PARENTS REQUEST PRAYERS FOR SON'S SPINAL INJURY SUFFERED IN A RUGBY GAME - by Gina Weeks.
Juhdah Campbell from Kelowna BC who the son of pastors Wesley and Stacey Campbell is recovering from serious injuries he suffered at a rugby game Saturday.
According to a message the couple sent out on social media, Judah Campbell hit his head during a rugby game and broke his neck. His spinal cord is also severely injured, and immediately after the accident he had no ability to move from the neck down.
In their message, the couple asked for prayer for Judah's spinal cord to be healed, for “his emotions not to sink,” for his girlfriend and that he will “walk again and be normal.”
Wesley Campbell wrote Monday on a Facebook page set up for people wanting to follow his son’s recovery process that Judah has improved.
“Since Sunday there has been an increase in the mobility of Judah’s limbs,” he said. “Judah can move his toes, and bend his ankles like he were putting his foot on a gas pedal. Today we were excited to see Judah raise his leg a few inches off the bed ... unassisted. This is very good news and a marked improvement from day 1.”
Campbell also wrote that Judah could somewhat lift his arm and could bend it at the elbow.
“Once the vertebrae are aligned and the swelling has gone down, they will undertake a serious operation on his neck … to repair the fracture,” he said. “They talked about putting in a hard plastic part or a piece of bone from his hip, as well as metal plates and screws. The operation will be from the front of his neck as well as the backside of his neck. They are expecting to operate sometime this week between Wednesday to Saturday. They mentioned that there is a 1% risk of heart attack or stroke, which is something, we all want prayer for as well.”
He asked for prayer that the swelling would go down, the realignment be complete and the spinal cord recovers entirely. He reported that Judah is in good spirits.
“I asked Judah today how he was doing emotionally? He said in typical Judah manner, ‘I’m good.’ Judah so much appreciates everyone’s concern and their prayers.”
Judah’s girlfriend, Alex “Lex Ann,” shared an update Tuesday morning.
“Last night was the best night that both Judah and I have had in the hospital since his arrival,” she wrote.
Alex said Judah’s doctors are in agreement that he will have surgery on the front and back of his neck, and he is fasting so he can be prepared for surgery at any time.
“Today is another fresh start and God makes all things new!" she wrote. "Excited to see where today will lead and what new progress is in store for us all in regards to Judah. He is so incredibly strong and so positive despite it all and I am very proud of him.”
The page “Judah Campbell Recovery,” where his girlfriend and family members are posting updates, was created Sunday morning and has more than 3,000 followers.
CANADIAN RUGBY EXPANDS NEW TRAINING CENTRE - by Cleve Dheensaw the Victoria Times Colonist - Oct.7,2013
Picture is of Rugby Canada CEO Graham Brown, general manager Mike Chu, Langford Mayor Stew Young and International Rugby Board council member John Jeffrey took part in the groundbreaking Monday for the new facility in Langford
Canada CEO Graham Brown still remembers the “gravel road” he travelled up a few years ago to what is now Westhills Stadium to meet for the first time Langford Mayor Stew Young. That track is now Glen Lake Road and it leads to the Rugby Canada Centre of Excellence.
Ground was broken Monday for the latest addition to the centre, a 20,000-square-foot facility immediately behind Westhills Stadium and across from the previously completed Rugby Canada offices.
The new world-class facility will feature a high-performance gym for training and testing, locker-rooms, medical area, hydro therapy suite, video analysis suite, players study lounge/cafeteria and kitchen, equipment storage and six residential apartment units for short-term athlete accommodation. Construction time frame is estimated between 12 to 18 months.
“Victoria is a great place for our national team athletes because so many Olympic athletes in other sports train here, too,” said Brown.
“This addition is not the Taj Mahal. But it is ultra-functional, allowing for rugby training, rehab and development in one place. We will have our locker-rooms right next to our hydro therapy and video analysis, which in turn is right next to our training fields [Westhills Stadium and Goudy Field].”
The new building and fittings, which Brown estimates will cost between $4 million and $5 million, is a partnership between Langford and Rugby Canada, the latter which has embarked on a capital fundraising campaign with a goal of $3.5 million. Young estimated Langford will contribute between $2 million to $3 million, including land and in-kind, to be recouped over 20 years from Rugby Canada.
The gym part will also be accessible to the public.
“The No. 1 thing we do in Langford is provide recreation and activities,” said the mayor.
“We have the weather, land base and residents and council that are enthusiastic about it. We want sports and sports tourism here.”
Case in point is the International Rugby Board Americas Championship tournament beginning this week at Westhills Stadium featuring Canada, Argentina, Uruguay and the United States.
