Westshore RFC Wizards 7’s Team

The Westshore RFC Board of Directors are pleased to announce an exciting new initiative. The Westshore Wizards 7’s Rugby program, spearheaded by former Canadian International Team member – Mike Scholz.

Training sessions are open to both men and women and will host free sessions to youth players throughout the year. The program was designed to cater to the ever increasing growth in sevens rugby and will provide a platform for players wanting to play sevens at a higher level.

Mike Scholz started playing rugby in his home town of Oakville, Ontario starting with the Oakville Trafalgar High School and then the Oakville Crusaders Rugby Club. In 2007 Mikes raw athleticism and natural ability would lead him to the world stage being selected to represent Canada at the U-19 World Cup in Ireland, and again in 2008 at the U-20 World Cup in Wales. A member of the mighty Niagara Thunder, and later won a CRC championship with the Ontario Blues. He won his first Senior XV’s Cap in November of 2009 in a win vs Russia and was a member of the 2011 World Cup squad. Sevens would become Mikes sole focus post 2011 World Cup as he earned his first 7s cap at Hong Kong in 2010, and was a member of the National Mens 7’s squad until 2016. He won a Pan Am Games gold medal in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011 and represented Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014. Retired due to injuries in 2016.

Westshore Wizards 2018 Season

1) Kelowna 7’s – July 28th-29th – Result was 2nd place as runners up for tournament for inaugural start!!!

2) Bayside 7’s – August 25th

Training Session
-Thursday 23rd of August, 6pm @ JDF

3) Langford 7’s – September 1st

Training Session
-Thursday 30th of September, 6pm @ JDF

For further details please email mikescholz16@gmail.com

Velox 50 year anniversary- first season recalled by Stephen Hume

Velox is celebrating its 50 anniversary this Sept, here is a blast from the past…..

Velox, Season One, Victoria Rugby Union-1969 by Stephen Hume

Velox played its first official league game in the Victoria Rugby Union on September 28, 1969, against James Bay Athletic Association at Macdonald Park and won 14-3. I confirmed that with a look-up in Victoria Daily Colonist which said Velox was new to the VRU.

The club actually formed in the winter of 1968 when a bunch of the JBAA juniors staged a revolution and asked Gordie Hemmingway to coach. But I wasn’t there for that part.  (The details of that story can be found at this link as recalled by his father Jim Hume: http://westshorerfc.com/index.php/history-2/history-of-velox-101-by-first-club-president-and-founding-member-jim-hume/ )

In October, 1969, Velox beat Castaways 53-6 in a friendly. It was a harbinger of what came with Gordie Hemmingway’s wide open “attack from everywhere” style of play because in the first half of the season, in the age of the three point try, the club had scored an astonishing 143 points and led the league in scoring by far.

In November Velox moved into second place with a 37-6 win over Cowichan, John Howe had four tries, Tommy Carson had three, Bob Hissink had two, Rick Hughes got one and kicked a convert and Lorne Bunyan kicked a penalty.

In December, Velox beat UVic. Darryl Noulette and Bob Hissink had two tries each. Mark Hume, Steve Hume, Paul Burgoyne and Rick Hughes each got a try. Lorne kicked three converts.

The following week Velox lost 6-5 to Nanaimo but then dumped Oak Bay Wanderers 25-15 just before the Christmas break.

In January, Velox travelled to Seattle and knocked off Seattle Rugby Club 19-5. Bob Hissink scored three tries, one of them an 85-yarder.

March 1 Velox defeated JBAA again 24-6. Doug Hannah, Jack Clarkson, Mark Hume and Paul Burgoyne scored tries. Lorne Bunyan kicked two penalty goals and three converts.

March 15 Velox played UVic at Centennial Stadium in the Island semi-final and advanced to the final with a 23-16 win. Lorne Bunyan kicked for penalties. Bob Hissink had two tries and Paul Burgoyne got one.

In the Island final, Velox played JBAA yet again at Macdonald Park for the Times Cup and won 14-9. With Mark Hume (Stephens brother) scoring the winning try minutes before the final whistle to defeat James Bay.

The following week Velox lost 6-3 to Renfrew Trojans in the B.C. Championship on a long penalty kick from the touch line with 10 minutes to go. Lorne Bunyan almost saved the day with 40-yard kick from the touch line with three minutes left but shaved the post wide.

