Courtney Holtkamp

Courtney Holtkamp a rising rugby star

The Rimbey Spartans have put together one of the top high school girls rugby programs in the province. So when Courtney Holtkamp was moved onto the senior team in Grade 8 it was an indication of her talent.

The Rimbey Spartans have put together one of the top high school girls rugby programs in the province.

So when Courtney Holtkamp was moved onto the senior team in Grade 8 it was an indication of her talent.

“I was attending a Christian school at the time and the public school was short of players for their junior team and asked if there were any players who wanted to play,” she explained. “So I went out for the team and they eventually moved me up to the senior team.

‘The coach at the time told me I had a lot of potential and to keep working at it.”

She did just that and less than four years later she’s developed into one of the premier U18 players in the province.

The 16-year-old Grade 11 student is still playing with the Rimbey senior team, which finished third in the provincial high school Division II championships last season, and will join the Red Deer Titans Elite U18 team this season. She also competed for Team Alberta at the Canadian 7s U18 championships in Vancouver.

Holtkamp was first seen by the provincial coach at a Canadian prospects camp Jan. 9 in Red Deer.

“It was the only session I was able to attend,” she said. “I wanted to go out and see what it was like.

“They hold two sessions a month and there were about 80 girls and they picked 20 who are now in England. I hope to attend more of those camps and see were it goes.”

What she did do was play for the Alberta 7s team, finishing second. The championships were held in conjunction with the CIS championships and an international tournament. The final was played in B.C. Place in front of 30,000 fans.

“There were a lot of people … it was a great experience,” she said.

Holtkamp played centre back in high school and with the normal 15-a-side teams but played up front with the 7s.

“It was a little different playing up, but it was fun,” she said, adding she enjoys the 15s better.

“Mainly because I play it more, so really I kind of like both.”

At five-foot-11 and 180-pounds Holtkamp has the size to play wherever she wants.

She grew up working on a farm and takes her training seriously. She works out with the Titans School of Rugby and spends two days a week at Ignite Fitness in Red Deer as well as working out at home.

“There was a day last week when I worked out four times,” she said. “I work on speed and agility as well as spending 30 minutes on my core, 30 minutes on my upper body and 30 on the lower.”

She also practises twice a week with her high school team and will begin shortly working with the Titans U18 team.

An indication of her strength is last month she dead-lifted 315 pounds.

“That was last month, maybe it’s more now,” she said with a laugh.

But rugby isn’t the only thing she enjoys. She also played high school volleyball and competes in barrel racing, breakaway roping and team roping.

“I don’t compete seriously in team roping, but do it at home where we have steers,” she explained.

Holtkamp has two more years of high school rugby before she turns her attention to university.

“I hope to put enough hard work in to play at university and I hope to progress enough so that one day I can play for the Canadian team,” she said.

Looking at her dedication and work ethic, and her progression over the first three years in the sport, there’s no doubt she will be a strong contender for the national team down the road.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at www.rdc.ab.ca/athleticsblog.

Just Posted

Updated: Police seek driver who struck and killed mother of five

The pedestrian hit and killed on the Sunchild First Nation on Friday… Continue reading

Stettler county issues stop-work order to Paradise Shores

The County of Stettler says its municipal planning commission has issued a… Continue reading

Red Deer campers make the best out of chilly start to May long weekend

A chilly start to the May long weekend didn’t stop Red Deer… Continue reading

May long weekend off to cold start in Red Deer

Central Albertans are kicking off the May long weekend with a chilly… Continue reading

Red Deer woman seeks tougher laws after family dog killed by driver

An online petition launched a week ago has 1,300 supporters

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of 2019

The event is held every Saturday in the Servus Arena parking lot

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Stone scores hat trick as Canada dumps Germany 8-1 at world hockey championship

Canada 8, Germany 1 KOSICE, Slovakia — Canada extended its winning streak… Continue reading

Quebec credits new gun registry for huge jump in number of voluntary surrenders

MONTREAL — The Quebec government is crediting its new gun registry law… Continue reading

Two N.L. Independent say they look forward to minority government

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s recent election resulted in a… Continue reading

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

MONTREAL — A team of Montreal university researchers has developed an audible… Continue reading

Female lawmakers speak about rapes as abortion bills advance

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For more than two decades, Nancy Mace did not… Continue reading

Biden rejects Democrats’ anger in call for national unity

PHILADELPHIA — His party may be enraged by Donald Trump’s presidency, but… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $22 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $22 million jackpot… Continue reading

Most Read