After five long years of watching McGill carry home the title, the Concordia women’s rugby team finally brought home the cup named for a fallen Stinger.
The cup is in memory of Kelly-Anne Drummond, who played for Concordia’s rugby club and was murdered by her boyfriend on October 4, 2004.
On Tuesday night at Loyola Field, it wasn’t the game that mattered, or the title, or the bragging rights. What mattered was remembering Kelly-Anne and to support her family and families like hers that have been affected by domestic abuse.
“Kelly-Anne was a really happy girl, she loved rugby, she loved going to Concordia,” said her mother Doreen Haddad, “I had 24 wonderful years with her.”
“She was really dependable and super funny,” recalled Melanie Tranchemontange with tears brimming up, ” she was really where you needed her to be on the field and as a friend.” Tranchemontange was the last player to compete with Drummond in a Stinger uniform. Unfortunately, Tranchemontange graduated last year and therefore never got to raise the cup.
The event is more than just a game, it is also an opportunity to raise money and awareness to battle domestic abuse. This year almost $1,200 was raised for WomenAWARE, a Montreal-based group that helps families and victims with legal aid and support.
Every year since Drummond’s passing, the cup has been fought for by cross-town rivals McGill and Concordia. Every year the Stingers have watched the Martlets take home the cup– except this year.
The Stingers were able to break the streak with tries from Cortney Keeble, Lea Leahy and Jackie Tittley to take home the victory 24-7. Jessica Wong was the lone scorer for the Martlets. It was a cohesive effort by the Stingers as the coaching staff decided to start players that don’t normally get the opportunity to open the game.
“They fought for it and they capitalized on our mistakes and they deserved it,” conceded McGill captain Melany Waring. The Martlets have been honoured to be part of this event and as Waring puts it, the score doesn’t matter but that, “today it just meant loving the game.”
Haddad agrees and knows that somewhere, Kelly-Anne is cheering along with the crowd. “They (the Stingers) deserved it and maybe Kelly-Anne had something to do with it, she would be absolutely proud right now.”
For more information on WomenAWARE please visit www.womenaware.ca