Stephen Hume

BR L-R: Jim Hume, Wally Laughton, John Howe, Mark Hume, Doug Hannan, Steve Hume, Ralph Delisle, Bruce Johns, Bob Hissink, Tom Carson, Ian Hughes, Leon Dalman, Gord Hemmingway (Coach)

FR L-R: Rick Childerhose, Al Perry, Ian Lendrum, Paul Burgoyne, Brian Butters, Lorne Bunyan, Rick Hughes, Daryl Noulette, Blaze McDonald, Dan Coleman

Westshore Valkyries represent at the CRCs

Westshore RFC would like to congratulate members of the BC Premier back to back Champs who are representing the BC provincial team for the Canadian Rugby Championships.  Canadian Senior National team players Amanda Thornborough and Chelsey Minter-Truck made the squad, as they have for countless years.  New members of the Canadian U20 National Women’s Team, Val Wideski and McKenzie Pusch join as well.  Long time Valkyries Randi Hunter and Courtney Sims anchor and round out the BC Team.  All are being coached by 2 Westshore members, the new Men’s head coach Aaron Frisby, and as assistant Coach Westshore Men’s team Captain Dave Phillips.  Representing the Alberta Wolf Pack are Valkyries Paige Farries, Maddy Aberg and Sarah Adriano.  With Eli Alaria and Sasha Guedes playing for the Qubec provincial team.  All of these amazing players representing at this high level, and either selected for NSWT or will be soon.  We wish them all luck playing not only for our club, but the provinces as well.

Westshore RFC Junior Phoenix Skailes makes BC U15 team

Westshore RFC would like to congratulate junior girls player Phoenix Skailes on being selected for the U15 BC Provincial team for the upcoming Canadian Rugby Championships. Phoenix spent the beginning and most of her life raised in Dawson City in the Yukon until age 10, when she moved with her family to Victoria.  Her father Jimmy has been playing the sport of rugby for many years, and is currently a member of the Ebb Tide RFC.  This prompted her to want to follow in her fathers foot steps and take up the sport.  She started with the Westshore RFC Family by joining the junior girls program for the U14 team at age 12.  She continued to play rugby at Spencer High School, coached under long time Westshore Valkyrie senior women’s player Brittany Sims.  For the past 2 years Phoenix has made Junior Crimson Tide for the U14 all star team.  Now at age 14, she has made the BC U15 provincial team for the first time being held in Kelowna, BC from 26-29 July.  Her father stated “I am super proud of Phoenix.  Watching my daughter set her goals for a passion and achieve them, she works very hard due to her own drive to succeed.  We are honoured to be part of the Westshore family!!!”  Everyone at Westshore RFC family wishes Phoenix luck at the CRC’s in upcoming weeks.


Mark Wyatt voted into BC Sports Hall of Fame…Twice

Mark Wyatt is a long time member of the Velox Valhallians RFC.  He was inducted for his individual efforts and career into shaping and contributing to the sport of rugby, into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in Dec 2016.  He was once again inducted as part of the 1991 World Cup Canadian Team in May 2018.  Below are articles from BCRU documenting these events.

Mark Wyatt individual induction


Vancouver, BC – December 20, 2016: With 29 international caps for Canada between 1982 and 1991, Mark Wyatt recently joined the BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Inductees. Wyatt started his rugby career playing at Victoria High School. He later on played for James Bay Athletic Association, University of Victoria (where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Coaching Studies), Velox Rugby Football Club and Vancouver Island Crimson Tide.

During his illustrious rugby career, Wyatt represented Canada at the 1987 and 1991 Rugby World Cups and less than a decade ago was inducted into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame. Known for his kicking skills, Wyatt set a Canadian record in 1987 against Ireland when he scored 21 points including 6-for-6 penalty kicks. In 1991 during the Rugby World Cup, against Scotland, Wyatt set a world record with 8 penalty kick goals. As Captain, he led Canada to its best ever World Cup finish, reaching the quarterfinals before falling to the New Zealand All-Blacks.

After leaving the National Team at age 30, Wyatt acted as a rugby coach at Shawnigan Lake School. He now serves as the President of the Westshore Velox Rugby Football Club as well as a board director of the Canadian Rugby Foundation.

