Williams Lake’s Kayla Moleschi is heading to Rio, Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Moleschi was named as one of 12 athletes and staff nominated to represent Canada at the inaugural rugby sevens competition Friday morning.
Edmonton’s Jen Kish will capatain a side that also features Britt Benn, Hannah Darling, Bianca Farella, Ghislaine Landry, Megan Lukan, Moleschi, Karen Paquin, Kelly Russell, Ashley Steacy, Natasha Watcham-Roy and Charity Williams.
“I’m excited about the team we’ve assembled for the Rio Olympics as we take part in the historic debut of rugby sevens,” Head Coach John Tait said. “We’re looking forward to building off of our recent success, playing on the world’s biggest stage and making our country proud.”
Four provinces are represented in Canada’s roster with six players from Ontario, three from Quebec, two from Alberta and one from B.C., being Moleschi.
“The whole team is so excited to represent Canada in this historic event,” Kish said. “We cannot wait to hit the field in Rio and represent our country with the entire world watching.”
Nine members of Canada’s gold winning team at the 2015 Pan-Am Games are included in the historic first Canadian Women’s Rugby Sevens Olympic squad in Benn, Darling, Kish, Landry, Moleschi, Paquin, Russell, Steacy and Watcham-Roy.
Canada sealed its spot in the inaugural Olympics rugby sevens event courtesy of a second place finish on the 2014-15 HSBC Women’s Sevens Series, the best season finish in program history.
Canada clinched its Olympics spot at the Amsterdam Sevens — the final event of the season schedule — a tournament they would go on to win to claim its first ever HSBC Women’s Sevens Series cup title.
After winning gold at last year’s Pan-Am Games in Toronto, Canada finished third on the 2015-16 HSBC Women’s Sevens Series and concluded the season with acup win at the inaugural Clermont Sevens, the second in program history.
Landry, who led the season in points scoring with 158, was named to the World Rugby HSBC Women’s Sevens Series Season Dream Team.
Canada is 81-35-4 all-time in the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series with two Cup Titles while averaging 20.99 points per game.
Canada will continue its pre-Olympic preparations on Vancouver Island at Rugby Canada’s Centre of Excellence as well as the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE).
On July 26, an Olympic Media Celebration and RIO Send Off will take place at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto from 12pm – 1pm.
The women’s rugby sevens event takes place at Deodoro Stadium from Aug. 6-8.
Broadcast details for the rugby sevens event at the 2016 Rio Olympics will be confirmed in the coming weeks.