Local rugby player heads to NexGen tournament

Cranbrook’s Summer Blackmore is one of 12 players from across the province to make the roster

Summer Blackmore is continuing her rugby dominance, as she heads to the NextGen Langford Sevens tournament.

The tournament, which showcases the next generation of rugby sevens stars is taking place during the HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens tournament from May 10-12.

“I’m pumped,” said Blackmore. “It’s one of the biggest I’ve played so far, and I’m super excited for the opportunity to get to go.”

The NextGen tournament is considered a pathway event that is building toward the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

“That’s the ultimate goal. I would love to go to the Olympics one day,” she said. “I know it’s a long ways off, but it’s a step and that much closer to getting on to the Olympic team.”

Blackmore will be with 11 other rugby athletes from the province, which makes up the BC roster. They will be up against academy teams from Rugby Canada and the United States. When she found out she made the team, excitement ran through her.

“I was jumping up and down,” she added.

RELATED: Mount Baker Wild host rugby play day

Currently, in Grade 11 at Mount Baker Secondary School, Blackmore says she has received a lot of help in her rugby career by coach Sean Sinclair and Darcy Patterson, who will be her coach at the tournament.

“They all really helped and supported me to get me to the spot that I am, and I’m super thankful to them,” she said.

One of the key aspects to Blackmore’s rugby game is her strength, and she says she will use it as an asset at the tournament.

“I have a pretty good tackle, and I’m strong — it’s mostly strength,” she said.

To get qualified for the tournament, they looked at Blackmore’s season playing with Mount Baker, and the different tournaments she has played in.

This is the fourth year Blackmore has been playing rugby, and there’s so much about the sport she says she likes.

“I really like the camaraderie on the field. There are girls that high-five each other, they help each other out and pick each other up. Then there’s tackling, I have to say it’s super fun,” she said.

Blackmore has plans to continue rugby after high school and hopes to play in post-secondary.



jessica.dempsey@cranbrooktownsman.com

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