The 51st Induction Class will be formally inducted to the BC Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at the annual Banquet of Champions at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.

BC Rugby would like to congratulate Mark Wyatt on this amazing honour and thank him for being a loyal and outstanding member of the BC Rugby community.

Mark Wyatt 1991 World Cup Canadian Team induction


Vancouver – May 31, 2018: Last night, in a star-studded gala at Parq Vancouver, the BC Sports Hall of Fame inducted the Canadian Men’s 1991 Rugby World Cup Team as part of their Class of 2018.  This was a fantastic piece of recognition for a side that was chock full of BC players (23 of 26 individuals) and produced Canada’s best ever result in a Rugby World Cup, reaching the Quarter Finals.

The Class of ’91 are the stuff of legends in the rugby world, household names for rugby families not just in this country, but around the world, particularly the UK where a number of them consolidated their careers.  Looking down the roster, names leap off the page as if someone has constructed a Dream Team of that era.  While some of these individuals have already received personal induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, it was a particularly proud moment to see this team being recognized for its achievement.  At the packed Induction Gala last night, almost a third of the 90 tables in the venue were taken up by members of the Canadian rugby community, gathered to celebrate this wonderful occasion.  The significance of what the Canadian Men’s team achieved at the 1991 Rugby World Cup was reiterated to all in attendance.  A “minnow country” in world rugby at that time, defying the odds to qualify for the Quarter Finals for the first time, outscoring reigning champions New Zealand All Blacks in the second half of that match and securing a record high world ranking of 8th.  Canadian rugby royalty seems a suitable moniker given the success that this team achieved and the lasting impact they have had on the sport, not just in Canada, but worldwide.

What is especially noteworthy of this list of players, is how many of them have spent significant chunks of their lives giving back to the sport that we all know and love.  Gareth Rees, one of Canada’s most well-known players and the country’s first inductee in the World Rugby Hall of Fame, has been involved in various guises with Rugby Canada.  David Speirs dedicate himself to fostering young rugby talent via the BCSSRU, Paul Szabo works tirelessly at Burnaby Lake RFC, while Mark Wyatt coached at Shawnigan Lake and currently serves as president for Westshore Velox RFC. Gary Dukelow was on hand in Dublin this summer as Assistant Coach to the Canadian Women’s XV during the Women’s Rugby World Cup and Patrick Palmer coached the Canadian Men’s Sevens prior to his current role at St George’s School.  There’s Eddie Evans, a huge supporter of developing rugby across the province and internationally, past President of BC Rugby John Lecky and Tom Woods, who is heavily involved in developing the youth program at James Bay AA.  Rod Holloway, Forwards coach for the team is still very much involved in the game, notable now as the Chair of BC Rugby’s Appeals Committee.  A sad note rings when the eyes reach the name Norm Hadley.  The mountainous forward, cherished by so many, whose passing last year came as a blow to the rugby community across the globe.  His absence, still felt by so many, was hard to overlook at the Induction Gala.

The 1991 Canadian Rugby World Cup Team:

Bruce Breen                (Meraloma)

Al Charron                   (Ottawa Irish)

Gary Dukelow             (Cowichan)

Glen Ennis (VC)           (Kats Rugby Club)

Eddie Evans                 (UBCOB Ravens)

John Graf                     (UBCOB Ravens)

Steve Gray                   (Kats Rugby Club)

Norm Hadley              (UBCOB Ravens)

Dan Jackart                  (UBCOB Ravens)

Jeff Knauer                  (Meraloma)

John Lecky                   (Meraloma)

Dave Lougheed          (Toronto Welsh)

Gord MacKinnon        (Ex Brit Lions)

Patrick Palmer            (UBCOB Ravens)

Roy Radu                     (James Bay AA)

Gareth Rees                (Oak Bay Castaways)

John Robertsen           (UBCOB Ravens)

David Speirs                (Meralomas)

Christian Stewart        (Meralomas)

Scott Stewart               (UBCOB Ravens)

Karl Svoboda               (Ajax Wanderers)

Paul Szabo                   (Ex Brit Lions)

Chris Tynan                 (Meraloma)

Ron van den Brink      (Kats Rugby Club)

Tom Woods                 (James Bay AA)

Mark Wyatt (C)            (Velox Valhallians)

5 Westshore RFC members join Crimson Tide All Star team

Westshore RFC was well represented on Men’s Crimson Tide this year. Congratulations on Players selected: Taylor McGuire, Foster Dewitt, Jason Gagnier, Ryan Waldriff and Aaron Frisby as Coach. Tide unfortunately lost to Vancouver Wave 52-32 final score.


