BY BOB ZIMMER
Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP
As many of you know, the game of rugby has always been an important part of my life. In fact, before I ventured into politics, I once had dreams of playing for Canada’s national team and played premier rugby in Abbotsford, some Division One in Langley, and Super League for the Valley Venom. I was also head coach for Trinity Western University’s Varsity Rugby Team from 1999 to 2003.
The game has taught me discipline, how to be a good team member and the value of hard work. The rugby field is also where I have met some of the most humble and dedicated people, including Dawson Creek’s Mark Rogers.
I played rugby with Mark when we were in our 20s for the Fort St. John Moosemen Rugby Club. Since that time, Mark has been dedicated to growing the rugby community in the Peace Region and was instrumental in establishing a girls’ rugby team in Dawson Creek.
A city councillor and retired plumber and business owner, Mark spends his spare time coaching the Dawson Creek Secondary School’s rugby team, which recently competed in the BC Rugby High School Girls’ Provincial Sevens Championship in Langford. The team finished 13th in the province.
Whether it’s teaching players who have never held a rugby ball before the ins and outs of game, or combining players from Dawson Creek and Fort St. John to make sure there is a team, over the years Mark has worked tirelessly to bring a love of the game of rugby to our region’s youth.
It is thanks to Mark, and volunteers like him, that high school students throughout the region have learned valuable life lesson through the sport just like Mark and I did all those years ago playing for the Moosemen.
This summer Mark is headed to the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games as Head Coach of the Cariboo-North East Girls’ Rugby Team. I can think of no one better suited to represent our region as head coach.
Good luck to Mark and to the players of the Cariboo-North East team as they head to the Cowichan Valley to compete!