Three rugby players from Brentwood College School were invited to test their potential in front of Olympic sport officials at the Richmond Olympic Oval recently.
Denise Roy and Mckenna Haz made the trip, while Avi Sharabi was also invited but had to turn down the opportunity.
They were among 100 athletes from B.C. invited to the Canadian Olympic Committee/RBC Training Ground event, one of four regional workouts designed to help uncover athletes with Olympic potential.
The athletes had to apply for the opportunity. Sharabi detailed in her application about what rugby has done for her.
“Growing up with two older brothers has left me positively — in both senses of the word — scarred for life,” she wrote. “As my brothers excelled in sports, I served as the opponent, goalie and, like every younger sibling, the natural punching bag. My brothers and I created a sense of community through sports. This was our way of connecting with our peers when we first immigrated to Canada and spoke no English. We quickly learned that sports need no language. I increasingly appreciate how this universal language of sports not only embraces, but also promotes diversity.”
Along with rugby, sports represented at the Training Ground event were cycling, rowing, athletics, canoe/kayak, speedskating and bobsled/skeleton. As many as 10 athletes from each event will receive resources such as funding and coaching, and some will earn a trip to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to help fuel their passion.