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

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

 

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

Just Posted

Golden Rotary Club president Isabelle Simard presents a check in Invermere to the winner of Golden’s bingo. (Michele LaPointe photo)
Golden Bingo continues to grow; expands to other BC communities

The money is going back into the community through various Rotary projects

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Vacciniation is underway in Golden as of Friday, Jan. 15. (Federico Gambarini/dpa via AP)
Vaccination underway in Golden

Long-term care residents and staff have been prioritized, April is the goal for public vaccination

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

A rendering of UBC’s planned downtown Kelowna campus. (Contributed)
Kelowna’s new downtown campus to help alleviate UBCO’s space crunch

The sizable development is anticipated to be completed by the fall 2024 semester

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

A petition to spare the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging later this year has eclipsed 21,000 signatures as of Jan. 20, 2021. (Rose Swanson Mountain/Facebook)
Controversial logging will cut 4% of ‘sensitive’ Armstrong forest area: Ministry

A petition to spare the Rose Swanson area from logging has eclipsed 21,000 signatures

Vernon firefighters douse a fire inside a cardboard bin behind the Shops at Polson off Highway 6 Wednesday, Jan. 20. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Dumpster fire behind Vernon shopping mall

Vernon Fire Rescue Services respond doused recycling bin fire backing onto Polson Park

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Most Read