Aug. 9 marked the 10th Annual Highland Festival Rugby Tournament, as 750 players and coaches, along with parents and siblings, enjoyed a busy day of rugby.
Forty two teams competed in Minis Flag Rugby.
Piped in by Shaun Aitken, 28 teams competed at the U-12 level which is seven players a side and contact rugby – the field is smaller than a regular rugby field. Most teams in this division had four games. Highland had three teams in this division – two boys teams and one all-girls team (the only all-female team in southern Ontario).
The U-10 highlight – an exhibition game for girls – included three round robin games and a break to have all the girls from all the teams join in two exhibition games, then resumed tournament games.
A U-6 exhibition game took place as well. Communities taking part included Brantford, Bruce County, Stoney Creek, Oakville, Burlington, Guelph, Waterloo, Oshawa, Hamilton, Georgian Bay, London, Markham, North Halton, Aurora, Toronto and Highland.
Success can be attributed to all the Highland volunteers – parents, coaches, executive, senior players.
Sunday marked a Juniors Tournament. In the U-14 boys Sevens Tournament, players were from Brantford, Bruce County and Highland. As for the U-15 girls, players were from Belleville, Oakville, Norfolk County, Stoney Creek and Highland. The boys had two games each and the girls had three games, and before they headed home enjoyed barbecued burgers.
The plan is to expand the Juniors Tournament for next year to include U-16 boys.
Rugby continues to grow in Fergus with the largest group of players at the young age groups.