Two Williams Lake rugby players will help lead Team BC at the upcoming National Rugby Championships in Quebec.
Jaime Carrier and Jasmyn Niquidet, both returning for their second years as members of Team BC’s U18 squad, will be looking to rewrite a loss in last year’s gold-medal match to Ontario, and will represent Williams Lake and their province at the tournament, which runs Aug. 6-12 in Sherbrooke, Que.
The duo were chosen following a grueling two-day identification camp held in Vancouver last month, and will be looked to as leaders on a team filled with several newcomers.
Carrier, who graduated from Columneetza Secondary School this past June, missed the camp due to grad; however, Niquidet, who is headed into her Grade 12 year at CSS, attended.
“It was tough,” Niquidet said. “The first day we ran a beep test, and then we were split into forwards and backs and did a bunch of drills. The second day we split up again and did drills, then played two games.”
Carrier was notified following the Provincial Regional Championships in Vancouver that she was invited back as a member of Team BC.
The team, coached by Carson Graham secondary’s Rick Pimlott, will have just over a handful of returning players.
“There are a lot of new girls,” Niquidet said. “I think we’ll be looked to as leaders, for sure, because I don’t think a lot of the girls know how stressful it is.”
Carrier said their experience playing last year will undoubtedly help ease some of that stress.
“I think, maybe, a lot of the younger ones don’t understand what it’s about,” Carrier said. “Last year, for me, it was very intense. It’s definitely an experience and it’s really serious [competition].”
The duo will leave July 31 from Williams Lake and head to Vancouver where they’ll take part in their second five-day training camp prior to nationals. The first came last week in Vancouver over another five-day span.
Both said Alberta and Ontario will most likely offer up their toughest challenges at nationals.
“We know they’re both going to be tough,” Niquidet said. “Last year, losing that gold medal game to Ontario, they were big girls.”
They added competing on the national stage is a lot of fun, and that they’re both looking forward to the opportunity to compete at that level again.
“After nationals last year I felt like I had a different kind of knowledge of rugby, and I felt like I improved so much,” Niquidet said. “It’s great to play really high level teams.”
To help cover some of the girls’ travel costs the Williams Lake Rustlers donated $400 to each of the girls.
“That is so nice and so generous,” Niquidet said.
“It’s phenomenal,” Carrier added.