The SFU Rugby Club is the oldest and longest running club at SFU. The club was first established in 1965 by SFU student Maurice Rees. They played 3rd division in the Vancouver Rugby Union (VRU). In the late 70’s Dick Woldring, and Chris Collett, met on the stairs of the SFU pub and decided to reinvigorate the rugby team at SFU. They established an exhibition team in the fall of 1979 and joined the Fraser Valley Rugby Union (a new sub union of the BCRU) in spring of 1980 in the 3rd division. Rapid growth of the club saw 2 teams in the 2nd year and 3 teams including a first division side in year three of operation under Woldring and Collett. Both of these men started as player coaches and retired to just coach due to injury pretty early on.
Many future coaches and key individuals joined that team over that 3-year time including Richard Ward and Simon Trevelyan both of whom became women team coaches later in their careers with the club. In 1981 a young Darryl “Lumpy” Lucas joined the club and has remained a fixture ever since, playing for over 35 years and serving in various roles including Club President for over 20.
In 1982 the SFU Women Rugby team was established by Beth Scott with Dick Woldring as the original coach. That team help form the original West Coast Women’s Rugby Union and cement women’s rugby’s future as part of the BCRU. The 82 to 87 group of female won 4 BC Championships in a row and dominated women’s rugby in BC. The women’s team have won 6 BCRU championships total to date while the men have won 2.
SFU Rugby is unique in that it has students as well as non-students as players. That’s right! You don’t have to be a SFU student to play rugby at SFU. SFU has sponsored junior teams and high school teams over the past 20 years as part of its ongoing development. In the mid 1990’s the Mountain Old Boys side (MOB) was launched and played with the SFU club for years as part of the clubs structure of completion. The MOB now only plays for time to time, does occasional weekend spectator tours, and shows up at the annual alumni reunion event/family day in September each year to brag about how good they once were. Every 5 years a big reunion bash has been held when even more stories are told. The number of teams fielded by the club has varied over the years. We are also incredibly proud of the many volunteers the club has.
Having built a strong and enduring community of volunteers and alumni, SFU has since celebrated numerous victories, participated in international tours, and developed the foundation for continued success. The club has hosted the longest running 7-A-Side tournaments in BC annually since July of 1984 and has run summer rugby development camps for kids since then as well.
SFU is proud of the many trips the club has endeavoured in its history. California (1982 and 1984) by the men, California (1984) by the women, Bahamas (1991) by the men, England/Wales and Scotland (1995) by the men, Barcelona (2002) and Amsterdam (2005) by the women, China (2006) by the men, Texas and New Orleans (2011) by the men, Las Vegas (2009 and 2013) by the men, Canadian Maritimes (2015 by the men, and Dominican Republic (2018) by the men. On the 1982 tour a team cancelled at the last minute for an arranged fixture and the first ever SFU old guys vs young guys game was played in its stead in Santa Barbara California.
Male and female teams from SFU have played in many festivals over numerous years in Edmonton, Portland, Williams Lake, Washington, Oregon, California and in Montana as well as local tournaments galore. These are just a few examples of travel opportunities for students and non-student ruggers to travel and play rugby locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.
The SFU Rugby Club strives to become an elite rugby club and compete at the highest levels available in Canada. What is being called the Foundation Program, SFU Rugby seeks to further upgrade its facilities, increase recruitment and commitment, and build a stronger support base from its alumni.
Over the club’s history the club has had the pleasure of having many players play at a rep level. Please see the icon on the Home Page for a list of rep players.
BURSARIES AND AWARDS
The Burnaby Mountain Rugby Association, the alumni association of the SFU Rugby Club, has worked hard to expand the Bob Spray Rugby Endowment Fund at SFU which was established in 1989 by Dick Woldring and Darryl Lucas. This award gives bursaries to students and for special projects to enhance the sport of rugby at SFU. The fund continues to grow thanks to the support of alumni, family, and friends. It is the largest non-varsity sportsman/sportswoman supporting bursary at SFU with over 400k endowed to date. SFU Rugby continues to raise funds to meet an increasing demand for student support. There have been hundreds of different alumni and friends donate to the fund over the years.
A student’s commitment to improve their own rugby potential, community involvement as well as academic merit are considered when bursaries are awarded annually. The endowment has supported 198 students with over $111,000 in bursaries since 1993.
In addition to the Endowment Fund, a number of other past alumni offer special awards and bursaries to exceptional SFU student players each year. An example of this is the Darryl “Lumpy” Lucas award to a worthy SFU student each year.
In 2017 the SFU Rugby Operational Endowment Account was established by Darryl Lucas, Dick Woldring, Chris Collett and Steve Bennett. This endowed capital fund provides annual bursary funding to assist in paying for expenses of the club. The long range goal is to endow sufficient funding to cover all costs associated with running the club at SFU.
All donations to the club via SFU are tax deductible!
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES AND COMMITTED COACHING STAFF
SFU Rugby provides a unique experience for SFU students and non-students in being a club that focuses equally on the development of female and male athletes. Having coached at the provincial level – coaching representative teams – the head coaches for each of the men’s and women’s teams have numerous accolades of success and strive to motivate each and every player to excel and to challenge themselves. On top of outstanding coaches for developing the game of rugby, SFU Rugby also employs fitness coaches who develop specific workout routines and plans for both men and women for athletic development outside practices and in the off-seasons.
SFU Rugby has a strong commitment to its community and has developed a mini rugby and junior rugby program through its partnership with the Burnaby Mountain Rugby Club. In addition to these programs the SFU summer rugby camp program provides current students and players the ability to build strong and lasting connections with the community and to promote the sport of rugby in it. All of the community programs that SFU Rugby helps run, give non-student players and SFU students the ability to coach and mentor young aspiring rugby players which in turn help develop a better understanding of the game of rugby, its tactics and instills a confidence to improve themselves on and off the rugby field.
As mentioned before you don’t have to be an SFU student to play rugby at SFU! All players, regardless of experience, are welcome!
WORLD CLASS FACILITIES
SFU has world class facilities for training, practices and games. The teams practice on the first International Rugby Board approved artificial turf field in British Columbia that allows teams to train year-round under the best possible conditions available. In addition to the practice fields, the SFU weight room, gym, and pool are available and provide students with the opportunity to excel in their athletic abilities and to accomplish goals both inside and outside of their rugby career.
The purpose of the SFU Rugby Club is to provide our community with an accessible and affordable athletic program, ensuring the program is based upon opportunity and development. Every player will learn discipline, dedication, and the importance of teamwork. SFU Rugby places a great emphasis on RESPECT and we take special pride in being a part of a friendly and welcoming group environment.