Westshore 3rd Div Men Win BC Provincial Title

Excerpt from BCRU: http://www.bcrugby.com/news_detail/10039258/?tag_id

Abbotsford, BC – May 5, 2018:  Under a blistering sun and cloudless skies, hundreds of rugby players and fans descend on Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park for the 2018 BC Rugby Club Finals. A total of nine Senior Division titles were decided in an action-packed 8hrs, with teams from 11 clubs from Island to Interior battling it out on the fields.  The culmination of a long season of competition, for some teams in excess of 20 matches in the making, the victories were celebrated with jubilant screams that hinted at just how much these titles mean to both players and clubs. The Men’s Division 3 was won by Westshore RFC in a highly charged match against Capilano RFC.  The match was well supported by passionate fans on both sidelines and they were not short of entertainment in the 33-22 match.

This marks back to back 3rd Division titles for Westshore Men’s team, both were under Coaching staff of Aaron Frisby and Dale Grimston.


Valkryies Win BC Provincial Title

Excerpt from BCRU: http://www.bcrugby.com/news_detail/10039258/?tag_id

Abbotsford, BC – May 5, 2018:  Under a blistering sun and cloudless skies, hundreds of rugby players and fans descend on Abbotsford’s Exhibition Park for the 2018 BC Rugby Club Finals. A total of nine Senior Division titles were decided in an action-packed 8hrs, with teams from 11 clubs from Island to Interior battling it out on the fields.  The culmination of a long season of competition, for some teams in excess of 20 matches in the making, the victories were celebrated with jubilant screams that hinted at just how much these titles mean to both players and clubs.

The final of the Women’s Premier League, was a very exciting encounter between defending champions Westshore RFC and Burnaby Lake RFC.  The gathered crowds were well entertained as they watched some of the best female rugby players in the Province.  When the final whistle blew, it was Westshore who were victorious, defending their title and cementing themselves as the current benchmark for women’s rugby in BC.  Westshore RFC and Canadian Women’s National Team player Paige Farries was full of praise for her opponents, saying “they came out flying and it took us a while to adapt, it was a real grinder.  Every time we play them it’s different, they adapt so well”.  Reflecting on what the win meant, Farries responded “To defend this title is massive for this club.  At Westshore, we’re trying to build a really high-level women’s environment and this goes a great way to further that.  This match really felt like a phenomenal advert for Women’s Rugby.” 

This marks back to back Premier provincial titles for the Westshore Valkyries, both where Shannon Houston and Barbara Mervin were at the helm.





Westshore would like to announce Aaron Frisby as the new Men’s Head Coach for the upcoming 2018-2019 season starting in Sept.

Aaron, originally from NZ, first joined Velox Valhallians in 2004 at the Gordon Head facilities as a starting player on the Men’s Premier teams, continuing to play on both Premier and 1st Div teams until 2015 in the backfield and full back. During this time he started his coaching career in 2004 with age grade teams for the youth/junior programs for Velox in the grass root era coaching every team up to and including U18’s. Aaron was part of the Executive Council as the Director of Rugby Operations for 2 years from 2009-2011, before taking over as the Head Coach for the Velox Premier Women’s Valkyries team, leading them to a BCRU Provincial Title in 2011. He has represented four Super League teams as a player over his career: Crimson Tide, Vancouver Island Raiders, Calgary Mavericks and the Prairie Fire. Aaron took on the role as Player/Head Coach for the first time for the Velox Men’s program from 2011-2014, winning both the VIRU Times and Cowichan Cups, with multiple semi-final BCRU Provincial finalists during this time frame. He was then selected by BCRU Staff as Head Coach to lead provincial teams, starting in 2015 with the BC Men’s and Women’s Next Gen 7’s Teams, and BC Women’s 15’s Team: positions he continues presently to this day. Which lead to him to be included as the 2018 Crimson Tide Men’s 15’s co-Coach. During the past 3 years Aaron has again taken on his Player/Coach role leading the Westshore Velox 3rd Div Men’s team to back to back BCRU Provincial Champions for 2017 & 2018 seasons.