Westhills Stadium and the rugby centre sit next to the adjacent Goudy Field, an ice arena, dryland arena and bowling alley — all recently built. And Young said he isn’t done yet, planning on three more artificial-turf fields and another arena. He envisions attracting more national teams to set up training headquarters in Langford in the years ahead, potentially targeting Soccer Canada and Tennis Canada, although he said those dreams are in their “infancy.”
In rugby, Langford has teamed with a sport on the rise.
“Inclusion in the Olympics [sevens makes its Summer Games debut at Rio 2016] has moved rugby to front of mind,” said Brown, also noting the huge inroads made by women’s rugby.
“Rugby long passed football in being played in more Canadian schools and is well past ice hockey in that regard. We [men’s national team] sold-out BMO Field [in Toronto] for our Test match against Ireland over the summer and we are well ahead of that pace in selling out our game against the New Zealand Maori next month at BMO Field. There is a buzz about rugby now.”
Young proudly pointed to the crane on site Monday and noted that while many of the big games will be played at BMO Field, Rio and other stadiums around the world, the Canadian players will have a virtual Made-in-Langford logo stamped on them.
PENN STATE SOPHOMORE RUGBY PLAYER HAS NOT SEEN DEAFNESS AS A LIABILITY - by Brenda Wang on the Daily Pennsylvanian on October 6, 2013
PENN STATE SOPHOMORE RUGBY PLAYER HAS NOT SEEN DEAFNESS AS A LIABILITY - by Brenda Wang on the Daily Pennsylvanian on October 6, 2013
Sophia Hu adeptly navigates the crowds of the Night Market in Chinatown, avoiding sloshing cups of beer. We are searching for ice cream to top off the night. This is when Sophia’s rugby skills become apparent, as she pushes through the throngs of people like she’s trying to score a goal against Princeton.
What is not so apparent is that, in addition to being a sophomore at Penn, an athlete and a chemistry major, Sophia also happens to be deaf.
She’s adamant about the terminology — she is deaf, not hearing impaired. “I’ve never thought of deaf culture as a disability,” she says. “Deaf culture is an actual culture … it means you recognize deafness as an identity and not a disability.”
Being deaf certainly has not stopped Sophia. As a member of the rugby team, she runs around and gets tackled on a field for four hours every week. “It’s awesome … I’ve always been fascinated with rugby since I was little,” she said.
Her love of rugby doesn’t stem from winning games. “Rugby emphasizes a lot of teamwork … It’s amazing how whenever I’m down and I need someone to support me, I always have a teammate there behind me to help me.”
However, there are some complications in playing rugby due to being deaf. “I have to be more visually aware. I can call out but they can’t call out to me.”
Sophia is by definition, completely deaf. But she is able to hear at least partially, because she received a cochlear implant at age three. She then lip reads to match the sounds from the implant to words. It is an imperfect process, especially when there is a lot of ambient noise or when many people are speaking.
This becomes clear as we join a few hallmates at the Night Market last week for bubble tea. The flurry of voices and loud music make conversation difficult, and we end up communicating through facial expressions, or in the end, inadvertently leaving Sophia out.
Sophia’s sister Jennifer, a senior at Swarthmore College, describes this phenomenon as a subtle example of the “isolation in the hearing world” that deaf people face. Called “dinner party syndrome,” it occurs when a deaf person is interacting with a group of hearing people who do not sign, so the deaf person ends up “pretty much sitting and eating dinner alone.”
The social aspect of interacting with other people can at times be difficult. Although Penn barely has a deaf culture, Sophia decided to attend Penn over the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, which has a population of 1,269 undergraduates who are deaf. According to Sophia, there are two completely deaf undergraduates at Penn – she and her friend Connor McLauren, a College sophomore.
“You can keep up academically, but not socially…. I don’t go to dances [or] parties much. If it’s a debate club I’ll never join that,” Sophia said. Penn also provides less romantic prospects, since according to her, “most deaf people tend to date other people in the deaf culture.”
Connor agrees that the lack of deaf culture can be disappointing at times. “Sophia and I are pretty good friends and we have each other and that’s pretty much it.”
However, he also sees his time at Penn as an opportunity. “I think Sophia and I are going to help educate people on deaf culture.”
Sophia has experienced this lack of understanding of deaf culture in her life. She recalled an experience where a woman she met at a restaurant, upon learning that Sophia was deaf, immediately started shouting and using exaggerated hand motions to communicate. “I wish I could let them know deaf people are normal…. I tell them to think of deaf people as foreigners who speak a different language.”
