Barbados men’s rugby sevens head coach Joe Whipple oversees a drill during Robin MacDowell’s camp at the Cowichan Rugby Football Club last week. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Surprise guests make for outstanding rugby camp

MacDowell joined by national team players and coaches

Robin MacDowell’s rugby camp at the Cowichan Rugby Football Club last week was among the best he has ever held, according to the Cowichan Valley product who has gone on to an esteemed coaching career.

“It was probably the most successful one I’ve been part of,” MacDowell gushed.

The camp drew 47 players in total, the core from the Cowichan Valley, but some from as far away as Saskatchewan, members of MacDowell’s extended “rugby family.”

“That was really positive,” he said. “Especially with me transitioning back to the coast full-time next month.”

In addition to MacDowell, instructors included Peyton Eagar and Josiah Morra from the men’s national team pool, and Julia Folk from the women’s national team pool. They were also joined by surprise guest coaches John Tait, the head coach of the Canadian women’s sevens team, and Joe Whipple, a former mentor of MacDowell’s from their years on Vancouver Island who is now the head coach of the Barbados men’s sevens team.

“The best thing about John and Joe is that they weren’t planning on coming by, but as soon as they saw us on the field, they wanted to be out there,” MacDowell said.

The camp was also a success by MacDowell’s most important personal measure.

“Every picture I look at, the kids are smiling,” he said. “That’s my No. 1 check and balance: did the kids enjoy themselves.”

Immediately after the end of the camp on Friday, MacDowell headed south to coach his own team at the Langford Sevens. The team, which he called “maybe the most talented group I’ve ever seen,” went undefeated to win the tournament.

MacDowell will start coaching at UVic this week, supporting head coach Doug Tate, and will take a U19 team to the Dubai Sevens in December. Now relocating back home to the Cowichan Valley, he wants to help grow the sport in the Valley.

“I want to do everything I can do to give back and help local kids achieve their goals,” he said. “I’m excited to be back home.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Barbados men’s rugby sevens head coach Joe Whipple addresses attendees while Robin MacDowell looks on during MacDowell’s camp at the Cowichan Rugby Football Club last week. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Barbados national men’s sevens team head coach Joe Whipple presents a jersey to Jaxon Baker to recognize her efforts at Robin MacDowell’s rugby camp at the Cowichan Rugby Football Club last week. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Just Posted

Isles looking for playoff upset over Oceanside

The Kerry Park Islanders are looking to last year’s Cowichan Valley Capitals… Continue reading

Check out Cowichan’s heritage sites for Heritage Week

This year’s theme is “Bringing the Past into the Future”

Cowichan athletes medal in archery, curling and judo at BC Winter Games

Duncan Archer Liam Whitworth brought home two medals from the 2020 BC… Continue reading

Get ready to enjoy the ride and laugh along with Brentwood’s ‘Spamalot’

Spamalot is a twisted musical take on the tales of King Arthur.

Coming up in Cowichan: Learn about the Koksilah River and watershed

Speaker series to talk Koksilah River The next presentation in the Cowichan… Continue reading

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read