When asked about his coaching history listed above, he responded “I started my coaching career at Velox in 2004 with age grade teams, coaching every team from the U18s, Third div men, premier women and the top men’s side at the club over a 9 year period. After some successful years coaching provincial 7s and 15s programs, it’s great to be able to step back into the club at an exciting time at Westshore.” When asked further on the direction of the club, he stated “Things are starting to click at the club with the premier women on top, the third div on top and the men returning to the Premiership, everything is heading in the right direction at Westshore. We have a core group of players within the men’s program that can start to make waves in the premier division and I’m excited to see what they can do this coming season.”



Shannon Houston was born in Victoria in the 80’s and a graduate of Glen Lyon School in the late 90’s. She played for the Velox Valkyries from 1998-2001, before shifting to UVIC from 2001-2003 as she worked on her undergrad degree in Biology. During these years Shannon made the Crimson Tide and BC Provincial teams demonstrating her ability to play at the higher levels. She has duel citizen ship: both Canada and Irish due to her Grandparents from Cork Ireland. This assisted her move to Ireland in 2004 not just to retrace her family’s heritage, but to go to medical school to earn her medical degree from the University College in Dublin. Upon arriving in Ireland in 2004 she played for Blackrock RFC before joining Leinster RFC as her club where she played until 2013. Demonstrating she was very capable of international action Shannon debuted in 2006 for her 1st cap at Women’s World Cup 15’s for Ireland verses France, in Edmonton Canada. She continued on to earn 32 caps for Ireland playing 15’s from 2006-2013. In 2009 Shannon earned her Medical Degree and worked as a physician in Navan, Ireland. She balanced surgical rotations as an intern with 100+ hours a week, while training for the national Irish team, displaying her drive for both work and play. Once certified as a doctor, she would work in the clinic in mornings, and train in afternoons with national 7’s teams assisting Ireland’s Rio Olympics bid. During this time she participated in weight lifting competitions in Ireland while also competing on national teams for rugby. She spent the last 3 years from 2013-2016 playing 7’s for Irelands National team. An essential team member for the Irish 7’s winning Quarter finals in RWC 7’s in Moscow in Jun 2013, she continued as the Captain for the team during the Dubai 7’s as she continued over the next 2 years. Coming full circle, she finished her playing career on the Irish 7’s team at Canada 7’s World Rugby Women’s Sevens in Victoria in Apr 16 at 36 years old!!! She retired from the playing circuit due to a neck injury that prevented her from lacing up again. Shannon moved back to Victoria in the fall of 2016 to join her brother as GP Doctors taking over their Fathers family practice in Dec 16. She joined Westshore Velox RFC shortly thereafter and assisted with the women’s program as an assistant coach from Feb-May 2017. Shannon was also the Team Doctor for Canada’s NSWT for 2017 RWC in Ireland in Aug, her 2 homes combining interests once again. She took the reigns as Head Coach for the Westshore Valkyries leading them to a BCRU Premier Women’s Provincial Championship title.

When Shannon was asked in an interview a few years back “What her favorite part of playing rugby was, her response was: “There are probably 2 main reasons why I love this game so much. The 1st is the challenge of it every game you have to push yourself mentally and physically, and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. You have to go beyond your comfort zone and really test yourself. It’s so different from other sports you could get by in a soccer or basketball match without really ever committing yourself. But in rugby you have to commit 100% or you are not going to put your whole body on the line to make every tackle or break through each gap. When the whistle blows at the end of the match, and you are completely exhausted because you have managed to leave everything on the field, you know you have pushed your limits and have truly tested yourself. The 2nd reason is the friends I have made through this sport. I have met so many amazing people playing both in Canada and in Ireland.”

Westshore RFC is truly lucky and honoured to have such an established and capable leader re-join our team, to once again come full circle back to where she started as she continues as Westshore Velox RFC Women’s Head Coach for the 2018/2019 season!!

Shannon playing for Ireland Nation Women’s Team

Shannon playing for Ireland Nation Women’s Team

Shannon playing for Ireland Nation Women’s Team

Shannon playing for Leinster RFC

Shannon on Canadian NSWT as Team Doctor for RWC 17