40 years of Can-Am Rugby

To the editor:

The Can-Am Rugby Tournament is three weeks away. 2013 will be the tournament’s 40th anniversary celebration. I wonder if the original Mountaineers anticipated the tournament growing from eight teams in 1973 to more than 100 teams 40 years later. The tournament is Aug. 2 to 4 this year with Friday games played in Saranac Lake, Saturday games in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, and the finals will be played in Bloomingdale.

As the Tournament Board makes final plans for this year’s tournament, we would like to thank the communities that have supported the game of rugby all of these years. First and foremost, without the support of both the Saranac Lake and Lake Placid communities, the Can-Am Rugby Tournament would never have grown to become the oldest and best-run rugby tournament in America. So thank you for your continued support over the last 40 years.

I would like to highlight a few events taking place to mark the 40th anniversary of the tournament, and everyone is invited to participate.

We will be hosting a USA-versus-Canada wheelchair rugby game Friday evening at 7 p.m. at the North Country Community College gymnasium. Quad rugby is a fast-growing sport and is part of the Paralympic Games.

Saturday evening we will be hosting a 40th anniversary Vegas Night at the Civic Center, beginning at 7 p.m. There will be gambling for prizes, a high-rollers club for cash, a mechanical bull, a special tribute from some of the original Mountaineers and a “Ruggers Got Talent” song competition. Cook’s will be providing a cash bar, and Saranac Lake Pee Wee Hockey will be providing refreshments. Transportation will be provided between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake from 6:30 to midnight.

For all of the future ruggers out there, we will be hosting a youth rugby clinic Saturday in Lake Placid, and an exhibition game Sunday during the final matches.

Sunday morning there will be a USA-versus-Canada High School All-Star sevens rugby match, culminating in a final game during the finals in Bloomingdale.

The tournament T-shirt was once again designed by Amanda Lavigne and offers a rugger’s perspective of the evolution of rugby. If you would like to pre-order the 2013 tournament T-shirt, please contact me at nmeyette@gmail.com. I also have T-shirts from 2012 for anyone who did not get one.

The tournament is always looking for volunteers to help throughout the weekend. If you would like to help out during the tournament, please contact Johnny Muldowney at volunteer@canamrugby.com.

Thank you,

Nichole Meyette

Can-Am Tournament Board

Saranac Lake