Jordyn Brent, a Grade-8 student at Houston Secondary School, has recently returned from a rugby tournament in the U.S., where her team placed fourth out of eight U14 girls teams.
The North America Invitational 7s tournament, held Aug. 2-3 in Salt Lake City, Utah, showcased 7s athletes from the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
Jordyn said her favourite part of the tournament was having the opportunity to play with the Drayton Valley Riggers, a U14 team from Alberta.
“Just to be invited as an outsider from a completely different province was cool,” she said.
Her mother, Trina Brent, pointed out that her team played in the semi-finals and was not far from placing third.
“Losing by one point is not too bad,” said Trina after they returned to Houston.
Trina said the community came together to help them pay for travel costs.
“[After we knew Jordyn was going to Utah], we immediately went into fundraising mode and started collecting bottles from our friends and family,” said Trina. “Word spread, and people and businesses donated cash. We are very grateful to the people of Houston.”
Jordyn said the tournament was a cultural experience for them.
“There were so many players from all over the world. There was a team from Hawaii an lots of different rugby tents with country flags and blasting music.”
The tournament was also an opportunity to be inspired by high-caliber players, said Trina.
“It was such an opportunity to go and see the different levels. There was incredible talent down there.”
“We got to watch some of the older players and they were so good.”
Trina said her daughter ended up playing with an Alberta team after shining at high school provincials earlier this summer. Jordyn and another player from B.C. were invited by a coach with the Thompson Okanagan Rugby Association program to join the Drayton Valley Riggers in Utah.
“Rugby is really taking off for her,” said Trina.
The 14-year-old student, who also loves figure skating, only started playing rugby this year. She now plans to keep the ball rolling.
“I hope more opportunities to play in other places come up too,” said Jordyn.