• Michael Hayakawa (Markham Economist & Sun)

Girls, women invited to try hand at rugby in Markham

First appearing May 9th on http://www.yorkregion.com/sports-story/6545741-girls-women-invited-to-try-hand-at-rugby-in-markham/

Rugby is often perceived as a sport for men.

Don’t tell that to the Markham Irish Canadian Rugby Football Club.

In past years, they've conducted an introductory clinic to extol the virtues of the sport to the female segment of the population and each time, enticed a number of players into their existing club program.

This year will be no exception as the club will conduct a Try Rugby Day clinic for girls and women at their Austin Park field (150 Austin Dr.) Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m.

Jim Monk, a club spokesman and coach, said the clinic is free of charge and open to females of all ages and abilities.

In conducting past clinics, he noted it’s been a successful tool in not only introducing players to the sport.

Some players have progressed to where they’ve gone on to playing at the provincial and even national levels.

Hoping for some good weather that day which in turn might attract at least 20 new players out for the clinic, Monk said they will break the participants into small groups to teach rugby drills and exercises.

“The idea is to introduce people to the game. That’s what we want to do,” he said. “It should be a fun day.”

After the clinic, participants can stay for a barbecue hosted by the club and watch the Markham women’s team play an exhibition game against Toronto Beaches at their Austin Park field starting at noon.

After that match, the Markham men’s firsts and seconds will commence Ontario Rugby Union Marshall Division regular season play against Oakville starting at 1:30 p.m.

For more information, log on to the club’s website at: www.markhamirishrugby.com or e-mail them at: women@markhamirishrugby.com

Michael Hayakawa is a sports writer, with York Region Media Group (Markham Economist and Sun, Stouffville Sun-Tribune, Richmond Hill Liberal, Thornhill Liberal, Vaughan Citizen). He can be reached atmhayakawa@yrmg.com . Follow him on Twitter and YRMG on Facebook

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