Meagan’s Blog

Dec 31 2014

As the New Year quickly approaches, it only seems appropriate to reflect on what this past year has brought. It was early in the previous year when my mom and I discovered the Vancouver Island Thunder program. An aspiring rugby team with a mission to promote the sport to Aboriginal youth on Vancouver Island, with the help of national team member (both 15’s and 7’s) Phil Mack. It was the first program of its kind, and playing for the team was a goal I planned to achieve in 2014. We had then contacted John Lyall, the man in charge of the operation to see if I could possibly be a part of the team as they planned to eventually compete in the summer at a 7’s tournament held at UVic. Luckily, John agreed to having me come out to play and I had achieved that goal. Nothing excited me more than the thought of the opportunity I was about to get.

Hearing that the final Vancouver Island Thunder camp would be held at Shawnigan Lake School was a dream come true.  A friend of mine had trained at Shawnigan a few years back, and I’ve seen it being advertised in every rugby magazine I’ve laid eyes on. Hearing there was an available scholarship for a Thunder member was another story for me. The second I stepped foot onto that campus, I told my mom I was not going home and suddenly that became a possibility. Not only was the school physically appealing, but also the values that they hold. Shawnigan is a school that is treated like a community, everybody supports one another. The school motto is “Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat” which [symbolically] translates to “Let the rewards go to those who have worked to deserve them”. Shawnigan believes that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and put in the work to achieve it, and I think that speaks louder than anything anyone could tell you about the school.

Trying out for my school rugby team in ninth grade was the first thing that ever showed me branching out can do no harm. Although I have only played for a few years, this sport has shaped my life and given me opportunities and experiences that I would have not otherwise had. Vancouver Island Thunder is a team that allows aboriginal youth to branch out and try something new. Coach Phil Mack is an amazing example of what rugby can do for you.

Meagan with Brandon and Kyle – Thunder teammates

About the Author