Submitted photo Ballenas Whalers Trysha Rybo has only played two years of rugby but she’s already made some headway in the sport having been selected to the BC U16 squad and was invited to the BC Youth Elite 7’s program.

Parksville’s Rybo is fast becoming a ruck star

Newcomer from the Philippines named to BC U16 and elite sevens program

Trysha Rybo is still getting used to life in Canada. Having moved to Parksville from the Philippines three years ago, Rybo, who attends Ballenas Secondary, has been exposed to a multitude of experiences that she would never have dreamed of engaging in at her country of origin.

One of them is rugby.

Rybo said she wasn’t interested in the sport and blames her friends for pushing her to try it out. That was two years ago.

“I didn’t really want to but my friends forced me to go with them and play,” she recalled. “And when I did, I just loved tackling. It’s a rough sport but I like it.”

Rybo, who is more passionate about basketball, the most popular sport in the Philippines, learned rugby quickly under Ballenas coach Olivia Hill. And her natural talent has not gone unnoticed. This summer, Rybo made it to the BC U16 squad and from there she was also selected to participate in the BC Youth Elite 7s program.

“I was really surprised to receive an email from BC Rugby,” said Rybo. “I also feel proud about it because I come from the Philippines where we don’t play rugby. To be invited was just a big honour for me.”

Rybo had the opportunity to train with the province’s top young rugby players in Vancouver and also joined the elite 7s program which is focused on identifying and developing talent for Rugby Sevens events.

“It was a great experience for me,” said Rybo. “I learned a lot more about rugby as well as made a lot of friends along the way. I was nervous at first but I got over that quickly.”

Hill, who has elevated the popularity of rugby at Ballenas Secondary, drawing over 40 eager girls to play the game last season, said “Trysha’s success is an amazing story.”

“A true testament to her passion and determination on the pitch,” said Hill. “She is a fierce competitor, and has excelled rapidly since first picking up a rugby ball not even two years ago. Just goes to show how far you can go in sports, when you are open to learning, and devoted to improving.”

School rugby doesn’t start until spring and Rybo said she just can’t wait to get back on the field. She is only in Grade 11 and aims to continue honing her skills. In rugby sevens she plays forward and back while in 15s she takes the flank and forward role.

“I just love to play defence and support my teammates,” said Rybo. “I love rucking.”

For now, Rybo will be focusing on her other passion, which is basketball. She used to do track and field in the Philippines but she just doesn’t have the time.

“I have to be selective on the activities that I can do,” said Rybo, who also works at Stanford Seniors Home in Parksville as a dietary aid and also at While Elephant after school.

Just Posted

RCMP ‘desperate’ for clues in case of missing Parksville mom

Carmel Gilmour was last seen more than a year ago

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end car chase from Parksville

Woman in her 30s from the Nanaimo area detained in Lantzville after Tuesday afternoon incident

Parksville Qualicum Beach drivers reminded to be aware of possible icy road conditions

Shaded areas, bridge decks and corners are common areas where slippery conditions can occur

Multiple Parksville resorts report stolen Christmas decorations

Oceanside RCMP say three thefts likely occurred on same night

Winds of up to 90 km/hr predicted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

Boy with terminal disease gets his wish – a trip to Disneyland – but family still looking for support

Kaleb Francis, 4, was diagnosed last month with X-linked myotubular myopathy

B.C. city considers scrapping funds for Christmas decorations

Victoria city coun. Ben Isitt doesn’t think the government should pay for any religious symbols

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

Out of the doghouse: B.C. city lifts ban on pup who barked too much at dog park

Cameron the Shetland sheepdog is allowed back into Uplands off-leash dog park under some conditions.

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Most Read