it's been such a busy week filled with such exciting stories that I thought it best to go back to a trusted old format to recap it all.
It's been a busy week at the clubhouse with practice in full swing and an election thrown in there for good measure (the club was a polling station) but the big news was coming in from around the world.
To begin with, over the weekend, 3 Loyalists, Chris Aaen, Rob Johns, and Brian Jones, saw months of tedious preparation come to its culmination as they began their trek through the deserts of Jordan as part of the Racing the Planet endurance racing series. This insanity includes 6 stages over 7 days and 250km. All 3 completed stage 1 but RJ and Jonesy both withdrew during stage 2 with heat related ailments. Aaen has continued on and, at the time of this post, should be close to the finish of stage 5, the Long March, a 90km double shot (update - he completed stage 5!). Full results can be found here and competitor blogs here - Chris could certainly use some encouragement. It should be noted that the boys are sporting the Loyalist crest on their chests and are also competing in support of The Gaia Project. Inspiring stuff.
Back on the rugby pitch, and some 7500km south of Jordan, another Loyalist is continuing his inspirational year in Cape Town, South Africa. Jebb Sinclair, as you may have heard, was loaned by the London Irish to the DHL Stormers of the Super 15 and, after a successful debut off the bench last weekend, has been named to the starting squad vs the NSW Waratahs. World Cup, Heineken Cup and Super 15 in the last 12 months. Quite a ride; keep it up Big Dog.
Back in Canada 2 young Loyalists are following Jebb's footsteps with the Atlantic Rock on that squad's annual Western tour. And Jasmin 'Boz' Kukavica and Andy Nyenhuis have both had big impacts thus far. Andy saw action as a late game sub in the tour opening match vs the Rugby Canada Maple Leafs which was a 32-29 win for the Rock on Sunday at the new Rugby Canada facility in Langford BC. On Monday, at the same venue, the youth of the Rock squad took on the Canada U-20 squad which is preparing for the Junior World Championships. Andy scored the first try of the match as well as the 3rd which was a beautiful 90 meter individual effort that actually started on a turnover caused by a big hit big Boz from a lineout - Loyalists started and finished it. For his efforts Andy was named Man of the Match in a 42-21 Rock win. On Wednesday the Rock took on the Castaway Wanderers, the home club away from home for a number of Loyalists, at Windsor Park in Victoria. The Rock were victorious once again and this time it was Boz's turn to take Man of the Match honours and enjoy a free beer at the Oak Bay clubhouse. They take the field again tomorrow night versus this year's BC runner up James Bay, Great job boys, keep it up!
Meanwhile, back on the home front the club has been busy gearing up for our first action of the season with our own 7's tournament taking place this Saturday starting at noontime. The club will be entering two men's teams and one women's as we kick off the next month or so of a 7's focus before the 15's season kicks off in July.
At the Youth level our inaugural U-12 Co-ed Touch Rugby program will kick off this Saturday and run for 6 weeks. All the information can be found under the Youth Rugby tab.
Loyalists, as coordinated by Malcolm, are also kicking off the Middle School rugby programs around the city this week which will run jamborees the next 3 Fridays. Club members are also coaching all local high school programs which are nearing their playoff rounds. Stay tuned for information on playoff dates.
Finally, the club will also be doing a little giving back to the community that supports us by helping the Fredericton Food Bank relocate from their current location to their new home at the former Green Village compound with the help of a truck from our friends at Trius Truck Centre.
As I said, quite a bit on the go this week, which is most certainly a good thing. I think we probably deserve a beer so...see you at the club.