For a program that only started a few years ago, Greater Victoria’s Castaway Wanderers (CW) women’s youth have had one hot summer.
Caroline Crossley won gold with Rugby Canada’s rugby sevens team at the Pan Am Games on July 28. It’s another big step for Crossley as the 21-year-old looks to represent Canada at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Since the Pan Am Games, a host of CW girls represented at the Western Canadian U16 Championships in Kelowna recently. CW had seven players on the B.C. Bears U15 development team that lost in the U16 final to Alberta’s U16 team. It featured CW’s Lauren Sargent as the head coach, and U15 players Jorga Tye, Jorga Cook, Gwynnie Fry, Karlyn Schurman, Marlyn Robinson, Anna Palmer and Jesse Knaggs.
“CW has done a great job of developing players,” said Brian Huse, who manages the CW’s U16 and U19 women’s programs. “This went from a start-up a few years ago, and look how many players are representing at the provincial level, and coaches. We expect 40 to 60 girls at the U16 and U19 levels to register with us this year.”
CW also had a core of players on the U18 B.C. Bears team that finished third at the Western Canadian U18 women’s tournament in Regina. That team featured players Maelle Reed, Ella O’Regan, Katie Elsner and Sophia Tafel. B.C.’s U17 featured CW players Chloe Hill-Huse (captain), Renee Cook and assistant coach Ollie Winser.
Two more CW players were in Regina. Morgan Warner, who went to Saint Michaels this year, competed against B.C. for Alberta Black at the U18 tournament and Hannah Scherr, who relocated here this winter to Prince Rupert to play with CW, played for Saskatchewan.
This past week CW’s Amelia Gordon, Zoe Williams, Ella O’Regan, Maelle Reed, Chloe Hill Huse, Renee Cook all trained with Team Canada at their U18 West camp in Brentwood Bay.
The silver-medal winning Canadian men’s team at the Pan Am Games featured two former Castaway Wanderers youth players who then played for the UVic Vikes, Luke Mcloskey (Saint Michaels University) and Brennig Prevost (Glenlyon Norfolk). Rugby Canada regular and CW player Pat Kay (UVic Vikes) was also there.