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BC Rugby – Victoria, BC – July 8, 2016: Women’s Rugby 7s makes its debut at the Rio2016 Olympic Games on August 6th, and today Kayla Moleschi’s Olympic dream came one huge step closer to reality.

On Friday morning, Moleschi, who hails from the rugby hotbed of Williams Lake, BC, was named to the first-ever Canadian Women’s Rugby 7s Olympic Team.

“I am so insanely filled with emotion,” said Moleschi. “There have been some happy tears for sure. It’s been a whirlwind working up to this moment and it’s been amazing to share it with my teammates. We’re living our dream.”

While Moleschi is the sole BC Rugby athlete to make the Team, she will be among the familiar faces of her Rugby Canada Women’s 7s Teammates. Canada qualified for Rio2016 on the strength of Rugby Canada’s performance on the 2015 World Rugby HSBC Women’s Sevens Circuit, and Moleschi played a big part of that success, helping the side move up to #2 in the international rankings. Given the strength of Canada’s Team, its track record of success against the top ranked sides, and a Cup win at their last major tournament before the Olympic Games, Canada should be considered favourites to medal in Rio, and are strong contenders to capture the gold.

“We all have a collective goal of getting to that 20 minute Final and winning gold. We want it,” said Moleschi. “There’s no doubt about how hard we’ve worked to get this far, and we’ve proven that on our best day we can beat any team in the world.”  

“My teammates, coaches, trainers, the support staff, everyone have been so incredible in helping this team get to where it is,” said Moleschi. “Personally, my parents, my brother and my whole family have been my biggest supporters, and none of this would be possible without them. There have been so many people who have inspired me, including my best friend who convinced me to try rugby in grade nine, the rugby coaches in Williams Lake, Todd Pritchard and Morely Wilson, and the whole city of Williams Lake. I’m a family girl from a small town, and while technology keeps us in touch, I’m always thinking about those people close to me, wherever this rugby journey has taken me.”

Kayla Moleschi has covered a lot of distance in her rugby career that started prodigiously by scoring a try on her first-ever touch of the ball in a competitive game. Since then there have countless hours of running, long road trips by car from Williams Lake across all corners of BC and days spent on a plane hopping from country to country on the World Rugby Sevens Circuit. The 11,278 km that separate Williams Lake, BC, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are all that remain on her journey to the Olympic Games, and on Friday, Moleschi booked her ticket.

“I’d like to thank BC Rugby,” said Moleschi,” for providing me with the opportunity to represent my province. We won a National U18 Girls’ Fifteens Championship in 2007, coached by Brad Baker and Rick Pimlott. That was a great experience. It’s wonderful to now see a new generation young players, especially girls, who are able to have fun playing rugby and be successful.”

Moleschi is already an outstanding role model for young athletes playing the sport of rugby, and with her selection to Canada’s Olympic Team, she will now serve as an inspiring example of what the future might hold for the next Canadian boy or girl who picks up a rugby ball for the first time.

BC Rugby and the entire rugby community salutes Kayla Moleschi for becoming the first Rugby Olympian from our province. We wish Kayla and her Canada teammates the best of luck in Rio!

More information about BC Rugby
The British Columbia Rugby Union, commonly known as BC Rugby, is the governing body for Rugby in British Columbia and is a Provincial Union of Rugby Canada, the national governing body. Representing over 7,500 individuals registered through more than 50 Member Clubs and Associations across the Province, BC Rugby leads and manages the sport with the aim to grow participation and develop excellence in all games of Rugby and in all facets of the sport.

Official release from Rugby Canada

VICTORIA, BC — Rugby Canada, in partnership with Canadian Olympic Committee, is pleased to announce its 12 athletes and staff that have been nominated to represent Canada at the inaugural rugby sevens competition at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Edmonton’s Jen Kish will captain a side that also features Britt Benn, Hannah Darling, Bianca Farella, Ghislaine Landry, Megan Lukan, Kayla Moleschi, Karen Paquin, Kelly Russell, Ashley Steacy, Natasha Watcham-Roy and Charity Williams.

“I’m excited about the team we’ve assembled for the Rio Olympics as we take part in the historic debut of rugby sevens,” Head Coach John Tait said. “We’re looking forward to building off of our recent success, playing on the world’s biggest stage and making our country proud.”

Four provinces are represented in Canada’s 12-player team with six players from Ontario, three from Quebec, two from Alberta and one from British Columbia.

“The whole team is so excited to represent Canada in this historic event,” Kish said. “We cannot wait to hit the field in Rio and represent our country with the entire world watching.”

Nine members of Canada’s gold winning team at the 2015 Pan-Am Games are included in the historic first Canadian Women’s Rugby Sevens Olympic squad in Benn, Darling, Kish, Landry, Moleschi, Paquin, Russell, Steacy and Watcham-Roy.

Canada sealed its spot in the inaugural Olympics rugby sevens event courtesy of a second place finish on the 2014-15 HSBC Women’s Sevens Series, the best season finish in program history. Canada clinched its Olympics spot at the Amsterdam Sevens — the final event of the season schedule — a tournament they would go on to win to claim its first ever HSBC Women’s Sevens Series cup title.

After winning gold at last year’s Pan-Am Games in Toronto, Canada finished third on the 2015-16 HSBC Women’s Sevens Series and concluded the season with a

cup win at the inaugural Clermont Sevens, the second in program history.

Landry, who led the season in points scoring with 158, was named to the World Rugby HSBC Women’s Sevens Series Season Dream Team.

Canada is 81-35-4 all-time in the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series with two Cup Titles while averaging 20.99 points per game.

Canada will continue its pre-Olympic preparations on Vancouver Island at Rugby Canada’s Centre of Excellence as well as the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE). On July 26th, an Olympic Media Celebration and RIO Send Off will take place at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto from 12pm – 1pm. Media are welcome to attend the event on the 26th.

The women’s rugby sevens event takes place at Deodoro Stadium from August 6-8.

Broadcast details for the rugby sevens event at the 2016 Rio Olympics will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

Canada’s Roster for the 2016 Rio Olympics (Name, club, hometown):

Britt Benn – (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Hannah Darling – (Peterborough Pagans) Warsaw, ON
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mont Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
Jen Kish – (Edmonton Rockers) Edmonton, AB
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish) Toronto, ON
Megan Lukan – (Unattached) Barrie, ON
Kayla Moleschi – (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
Karen Paquin – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Kelly Russell – (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Ashley Steacy – (Lethbridge Rugby Club), Lethbridge, AB
Natasha Watcham-Roy – (Hull Volant) Gatineau, QC
Charity Williams – (Markham Irish) Toronto, ON

Canada’s Coaching Staff:

Meaghan Howat – Manager
John Tait – Head Coach
Sandro Fiorino – Assistant Coach
Sandeep Nandhra – Athletic Therapist
Matt Tyler – Athletic Therapist
Tyler Goodale – Strength & Conditioning
Callum Morris – Analyst
Mental Performance Coach – Kirsten Barnes

Canada’s 2016 Rio Olympics Schedule:

Day 1 – August 6
Canada vs. Japan – 11:30am  ET/8:30am PT
Canada vs. Brazil – 4:30pm ET/1:30pm PT

Day 2 – August 7
Canada vs. Great Britain – 11:30am ET/8:30am PT


For further information about Canada’s Women’s Rugby 7s Olympic Team, or for player media availability, please contact:
Bryan Kelly
Communications Manager
Rugby Canada