The Brome Lake Ducks won their first match on May 13 against St Lambert 32 – 13. On May 20, they defeated Ormstown 28 – 24; on May 27, they beat Trois-Rivières 29-19. Having won their division title last year, it is an excellent start to the 2023 season.
Still, Ducks’ president, Alexandre Desourdy, expects strong competition from the other teams.
“We face a much greater challenge this year.”
It has been a struggle to rebuild the team after COVID. More than any other team sport, rugby, with all the contact that is essential to the game, was vulnerable to COVID sanctions. Sadly, after this long hiatus, the women’s team has not had enough new players to return. The men’s team, though, is back.
The team has spent much of the winter training, led by head coach Charlie Brooks, with the help of veteran players Alex Desourdy, David Rumsby and others. Jan Rzyzora continues in his vital role as a fitness coach. Games are 80 minutes long and split into two 40-minute halves, and fitness is a critical factor.
The players are committed in spite of the high demands on their time. “At one level, it is tradition,” said Desourdy, “The Ducks draw on three generations of players and fans. But maybe the most important reason is how rugby makes you feel. What other sport creates such a spirit of brotherhood? Also, what other sport offers up so much opportunity for people who are different? By that, I mean different bodies and different physical skills. Tall, short, heavy, light, agile or just strong, there is a place for you on the rugby field.”
Desourdy suggests men or women who are interested in rugby come to a practice and experience a taste of it. You have to be 16+. There are open practices every Tuesday and Thursday at Lions Park from 6 – 8 p.m. Afterwards, there is a gathering.