the second year. Local referees have been present at numerous sessions, sharing their perspectives on the game with the athletes – a valuable resource for them to learn from. The High-Performance staff will look to continue to work with Match Officials in the third year of the Program to further enhance the sharing of knowledge.
The culmination of The Program also marks the start of the official lead up to the 2019 XV’s season. The next step for the 250+ athletes who participated in the Academy Program is to engage with their local club and high school over the next two months in order to further their development and prepare for provincial selections. While official tryouts will begin in early June, at the end of the high school season, preliminary talent ID sessions will start April 13th and 14th. These sessions are free to attend and open to all athletes age 15-18. These sessions are not mandatory for selection to the provincial team but will serve as great development opportunities for all athletes in attendance.
For more information on the XV provincial program, you can visit the Ontario blues Team page
ABOUT THE ONTARIO BLUES
The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male and female rugby players in Ontario. Rugby Ontario is represented at the provincial level by the Ontario Blues. The program includes representative teams from Under-15 to Senior in both Women’s and Men’s Fifteens and Under-18 Men's and Women's Sevens. Specifically, the program is designed to develop and showcase rugby players for Canadian representative national teams.
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/
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Communications and Marketing Coordinator - Rugby Ontario