The Concordia Stingers and Montreal Carabins come together to honour former Stinger
CW: Domestic violence
On Oct. 3, the Concordia Stingers and Montreal Carabins women’s rugby teams came together for the Stingers’ annual Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup, to honour the legacy of the former Concordia student and Stingers rugby player.
The 16th edition of the cup was competed for differently this year because of COVID-19; instead of playing a game of rugby, the Stingers and Carabins competed in a 24-hour walk-run challenge to raise money for Women Aware, a community-based centre providing long-term support to victims of domestic violence.
There were three challenges taking place between the clubs, with each challenge representing a point; the team to win two of them would be declared the winner. The idea to find a way to make the competition happen actually came from the Stingers players, as they still wanted to commemorate Drummond despite COVID-19.
Drummond was a former player who was killed by her boyfriend in 2004. Fifth-year player and captain Kirsten Trafford said the team discussed over video chat to make sure they would still compete for the cup this year despite being unable to hold a rugby game.
“We thought about the possibility of challenging another team in any possible way,” Trafford said. “There were other rugby teams over the summer that were doing challenges to keep everyone active, and we came up with the idea through that. We just sort of [built] the competition that way.”
Using mobile app Strava, the first challenge consisted of walking or running during the day; the team with the most kilometres at the end of the day would win.
The second part of the competition was totaling the distances of the three players with the most kilometres from each team; the team with the most kilometers would win.
Finally, the last challenge, which was mostly proposed by the Carabins and then added to the competition, asked teams to do various physical and artistic activities. Players had to film themselves while doing specific things, and were rewarded points for their performances. The team with the most points at the end of the day would win the challenge.
The Stingers won all challenges, successfully defending their Kelly-Anne Drummond Cup title. Trafford said this year’s cup gave the team a moment of relief, especially without a rugby season to play.
“Since we’ve had nothing else to strive for this year, this was even bigger for us,” Trafford said. “We’ve been practicing for a while, even if it’s on hold now with the red zones. Yet, we didn’t have anything to strive for recently, so that was something really exciting. It gave us a goal. We want to keep the cup home, because Kelly-Anne was a member of the Stingers family, and still is in our hearts.”
Every year, the team aims to raise awareness about domestic violence while raising money for Women Aware. Setting a goal of $1,000, the Stingers surpassed it in less than a day, with the money raised currently sitting at over $6,000.
Head coach Jocelyn Barrieau said she’s not often shocked by things. However, she was blown away by the money the team has raised so far.
“We set the goal of $1,000 because we usually raise around a thousand every year, and we wanted to make sure that we would raise a similar amount,” Barrieau said. “I never thought that we would raise more than $5,000 in one day.”
Barrieau said she hasn’t really processed how great this year’s special edition of the cup was, but it felt great to have some sense of normality again.
“I’m just so impressed, and [feeling] emotional about the whole thing,” Barrieau said. “We were looking forward to the competition, calling it a game day and talking strategies with team meetings and all. It was so nice to feel like we were competing again.”
Trafford said the way the cup was competed for this year, with social distanced activities because of COVID-19, was an incredible initiative from the Stingers and Carabins.
“It’s been an amazing turnout,” Trafford said. “We also raised more money this year than we ever did, which is fantastic. Also, from a team perspective, it’s definitely the most effort I’ve seen from anybody on the team in the five years I’ve been here. We had girls up at 2 a.m. already out running to start the challenges, so it was cool to see.”
Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion