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An Exciting Week for KES Rugby Alumnae

University conference championships, major awards, national medals, and international competition, phew! Trying to keep tabs on the accomplishments of our KES rugby alumnae this past week has been hard enough for the current girls’ coach, let alone a causal observer! With the Canadian University Sport (U Sports) rugby season wrapping up and our national women’s team beginning their fall tour, it’s been an exciting time for women’s rugby in Canada and our alumnae have been a part of it all.

Kleynhans Conquers Cecchetto to Capture Conference Championship
Close to home here in Nova Scotia, first year player Camryn Kleynhans ‘20 and the StFX X-Women entered the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship against Kenzie Cecchetto’s ‘18 Acadia Axewomen as the underdog having the two previous matches. In sports, though, it is said that the playoffs are a “new season” and for Cam and her X-Women that proved to be the case as they walked away with their first win of the season against Acadia and in doing so became the conference champions. With the win, both Camryn and Kenzie advanced to the U Sports national championships which were held at Queen’s University. In her first year of study at StFX after spending a year at Dalhousie during the pandemic, Cam made an immediate impact on the X-Women side and her coach Mike Cavanaugh loved her relentless style of play and noted she has “a ticker that doesn’t stop”. For Kenzie, who spent time at the University of Ottawa before transferring back closer to home, she also made an immediate impact with the Axewomen side. Acadia coach Matt Durant explained that Kenzie brought “a high level of athleticism, fitness, and tenacity that was key to our success this season.”

Ondo Recognized for her Efforts on and off the Pitch
Further west, former KES female athlete of the year Alex Ondo ‘16 finished her illustrious U Sports career in style. Two weeks ago, Alex’s University of Ottawa team lost in the Quebec Conference (RSEQ) final, but still earned a spot at the national championships as well! At the RSEQ rugby banquet, Ondo was again named a conference all-star for the fourth time in her career. What’s more, she was also named the conference’s recipient of the Leadership and Community Engagement Award for her tremendous work in bringing awareness to issues of equity and diversity within the university community.
A week later at the national championship in Kingston, Ondo was again front and center as she was recognized as one of the best players in Canada when she was named to the all-Canadian team (for the fourth time in her career). In the tournament, Ondo was all over the field in each of her team’s three games and by tournament end was named to the tournament all-star team. After winning their first two games (the first against Camryn’s StFX team), Ondo and the Gee Gees came up against the host team from Queen’s University and despite a valiant effort came up short and ended up winning a national silver medal. With the second-place finish, Ondo finished her five years of playing eligibility with five national medals (one gold, two silver, and two bronze)! Her work on and off the pitch during her time with the Gee Gees was quite remarkable.

Taylor Again ‘Capped’ for Canada During Fall Tour
Emma Taylor ‘10, another alumna who had a storied university rugby career, has continued to make her mark on the game with our national senior women’s Team. Emma was named to the starting line-up in Canada’s first of two matches against USA in a game held in Colorado two weeks ago. Emma played a very physical game and was a key cog for the world number-three ranked Canadian side in their two victories versus their American counterparts. Emma and her Canadian teammates are currently in Europe where they will finish their fall tour with games against England and Wales.

Success Breeds Interest
With so many of our former students excelling on the national and international stage, it is no surprise that we are seeing such a boost in interest and participation in rugby here at our School. Our weekly “rugby club” has maintained strong numbers of males, females, juniors, seniors, alumni, and staff each Wednesday, and a number of our current students are balancing their current academic and sport commitments while preparing for upcoming Team Nova Scotia Canada games rugby 7s tryouts!

Rory Campbell
Junior School Faculty
Basketball & Rugby Coach

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KES inspires academic, athletic and artistic excellence with a commitment to the traditional community ideals of gentleness and learning, dignity and respect, so that students may discover and cultivate their unique potential, prepare for post-secondary education and develop a life-long enthusiasm for the spiritual and intellectual growth necessary to flourish in the contemporary world.

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King's-Edgehill School is a coeducational boarding and day school for grades 6 through 12, located in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada.