For the first time, Women’s Sevens rugby will be part of the Olympic Games, and although Mandy Marchak won’t be on the team due to an injury that forced her to retire in May, she will be in Rio to cheer on her former teammates. And as she does this she will be modelling how to handle life’s disappointments with grace and resilience, an important lesson for all children.
The Women’s Sevens team will play in a two-day tournament starting on August 6th. Kids should know that many of these women have been playing together for 10 years and are expected to reach the podium in Rio.
Rugby is a fast and fun game to watch. This article in the Toronto Star described it as: “Once just a shorter, faster offshoot of the traditional 15-a-side game, sevens has become a highly-skilled competition all its own. With constant action — scoring, turnovers, breakaways and tackles — and games that last only 14 minutes (20 in the final) it’s easy to see why the International Olympic Committee, looking to attract new and younger audiences, added this sport.”
It requires a wide array of movement skills such as running, throwing, catching, lifting and lowering, balance, and agility. Many other sports and activities help develop Rugby skills, including soccer, basketball, lacrosse, athletics, and even gymnastics.
When did you first realize you loved your sport? How did you know?
I’m pretty sure it was as soon as I could walk! I wanted to be involved in everything my parents put me in, and more.
What is one way, outside of sport, that being physically literate has helped you?
It has enabled me to be competent, creative, and strategic in multiple aspects of my life. I can educate and coach children, and adults, what I know in a wide variety disciplines through what I have learned through sport. Giving back is important to me, and knowing I have the ability to do so is incredible.
When you aren’t participating in your sport, what is your favourite way to be active?
I enjoy being outdoors, and that usually includes multi-day hikes/camping, walks, and hiking.
Tell us one thing you remember your parents doing that encouraged you or helped you to keep active.
They always gave us the opportunity to sign up and be involved in sports and activities. Always. They were instrumental in feeding my passion.
What’s the most important thing you can share with the kids who look up to you?
That you should always strive to be the best you can be. Go above and beyond what is asked, and if you want it bad enough, ask all the questions, always want to do more.