The summer before University I tried out for the Alberta U18 women’s rugby team. I was fairly confident in my skills due to the success I had coming out of high school. The process to make the team took the entire summer, and when the list finally came out announcing who was going to be travelling to Nationals, my name was not on it. The absence of my name devastated me and had me seriously considering giving rugby up all together. After some lengthy conversations with my mother, I decided that I was not ready to give rugby up and I would try out for the University team in the fall.
Come September, I went out for the University of Alberta Panda’s rugby team and made the long list for the school year. A few weeks into September the travelling team was announced, and yet again my name was nowhere to be found. The initial blow of not making another team list was hard. I was not going to let this shake my confidence—instead, I decided to push myself harder to prove the coaches wrong. As luck would have it I was given an opportunity to prove myself when a couple of last minute injuries catapulted me into a starting position on the squad. For the remainder of the season I kept my starting spot and ended my rookie season being one of the top try scorers in the league.
After that incredible experience with the University I was invited to try out for the U20 Canada team. I was extremely skeptical about risking my self-esteem once again, due to my track record with tryouts, but I thought I might as well go for it. Imagine my delighted shock when the results came out in December, and my name was on the team list. I was completely elated! It solidified that all the work I had done was worth it. I could not be happier, that is until February when I was invited to compete with the national senior women’s team in the Las Vegas Sevens tournament. The experience alone was a massive honor and will never be forgotten. I got to play with and against women I had watched play rugby for years, but to top it off the Maple Leafs team walked away with a first place finish in a stadium packed with cheering rugby fans. The momentum I gained from this experience carried me through the summer with the U20 Canada team in England where we won Nations Cup for the first time making history.
It was an incredible year that finished with an offer to centralize and train full-time in Rugby Canada’s sevens program. I sincerely hope I have learned to not give up on my dreams too quickly. Only time will tell as I push on!
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Photos by Krystal Calver of Calver Photography
Paige is wearing:
SupportHER Sports Bra
FastHER Rugby Shorts