But Sophia doesn’t let these experiences dishearten her. “There are things that are harder for me to do but I can still do them.” After a beat, she admits, “Of course, I can’t sing.”
Howlers' Stevi Schnoor and her father are travelling to Africa with "A Better World" (http://www.a-better-world.ca/) for 2 weeks at the end of October. She will be taking with a bag filed with Dog River Howler Rugby Club balls along with rugby jerseys and t-shirts for children in Kenya.. Thanks to everyone from across the country who have donated all this rugby "stuff" for this most worthy cause.
A Better World employs an approach focused on total Community Development. A series of initiatives are designed to provide communities with a holistic approach tailored specifically for their needs. This ensures that all factors of poverty are being addressed and the foundations necessary for a healthier, more productive society, and ultimately one that is free of poverty, are in place.
Rugby Canada turns to former captain to help raise funds to help players BY NEIL DAVIDSON, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Al Charron put his body on the line 76 times for Canada, including four Rugby World Cups. And having played at home and professionally overseas, the former Canadian captain knows what it takes to succeed.
His job now is to convince others to dig into their wallets and help ease the path of today's player.
The addition of rugby sevens to the Olympics has changed the financial picture for Rugby Canada. So have the demands on players at the top level. Rugby is a full-time job, be it the seven- or 15-man version of the game.
Canada, which does not have a professional league, faces challenges many of its competitors don't. So Charron is looking for supporters of the sport to step up and help close the gap.
"If we're trying to compete with other countries in this world whose athletes are playing professionally and playing in a league structure, we've got to do as best as we can to keep on pace," Charron said.
"Canada, as much as we're improving in creating a bigger pool of players to pick from, we're still not in a position where we can afford to lose blue-chip players because they cannot afford it (rugby)."
The 47-year-old Charron started doing some volunteer alumni relations for Rugby Canada. That eventually turned into a full-time job with the emphasis on fundraising. Today he spearheads the National Players Support Program, with help from former Canadian internationals Tom Woods and Gareth Rees (Rugby Canada's manager of national men's programs).
Charron looks to individuals and, in some cases, companies to help raise funds that are used for everything from proper nutrition and coaching for players to their room and board and travel.
The initial goal was $300,000 by the end of 2013, to help fund 60 players.
Charron, Rugby Canada's manager of player advancement and alumni relations, is searching for so-called rugby ambassadors who can donate $5,000, or a smaller gift along with contacts to help make up the rest as part of a so-called pod.
The pod members can get updates from their player, not to mention a tax receipt.
"I'm quite excited by the reaction I'm getting," said Charron.
That's good since Rugby Canada has already spent some of the money on its players.
The donations all go to help the playing talent, other than a small charge to cover the costs of processing donations over the Internet and 10 per cent which goes to the Canadian Rugby Foundation endowment fund.
Charron, whose salary comes from another part of Rugby Canada's budget, is an ideal candidate to head the program.
At six foot five, he is hard to miss. He unfurls rather than gets out of a chair and shaking hands with him is like sticking your mitt in a giant ball of pizza dough. Charron's crooked grin is infectious.
He is also a rugby icon, who exited the sport on his shield after being targeted by a brutal hit from Tongan Pierre Hola at the 2003 World Cup in Australia. Charron, whose rugby memory is impeccable, still wonders where the penalty was on the play.
A bloody Charron was knocked out by Hola. But he returned later that night to a standing ovation at the Canadian team hotel.
Charron is still fighting for Canadian rugby, promising that all money raised will go to the players who need it.
"We're not looking to give money to our professional players. They're looked after," said Charron.
It will instead go to domestic players, many of whom train full-time at Rugby Canada's Centre for Excellence in Langford, B.C.
While some of those are carded sevens athletes receiving a monthly stipend from government coffers (there are 19 women and 18 men getting up to $1,500 a month if they qualify for an A card), the money does not go far.
Also the addition of sevens rugby to the Olympics has prompted Own The Podium to focus its funding on the sevens game. So props and second-row forwards have essentially been left out in the cold when it comes to such financial assistance.
Rugby Canada is not crying poor. The sport's governing body is probably in better shape than ever. But its resources pale in comparison with those of rival nations.
And it is having to deal with an imbalance in sport funding due to the emphasis on sevens and the Olympics. Rugby Canada CEO Graham Brown, while not complaining, notes that the Canadian women's sevens team is probably better looked after than the men's 15s.
For the players, financial concerns can bleed into training.
"This is particularly frustrating on the international stage when you know the support and money available to your opposite number is not an issue for them," prop Hubert Buydens writes in a pamphlet on the fundraising program. "As Canadians we are asked to do the same job but it is not always funded in the same way."
