I’m all about that… student-athlete life

Hi My UVic world,

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA, but that past few weeks have been unbelievably busy and, no, I’m not just saying that.

I was going to attempt a video blog (vlog), but I couldn’t bear to watch myself on the camera. It was rather painful… I’m not a YouTube star for a reason.

Jess banquetAnyway, I wanted to write a little (probably won’t end up being a very little blog) summary about the past few weeks and some of the amazing adventures and opportunities I’ve had.

1) The annual Vikes Athletic Banquet! A night of celebrating a year of sport and accomplishments of individuals and teams at UVic.

It’s a great chance to get to know other varsity athletes outside your own bubble of sport and to learn about some of the inspiring Vikes alumni who are being inducted into the Vikes Hall of Fame. There were some incredible stories.

There was a great video put together by the Varsity Council to show varsity teams in action.

Added bonus of Varsity Night is seeing teammates get dressed up…who knew!

banquet Jess

IMG_03172) Last semester I took Coaching Studies 361 where you get your NCCP basic coaching certification and part of the course is to actually apply those skills you learned and coach a team.

This semester I’ve been coaching the Oak Bay High School Girl’s Rugby team and it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. The progress the team has made throughout the year has been unbelievable.

On April 10, we had Island Qualifiers at Brentwood College, to qualify for a spot in the Provincial 7s Championships.

We played the best teams on Vancouver Island and learned a great deal. At the end of the day we finished 4th to nab a spot for Provincials the next week!

The girls went on to win the shield at Provincials AND became the first team in the history of Oak Bay Girl’s Rugby to qualify for Provincials! Can’t wait for the years to come ๐Ÿ™‚

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3) Next up was the beginning of my exam period, starting April 14. I kicked things off on the Tuesday morning with my positive psychology final exam – WHICH WENT SUPER WELL! …Being positive here, folks.

4) That SAME Tuesday (14) , the Canada Senior Women’s Fifteens West Camp began up at Shawnigan Lake. We were all to assemble at 5pm to kick off the 4 day camp which is the last in the series (an East one was held in March, and an Atlantic one even before that). It’s an exciting time for women’s rugby in Canada and this camp proved that.

The intensity, physicality and skill level shown over the four days was unbelievable. The Canadian team finished 2nd at the Women’s World Cup last August and with the next World Cup in 2017 (3 year cycle for now to ensure there is a major women’s event each year. After 2017, the next World Cup will be 2021), the building process is ramping up.

This summer in Alberta, a Super Series is being hosted where 4 of the top 6 teams in the world will play – Canada, New Zealand, England and the US. Each team will play each other once. It’s going to be epic.

We had a number of current and past Vikes players in attendance as well as our talented coaches!

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IMG_04005) April 18-19: Rugby Canada hosted the inaugural Canada Langford 7s! The International rugby scene came to Victoria with the top 12 women’s 7s teams in the world descending upon the wonderful Langford, BC to compete for the title.

As rugby 7s will be making its Olympic debut in 2016, the hype around the entertaining sport is building and Rugby Canada nailed this tournament. The atmosphere was buzzing for the whole weekend. The fans were great and it was awesome to catch up with old and new teammates during the two day event.

To top it off, the rugby quality exceeded expectations. It was cool to be able to watch these players (many of whom I’ve trained with) in person, at a World Series event, but even more so to be able to watch players you’ve watched on TV and online play in person.

Here are some of the best tries from the weekend!

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Here’s an awesome video with highlights of the full final game. Watch for fun haka at the 9:24 mark – AND I still wrote my exams 4 days later!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II3mV2AdlQs

6) Exams… oh yeah and during all that rugby I was supposed to find time to study for my two finals, looming on Monday/Tuesday! Needless to say, although I had a blast watching the 7s and playing rugby, the camp was not the most stress-free event! It’s stress, but stress you love. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s tough to balance it all, but that’s part of being a student athlete. Learning to deal with the emotional, mental and physical toll that camps, school and training take on you, while planning time accordingly is huge. During camp, we were busy from 7am-7pm (or later). By the end of that you’re exhausted and the last thing you want to do is study!

but, I can sit here writing this to say I got through the exams and the camp and I am now catching up on much needed sleep. Coffee is a wonderful thing.


Since finishing camp, watching the 7s, exams and everything else that has filled my schedule, it’s hard to come down from that insanely wound-up, highly attentive, ready-to-go state; although, I’ve realized that never totally ends.

I’m currently trying to find a job for the summer and finding time to train in the evenings which is proving more difficult than not! (If you’re reading this and hiring and are really supportive of athletes and their time commitments, let me know).

Hey, a little self-promotion never hurt anybody!

’til later,

Jessย 

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