By: Dale Hall
This week Ædelhard is pleased to bring you a guest article by Ontario and Canada Match Official Dale Hall. Dale has been a referee for about six years. He has been involved with the Q-Meta Cup for the last five years as referee manager; this year sees his first as Tournament Chair.
Hall is well-liked among his fellow match officials and by many people involved in the game. He’s also a great writer, so we are honoured he wanted to raise the profile of the Q-META Cup with us. There is much more story to tell, so please look out for a profile piece on Dale Hall appearing in #TheScrum soon.
In the meantime, he wanted to focus on the Q-META Cup alone. Read on for Hall’s overview of this great tournament:
Brantford, Ontario; the birthplace of the telephone, Wayne Gretzky (and for us rugby fans) Aaron Carpenter.
Brantford is a small city in Southwestern Ontario, but once a year the community welcomes teams to one of the largest youth 7s rugby tournaments in Canada. The Q-META Cup has been a staple 7s tournament in Ontario for over six years, and recently it has caught Rugby Canada’s attention – for the past two years RC Talent ID staff has been out watching these young athletes in action.
The Q-META Cup plays host to both men’s and women’s rugby across three age groups (U14, U16 and U18) and it includes an “Elite” division for both U18 men and women, over a two-day weekend.
The Elite division has seen many players that have gone on to provincial/national programs: Josiah Morra (RC 7s/U20), David Richards (RC 7s), Kevin Vertkas (RC 7s/U20), Taylor Black (RC 7s), Taylour Hurd (RC 7s/U20), Emily Henrich (USA 7s/U20), and the list goes on…
The Q-META Cup has seen continual growth over the years. In 2017, there was approximately 150 games played over the two days. In 2018, the tournament committee is expecting to facilitate over 220 games – with all divisions being at capacity.
What drives programs to come to the Q-META Cup? I believe it’s the atmosphere and culture that has been developed over the years.
The Q-META Cup weekend is one of my favourite rugby weekends of the year. I have been fortunate enough to attend many 7s tournaments across North America and the Caribbean, and I always draw inspiration from those other tournaments and try to add to ours.
The Q-META Cup really focuses on – and highlights – all the stakeholders that make rugby happen. From one-of-a-kind coach’s gifts, to Character and MVP awards for the athletes. For the referees, Coach of Match Officials and Mentors are there to provide support and constructive feedback to make them better. The Q-META Cup strives to show everyone just how important they are to our game.
If it wasn’t for the coaches and referees, these young athletes wouldn’t have an opportunity to play the sport we all love so much. We realize that, and we want to show them our appreciation, so everyone is included in the awards.
“The Q-META Cup is one of the most well-organized tournaments in Ontario rugby. As a rugby parent, I like seeing the depth of competition and watching my kids play in this high-level event. As a sponsor, I appreciate the organization of staff and volunteers as well as the care and attention paid to the athletes and sponsors.” says Ken Edgar, owner of the Calendar Club of Canada and tournament sponsor.
It’s clear that the future of rugby in North America is in the 7-a-side game. It is the easiest introduction to rugby for athletes of all ages. From a spectator’s perspective, the games are short, fast-paced, and full of action. The Q-META Cup takes pride in knowing that year after year, they have provided an environment for these young athletes to compete and have fun.
The 2018 Q-META Cup will be taking place at the Brantford Harlequins Rugby Club, on October 20th and 21st. They are both full-day events. If you want to see Canada’s next top athletes in action, Brantford will be the place to be.
For more information: https://www.ur7s.com/tournaments/the_q-meta_cup