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The Sport Information Resource Centre

Rugby Ontario – (BANCROFT, ON) – Rugby Ontario is extremely excited to welcome the newest member club of the Toronto Rugby Union, Rugby Ontario and Rugby Canada. The Bancroft Blackflies will officially join the Ontario Rugby Union in 2017, fielding an Under-18 Women’s team.

“The Club began as an idea about a year ago, and began with the hope of creating an opportunity for youth in Bancroft and surrounding areas to participate in a sport that develops independence through interdependence,” said Club President Elizabeth Carns-Balemba.

The club is in Bancroft, Ontario – about an hour and a half north of Belleville and about an hour north east of Peterborough. There are various high school rugby programs in the area, but there were no further opportunities to develop their game outside of school athletics unless families were willing to travel.

“This will give the youth that already participated in high school rugby the chance to share a sport they are passionate about with others in the community,” explained Carns-Balemba.

The name Blackflies represents an insect which is synonymous with the area, but it is not a new name in the rugby scene. Bancroft used to field a Senior Men’s squad in the early 1990’s. With nostalgia in mind, the Blackflies will utilize the vintage logo from the 90’s on their new uniforms.

Though the Club is only fielding one team this year, their hopes are that there will be future growth into other age-groups.

“In upcoming years, we would like to expand to include more teams as interest rises and community awareness of the sport increases,” said Carns-Balemba.

The goal for Bancroft is to include a non-contact league for younger children in the community, which will encourage a long-term love of the sport.


For more information on the Bancroft Blackflies, please contact Club President Elizabeth Carns-Balemba at

You can also follow them on Twitter and Instagram.


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.

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Kevin Baxter | Communications Coordinator | Rugby Ontario | (647) 560-4790 x106
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