RUGBY ONTARIO LAUNCHES PILOT FIRST NATIONS RUGBY PROGRAM
Rugby Ontario – (SIX NATIONS OF THE GRAND RIVER, ONTARIO) – Last week, Rugby Ontario launched the first session of the pilot First Nations Rugby program at Six Nations of the Grand River in Brantford. The program is led by mother-daughter duo, Melanie Squire and Meagan Wilson, who are both active members of the Six Nations community. Melanie has previously worked with an organization that serviced all 134 First Nations communities across Ontario through which she has developed experience and key contacts. Meagan is a varsity rugby athlete at McMaster University and a former participant and coach in Rugby Canada’s Thunder Aboriginal Rugby Camp. Both Melanie and Meagan are passionate making rugby more accessible in First Nations communities across Ontario and are excited to be pioneering the program in Six Nations.
The Six Nations’ first rugby session was held on the evening of June 13th. Tony Johnson, a local Iroquois dancer who danced at the 2010 Olympics opening ceremony, began the session by leading participants through a traditional Iroquois game, Long Ball. After this warm up, Meagan and eight other leaders, all Indigenous rugby players from the Six Nations community, coached participants through two hours of fun and inclusive Rookie Rugby games. The leaders ended the session with several rounds of rugby golf, with many participants staying late to continue playing. The participants are eager and excited to come back this week for their next session!
Rugby Ontario provided Melanie and Meagan with all the required rugby equipment through our Flag Forever program as well as the 90-minute Rookie Rugby instructor training and resources. All other resources and planning were organized by Melanie, Meagan, and local volunteers. Thank you to all of the leaders and participants involved.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
Are you interested in helping Rugby Ontario develop and grow rugby programs in First Nations communities across Ontario? There are many ways that you can help! To find out how you can support First Nations Rugby development in Ontario, please contact Safa Khan (email@example.com).
Kevin Baxter | Communications Coordinator | Rugby Ontario | (647) 560-4790 x 1006
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