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Red Deer to host 2024 ASAA Rugby XV Provincial Championships

Teams from across Alberta will be here in June
The Notre Dame Cougars senior girl’s rugby team won the central zone championship last season. They’ll look to do it once again this year. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

The 2024 ASAA Rugby XV Provincial Championships are coming to Red Deer.

Due to the ongoing job action in Saskatchewan, Lloydminster Comprehensive School had to back out from hosting, which opened the door of opportunity for Red Deer.

Notre Dame High School had previously entered a bid for the tournament and once Lloydminster had pulled out, were awarded the provincial championship on April 19 by the committee.

Notre Dame senior girls rugby head coach Ian Rattan, who had a hand in bringing the tournament to Red Deer, said it’s a big win for the community.

“Rugby is still one of those sports that’s still kind of a niche sport… It will be awesome just for the amount of eyeballs that we’ll get to that rugby championship. Just casual fans or spectators coming to watch a game they might’ve never seen,” Rattan said.

“Maybe it’ll help out the club programs that the Red Deer Titans run to get some younger kids playing rugby, which would help out at the high school level. Instead of starting in Grade 10 maybe they’ll start at Grade 7 or 8.”

The 2024 ASAA Rugby XV Provincial Championships will be held in Red Deer on June 7 and 8. They’ll host teams from across Alberta who play at the high school Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III levels.

Rattan explained the Tier I girls and boys teams will play at the field at Notre Dame High School, Tier II girls, and boys will suit up at Titans Field, and the Tier III girls will play at Annie L. Gaetz Elementary School.

He anticipates this is the first time a Red Deer school has hosted rugby provincials since 2005 when the Cougars hosted it at Titans Field.

“The idea behind trying to get the bid in was we have great rugby that’s played in central Alberta, great rugby athletes in central Alberta, and great facilities,” he said.

“For whatever reason central Alberta has never had a provincial championship for rugby. It goes to Lethbridge, Edmonton, Calgary, and to the north but we get skipped… It was one of those things where we have the facilities, athletes, and the desire to do it. It would be awesome if we could host, show everybody what we’re made of, and get on that rotation.”

The Central Alberta high school rugby season officially kicks off on Wednesday, May 1 with multiple games on the schedule.

The Hunting Hills High School senior girls will take on Notre Dame High School at Titans Field at 5 p.m. The senior boys will play immediately following at 6:30 p.m.

Lacombe High School will play in Rimbey at 5 p.m. and the Stettler senior boys will take on St. Joseph High School at 5 p.m.

In Rocky Mountain House, West Central will host the Lindsay Thurber High School boys and girls teams at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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