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Rugby Canada – Program to establish National Team’s Economic Welfare Advisory Group; Develop Player Legacy Fund for National Senior Team Players

LANGFORD, BC – Rugby Canada is pleased to announce a landmark Player Welfare Program in conjunction with its National Senior Team Players.  The program is highlighted by the establishment of a National Team’s Economic Welfare Advisory Group, a Player’s Legacy Fund and other initiatives designed to enhance player welfare and support. 

The National Team’s Economic Welfare Advisory Group, with player representatives from each of the four National Senior Teams, will meet three to four times per year with Rugby Canada management to discuss all facets of national team player welfare.  In addition, the advisory group will meet annually with Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors.  This advisory group will also work with Rugby Canada’s management team in the development of a Players Legacy Fund. The Player’s Legacy Fund will be established from player fundraising efforts and from a portion of proceeds from Rugby Canada hosted international events. 

Rugby Canada recently announced the start of construction of the new Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre in Langford, BC.  Furthermore, Rugby Canada has also committed to providing additional support to develop player welfare resources to assist players with planning for life outside of rugby and beyond their national team careers.

“Rugby Canada is committed to being an athlete-centered organization.  We have a profound respect and appreciation for the commitment our National Team Players make representing all of us on the world stage.  To that end, we have worked hard to develop a series of initiatives that will provide further financial support to players, both on and off the field of play,” said Allen Vansen, CEO of Rugby Canada.  “At the same time, we remain committed to investing our resources to grow the profile of the sport and its athletes throughout Canada,” added Vansen.

“We play for Canada because of our love for the sport of rugby and for our country,” Harry Jones, National Men’s Sevens Team member. “The new partnership with Rugby Canada to cover the financial costs of being a National Team Member and starting to move to competitive compensation allows us to develop a mutual culture of performance excellence. We are excited to engage our supporters and the community with a HSBC Canada Sevens fundraiser in Vancouver, which is an important player directed fundraiser for our players. Finally, having the players fully engaged on an on-going basis with Rugby Canada is a very positive first step forward for everyone,” added Jones.

“While there is still work to be done, I appreciate the strides Rugby Canada has made for Women’s Rugby in Canada by eliminating the Pay-to-Play model through the Monty Heald Fund and creating this exciting new partnership,” said Captain of Canada’s Women’s Fifteens Team, Kelly Russell. “Our goal as athletes is to represent our country with honour and compete to win at the highest level. Developing this National Team Economic Welfare Advisory Group and Player’s Legacy Fund will help give us the opportunity enhance player welfare now, as well as support our future generations.”

About Rugby Canada

Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of rugby union in Canada.  Rugby Union has a long history in Canada dating back to its initial appearance in the 1860s.  Since 1974, Rugby Canada has been a permanent fixture on the global rugby scene, including trips to each of the eight Men’s Rugby World Cups and seven Women’s Rugby World Cups.  As a regular on the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Canada continues to climb the world rankings and challenge the dominant rugby nations in both versions of the game.  Canada’s Women’s Rugby Sevens Team also made history in 2016, capturing the first-ever Bronze Medal at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Rugby Canada has also put a renewed emphasis on developing its junior programs to support the growth of rugby at the grass-roots level and to ensure there are elite programs for prospering young rugby players to become involved.  Our goal is to develop and train competitive teams for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland, the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the 2019 Men’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Bryan Kelly  I  Manager, Communications and Media Relations  I  Rugby Canada  I  3024 Glen Lake Road  I Langford, British Columbia, Canada V9B 4B4  I  Tel. 250.418.8998 ext. 314  I  Fax 250.386.3810  I Cell. 250.216.5272 | bkelly@rugbycanada.ca I www.rugbycanada.ca