The women's sevens program is due to get $1.7 million and the men $750,000 from Own the Podium in the 2013-14 funding year.
One of Charron's program goals is to provide nutritious meals for players "which is normal practice for professional clubs overseas."
Rugby Canada is already providing meals — breakfast and lunch two days a week — at its Langford facility. The goal is to do it five days a week.
"It's ridiculous sometimes what we were asking our Canadian athletes to do in the past," Charron said. "We were asking them to train like an Olympic athlete, an elite athlete, yet we were asking them to make do with a McDonald's breakfast or no breakfast."
Another way the money may be used is to help fly a player like Ciaran Hearn home to Newfoundland and Labrador every once in a while.
Rugby Canada hopes people will make an annual commitment, although participants can back out at any time. If anything, the program will get bigger than smaller.
"At the same time we also realize that $5,000 per player over the course of a year isn't going very far so we're probably going to need to expand that at some point and increase it from more than 60 athletes," Charron said.
While Canada looks to support its domestic athletes, it also hopes to get more overseas where they can benefit from elite competition. That in turn opens up a spot for a young athlete to develop at home.
"We can match athletes I think. We can't match game experience and that shows itself sometimes," said Charron, "because we can battle with them for 40-50 minutes and then the floodgates open up."
Charron believes Canada is on the move, but notes so are other counties. Money is needed to keep pace.
And time is of the essence.
Canada's 15-man team opens its 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign Saturday in South Carolina with the opening leg of a two-match total points series that concludes Aug. 24 at Toronto's BMO Field.
The Canadian women are aiming for the 2014 World Cup,
The sevens game, for both men and women, will debut at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
In the 15-player version of the game, the Canadian men are currently ranked 15th in the world while the women are coming off two wins over powerful England in claiming their first Nations Cup.
The Canadian men turned heads with wins over Fiji and Tonga this summer.
On the sevens side, the Canadian men and women went a combined 9-3 at this summer's Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, losing only to eventual winners New Zealand.
The women were runners-up to the Black Ferns, whom they lost to twice. They also placed third in the inaugural IRB Women's Sevens World Series.
The Canadian men won the consolation Plate in Moscow, going 5-1 after a loss to the All Blocks. Having earned core status on the annual HSBC World Series, the Canadians finished 12th in the overall standings with standout performances on several stops of the tour.
Brown says beating New Zealand on a regular basis in sevens may be insurmountable. But he reckons a 30 per cent increase in funding will go a long way to beating the other teams.
"The bar keeps getting raised every time we do it. And we have to keep finding ways to do it," he said.
Brown points to plenty of positives, however. The summer friendly against Ireland at BMO Field produced turnover of almost $1 million thanks to a record home crowd of 20,396.
And Charron notes the sport is far more visible these days, thanks to television and other avenues.
Charron also argues that more people are playing rugby — "women's rugby has exploded" — so old myths like the game has a beer culture or high injury rate are being disavowed.
"Once you learn about the sport, it's a fantastic sport," said Charron, who played professionally for Moseley and Bristol in England and Dax and Pau in France.
Nowadays both parents may have played rugby in the past, with Charron pointing to a memorable example.
Stephanie White, captain of Canada's first women's World Cup team, is married to former men's captain Hans de Goede. Their son Thyssen has played for the national sevens team, while their daughter played for an under-18 B.C. rep side at the Las Vegas sevens.
Other countries are also reaping the same rewards.
Charron points to the U.S., which he says is getting its rugby act together. He calls it "a double-edged sword for us" because while it will attract more attention to the sport, it will also entice better athletes to wear the American colours.
But Charron also predicts the jump in interest north of the border to continue.
"Rugby is going to explode, based on the Olympics."
Contact Al Charron at firstname.lastname@example.org
Howlers" Back To The Future " - this is the 22nd in a series featuring Canada's ex international rugby players - JULIE MCGANN - TAYLOR
Julie McGann -Taylor
Nick name :
Liverpool, England . April 17th,1967
Early rugby :
Played for Brampton Rugby Club 1990- 2000
Lindsay RFC 2003-2004
Peterborough RFC 2004-2006
Brampton RFC 2006-2008
Toronto Lions RFC 2008-2010
Bournemouth FC 2010-2012
Played for all these clubs from the age of 23 to 44
Played for Ontario RFC from 1990 to 2001 age 23-34
Played for Canada from 1992 to 1995 age 24 to 28
Went to Bermuda in 2007 for the over 40s Canada vs England.....Fabulous time and some amazing memories!!!
