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Club Helps Olympic Hopefuls Train

National Teams

Club Helps Olympic Hopefuls Train

The USA players plus members of Olympia's Budd Bay Rugby Club pose together.

The Olympics came to Olympia, sort of, as the USA, Canada, and Brazil women’s 7s teams scrimmaged in the Washington state capital this week.

The meeting worked out nicely for all concerned, as the Canadians took the ferry from Victoria, BC to Port Angeles and then drove south to Olympia. The USA was then able to fly up to Seattle and drive to Olympia, and the Brazilians needed to make the trip anyway. Somehow it worked, and it wouldn’t have come off were it not for the Budd Bay Rugby Club.

(Full disclosure, this is the writer’s home rugby club.)

Nicole Mathis, the club fields coordinator and a parent of a Budd Bay HS player, was contacted by Emilie Bydwell with Atavus and the USA program at the end of April looking for a place for the teams to train. While Bydwell and coaches were traveling around, Mathis managed communications and coordinated with the Budd Bay club to find space and set up the week’s activities.

The club’s regular game field at Rainier Vista Park was made available for the Canadian team, and then The Evergreen State College’s huge fields were secured for the five teams (Canada and USA fielded two squads) to train and play on. 

The club donated training equipment for the teams to use, and manpower, led by Dan Dillashaw, to line fields and set up the posts. And when they got the OK to have spectators, they mobiles support in that way.

The games on Tuesday and Wednesday were well-attended with men and women from the region. Mathis was able to get local press coverage (aside from Goff Rugby Report!), and KING5 TV in Seattle ran a report on the training and local players Kelsi Stockert (a who got her start with the Budd Bay Steelheads girls HS team) and Megan Bonny. 

The USA team gave the club three cheers and signed balls and a shirt for the club.

It was a classic example of how much the rugby populace wants to help their national teams, their elite athletes, and USA Rugby. All anyone had to do was ask.

“We hope,” said Mathis, ”that they see what we were able to do and the venues we have here and they will come back. We loved having them here.”

“Evergreen is a great facility. It’s been a complete pleasure to be here,” said Canada star Jen Kish.

“It’s awesome,” added Eagle 7s player Jessica Javelet. “The other teams on the series are playing other international teams. So it’s great to get in something big like this. People have come to watch us here in the forest. The weather’s been great, and it’s so pretty and everyone’s worked really hard to make it happen. We’re grateful to have this opportunity.”