Calling all rugby players 

It’s that time of year again, folks; time to open up that smelly kit bag, dig out those old boots, and try to fit into those old cardboard shorts that barely fit last year.

While none of us are ready to admit that is once again time to work off that winter belly wobble, there does exist a die-hard elite that steps up to abuse each season for the last 14 years. They are your Whistler Hoary Marmots Rugby Football Club.

The club had their first of many social functions last week at the old clubhouse, Tapley’s Pub, and signed up a bunch of new players. In addition, the Marmots still have about 20 players from last year, boys and girls, and the numbers are expected to grow even more in the coming weeks.

"We already have six fixtures confirmed so far this season and we haven’t even started training yet," says club captain Johnny Gideon, a.k.a. Johnny Comedy. "We start training on May 15 and are confirming a home opener exhibition match against a Lower Mainland team of June 14. That gives us about eight or nine practices, so its important that we get a good showing out as early as possible."

The club will be competing in all kinds of events this season, including 7- and 10-a-side tournaments, as well as regular 15-a-side matches. The women’s team is also expecting a good turnout this year, and will be attending many of the same events as the men.

"Each season the club gets a little bigger and a little more organized, and this year could be one of the best seasons so far," says Comedy. "We have a club-line for people to call to find out what’s going on, an e-mail address, a full calendar of social functions, new team jerseys to play in and sell, and regularly practices twice a week followed by the compulsory visits to the official team clubhouse at Tapley’s."

The club accepts social members, casual players who are not interested in competing in full contact games, and experienced players of all sizes and abilities. The practices are fun, good for fitness, and the club itself is a unique mix of all that Whistler has to offer – Kiwis, Aussies, Canucks, Eastern Europeans, you name it.

The club will post its events regularly in the local papers, and hope that the whole town will get behind them this year to support them at home and in away games.

Now for the painful part – the training starts on Thursday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m., and there are practices every Tuesday and Thursday until the season winds down in the fall.

For more information, you can contact the club-line at 604-932-1845, or e-mail whistlerrugby@ziplip.com.

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