Later rugby :
My first cap was in 1992 Can-Am game in Minnesota
1993 played in the Canada Cup against USA Wales and England
1994 went to World Cup in Scotland played against Wales, Kazakhstan, Japan and England
My brother Tony was my biggest influence. He was an amazing player. I grew up watching him since i can remember every Saturday at the Welsh RFC in Toronto then at the Beach Rugby club in the Beaches. He was phenomenal.!!! Watching him gave me all the knowledge on how to scrum half. He also represented Ontario and Canada.
Most memorable rugby game(s)/experience(s)/memories:
My most memorable game was for the Lions in 2010. I was playing scrum half and my daughter was playing fullback. She was an amazing player but went into Marathon running. Having her on my team was a great feeling and seeing how good she was made me soooo proud!!!. She too could have done all i did.
How did rugby effect/influence your life:
Rugby has effected my life in only positive ways!! My brother played for the Welsh Rugby Cub in Toronto when we first moved here from England. My whole family went to the game every Sunday along with tons of other families. All the people i met when was ten years old are still in my life and very very close to me!! They are like family!! We all went on TOUR with the Toronto Welsh when I was 15 to Wales and it was amazing!! People like Steve, Margit, Dave, Graham, Phil, Carole, Dave George, Rosemary,Terry, Sharon, Christine , Jane, Jennifer, Sarah, Loralie, Gerwin, Margit and Sandra....the list could go on and on but all these people are still in my life and extremely close. As for my friends Sue, Lou , Angie ,Dot , Lucia Jill ,Kelly,Heather, Allison, Kent, Glenn, Moira, Annette, Kevin Jones, Phil White, jJm Andelora,, Brian Kelly, Shelaine, Steph, Ruth, Kim, ...that list could go on forever and ever as we played together and against each other for 20 years and we are all friends and still stay close. Wether it was club level playing against each other or Ontario and Canada on the same team there is a bond we have. We understand each other and unless you have played rugby or been apart of it you just wont understand.
Current involvement in rugby:
As of now I have just returned to Canada after travelling for three years. Playing in Bournemouth England and in Cyprus. This year I am coaching a high school team in Milton and hopefully I will always stay involved in the sport someway!!! Hopefully my Grandchildren will play!!! When my kids have some children!! lol
What are you doing now (residence, work, family etc):
I am living in Milton Ontario and I am in management at the Columbia Sportswear store in Halton Ontario. My Children are grown up. My daughter Natasha is a police officer and my son Kenton is in tool and dye. They are both phenomenal athletes. My son was and is an amazing hockey and soccer player and my daughter competes in marathons and qualified for the Boston Marathon and the Chicago Marathon. I am a very proud mother.I am married to an amazing man and have an amazing life. I am very very blessed
Input/suggestions for Canadian rugby and or young players:
I think we should still concentrate on 15 s and not just 7s. I find in the women's department a lot of time is spent on the 7's because of the upcoming Olympics but 15s is really rugby. I don't think you should have to move to BC to represent your country either. If that had been a rule when I played i wouldn't have been able to as i was a mother of 2 babies...
Recently Canadian National Team 7's coach Geraint John received a call from former Canadian National Team sprinter Emmanuel Parris that he was interested in taking up rugby with the hopes of playing for Canada in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Emmanuel has been training with the national team for the last few weeks. To get some on field experience Emmanuel will be joining the Howlers for the Havana Howlers 7's (Nov. 30 & Dec. 1)in Cuba and then the Tobago 7's.( Dec. 7 & .
I similar scenario took place with former USA track athlete Carlin Isles( 100m - 10.24) who is now part of the USA National 7's Team.
Below are Emmanuel's times for various distances:
50 Metres 5.84 09 JAN 2009
60 Metres 6.60 06 FEB 2006
100 Metres 10.26 16 MAY 2008
Howlers" Back To The Future " - this is the 15Th in a series featuring Canada's ex international rugby players - ANGIE HAY
Clearwater 1975Early rugby :
UBC 1994-1998 Team BC 1997- 2000? Development Canada Squad 1998 Team Canada 1999
Later rugby :
3 caps Summer of 1999 and fall of 1999
How did rugby effect/influence your life:
I felt like i had found my people when I started playing in University! I had always had to try to "calm" down in other sports prior to rugby. Oh how fun to finally play a sport and go all out!
What are you doing now :
Living in Victoria and am a mama of 2 kiddies ages 7 and 5 and I work as a Crossfit Trainer at Crossfit Taranis.
Input/suggestions for Canadian rugby and or young players:
Enjoy it - enjoy the people in the community and the beauty of the game! Get as fit as you can and attempt to find balance in your life.
It is more than a game, it is a way of life!