Courtney Holtkamp

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw addressed vaccine uptake and the COVID-19 situation in the province Tuesday. (File photo by Government of Alberta)
Red Deer down to 817 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports 1,449 new cases

Red Deer Rebels goalie Chase Coward tries to find a loose puck during WHL action at the Centrium earlier this season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Changes on the horizon for Red Deer Rebels next season

New coach, roster adjustments among top priorities for Sutter this offseason

Renovations and construction have begun at Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo contributed)
Renovations underway at Red Deer Dream Centre

Christian-based addictions treatment centre

Red Deer County's municipal planning commission gave approval for a new directional sign for a business located near Elnora.
(Image from Red Deer County)
Red Deer County garden centre and winery gets sign approved

Delidais Estate Winery and DA Gardens is located near Elnora

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer County approves home-based hair salon

Salon would be located in rural residential area just west of Innisfail

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

In this June 8, 2017, file photo, fresh nuts, bolts and fittings are ready to be added to the east leg of the pipeline near St. Ignace, Mich., as Enbridge prepares to test the east and west sides of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac in Mackinaw City, Mich. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Dale G Young/Detroit News via AP, File
‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

This photo provided by World Food Prize shows Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Thilsted was named this year's recipient of the $250,000 World Food Prize, which was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize researchers who have improved the quality and availability of food. (Finn Thilsted/World Food Prize via AP)
World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

FILE - Norman Lloyd, executive producer of Hollywood Theater, a series of high-class dramatic shows seen on affiliated stations on the Public Broadcasting Service, poses for a photo on Dec. 26, 1974, in Los Angeles. Lloyd, the distinguished stage and screen actor known for his role as a kindly doctor on TV's "St. Elsewhere," has died at 106. Manager Marion Rosenberg said the actor died Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/George Brich, File)
‘Saboteur,’ ‘St. Elsewhere’ star Norman Lloyd dies at 106

‘Saboteur,’ ‘St. Elsewhere’ star Norman Lloyd dies at 106

A Palestinian man inspects the rubble of a partially destroyed residential building after it was hit by Israeli missile strikes, at the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, early Tuesday, May. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israel, Hamas trade deadly fire as confrontation escalates

Israel, Hamas trade deadly fire as confrontation escalates

Heidi Illingworth, federal ombudsman for victims of crime, takes part in an interview at her office in Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Watchdog worries federal benefit for parents of missing, murdered kids going unused

OTTAWA — The federal ombudsman for victims of crime says she remains… Continue reading

Most Read