Rugby Canada helping with recovery efforts in small-town Kamaishi, Japan. (Twitter/Rugby World Cup JP)

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Rugby Canada may have not taken home the trophy, but the team earned gold in the hearts of many Japanese locals.

Team Canada were about to face Namibia in their final game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but severe weather caused by Typhoon Hagibis devastated the host town of Kamaishi, Japan. Rugby officials had no other choice than to cancel the match.

RELATED: Rescue efforts underway after typhoon rains flood Japan

“The team was obviously very, very disappointed about the cancellation of their final game, but after some time to process it we turned our focus to what we could do for the community,” says Gareth Rees, director of commercial and program relations for Rugby Canada.

Team Canada players decided to spend the rest of their fleeting time abroad helping the recovery efforts in Japan.

Typhoon Hagabis, meaning ‘speed’ in the Filipino language Tagalog, is being recognized as one of the strongest storms to hit the country in years. The death toll from Hagabis is at 72, according to recent numbers.

“Any small bit we could do to help the people affected by the typhoon, it is an amazing community up there and we thank them for their hospitality,” says Gordon McRorie, a scrum half from Calgary.

“We were obviously gutted about the decision to cancel our Namibia game but we wanted to give back in a little way to the people of Kamaishi who had given so much to us.”

READ MORE: Tough rugby world cup for Canada

Videos published to social media captured the devastation the typhoon caused, with washed-out highways, canceled flights, and evacuees in the hundreds of thousands leaving city centres for safety.

In many parts of small-town Kamaishi in the north-eastern part of the country, mud and debris damaged residential homes and storefronts.

“It was a landslide evacuated community, so we went in and helped shovel out some of the roads so cars could get in,” says Andrew Coe, a winger and full back from Markham, Ontario. “We went into some houses that weren’t properly protected, so they got pretty torn up in the typhoon.”

Now, Rugby Canada is back on home soil and its members will return to their local rugby clubs.

“I’m really proud to have been a part of the efforts,” says Rees.

“It revealed the true values of our game and this Canadian team to go beyond rugby and give back in whatever small way they could to a community and a country that gave so much to us.”

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Massive early-morning blaze destroys unoccupied Nanoose Bay home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire

Captain Dziadyk to end season with Oceanside Generals on high note

Qualicum Beach player is longest-serving player in team history

Petition underway to stop bylaw on homeless camping in Regional District of Nanaimo

‘Canadians are known for their meekness but this time we need to have a voice’

Qualicum Beach approves Pheasant Glen zoning amendment

Majority of residents who spoke at public hearing endorsed proposed amendment bylaw

Centre withdraws from cell tower project in Qualicum Beach

TELUS plans to continue to look at plans to improve cellphone reception in the area

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

First win, fifth win highlight BC Senior Curling finals

Donna Mychaluk wins first title after finishing second five times; Wes Craig takes fifth crown

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

BC Senior Curling titles to be decided in Vernon

Wes Craig, Penny Shantz looking for fifth championships; Steve Wright, Donna Mychaluk into finals

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Most Read