Caroline Crossley posses for photos after recieving Rugby Canada's 2015 Young Female Player fo the Year award.

Victoria teenager named Rugby Canada’s Young Female Player of the Year

Caroline Crossley is a product of Victoria’s ballooning women’s rugby scene, but in some ways she is also the cause.

By Jesse Laufer

Caroline Crossley is a product of Victoria’s ballooning women’s rugby scene, but in some ways she is also the cause.

Her dad, David, remembers the first time he watched her play when she was in Grade 5.

“She was just a ferocious tackler naturally,” he said. “Some people you have to teach how to tackle and contact, but she just did it from the get go.”

A former soccer coach of hers was also in the stands that afternoon. He convinced David to bring her out to mini rugby, and the rest is history.

Last Friday Crossley accepted Rugby Canada’s Young Female Player of the Year award.

“It was such an honour to be able to be with this group of people,” she said. “There’s so many people that could have received that award, like amazing rugby players. So to be picked for that was such an honour. It was definitely very nerve racking (going up on stage). I didn’t trip which I’m very proud of myself for.”

David was ecstatic about his daughter’s award.

“It fills you with parental pride,” he said. “For me I think it is doubly satisfying because I’m not sure she would have still been playing rugby if it wasn’t for us starting a girl’s program and supporting female athletes.”

Even though there was some rugby offered  in elementary and middle school, one of the biggest hurdles Crossley faced was the lack of girls only rugby as she got older. Eventually she wasn’t allowed to play with the boys, and her dad points out that it wasn’t safe either. That’s why he started girl’s Rugby Sevens through the Castaway Wanderers Rugby Club five years ago.

At first it only had about a dozen players, but it has since grown to more than 50, with U12 teams up to U18.

The club concentrates on sevens’ as opposed to the traditional Rugby Union Fifteens, but that’s mostly a logistical thing. With twice as many players on the field, it’s twice as hard to fill a roster. Five years later and Crossley has played some top developmental level fifteens, but sevens remains her specialty.

Still, the girls rugby program at Castaways has paid dividends.

She trains with the senior squad about four times a week, and is listed on the national player pool for the senior sevens. She has three caps with the senior squad so far, all of which were in Dubai December 2015. She also has U20 experience in the red and black. Making the Rio 2016 Olympics, the first Olympics to showcase Rugby Sevens, is a not so distant possibility for Crossley, though she’s striving to make the roster in 2020.

If she can avoid injury, she has plenty of time to hone her skills for an Olympics somewhere down the road. She just turned 18 yesterday.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

Coun. Tara Ney rakes leaves behind Oak Bay municipal hall. Ney’s motion asking staff to do a report on alternative options to the ongoing use of gas-powered leaf blowers in Oak Bay. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay a step closer to banning gas leaf blowers

Council leans toward a study on alternatives

Maureen Cue models maybe the most obvious pandemic Halloween costume this year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Pandemic impacts trends in Halloween looks, says costume shop owner

Maureen Cue sees shift in costume rentals due to the pandemic

The Capital Regional District is considering adding another dollar a year to the parkland acquisition fund fee for homeowners. (Black Press Media file photo)
One dollar or two? Greater Victoria parks acquisition fee hike spurs debate

$2 a year too steep, CRD committee recommends $1 a year increase per household

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray presents the State of the Island Economic Report on Thursday night to conclude the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s virtual summit. (VIEA image)
Not-so-rosy State of the Island report caps off virtual summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s summit took place online Oct. 27-29

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

Pilot Kevin Maher participated in a flyover of a ceremony at the Cobble Hill cenotaph on Oct. 22 in a 1940 North American (Noorduyn) Harvard aircraft. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cobble Hill remembers lost military members with ceremony, flyover

Annual event commemorates those who died in non-combat roles

Most Read