Skip to content

Annual Francis Cup held once again in Airdrie

The annual Francis Cup, a tournament put on by the Airdrie Highlanders Rugby Club, was played at the George McDougall High School field on May 11.

The annual Francis Cup, a tournament put on by the Airdrie Highlanders Rugby Club, was played at the George McDougall High School field on May 11. Five makeshift fields were assembled out of pylons, with players as young as six years-old battling it out on the in flag rugby games. 

The Francis Cup, named in the honour of Airdrie rugby enthusiast Kyle Francis, who passed away in 2021. Francis was a founding member of the Airdrie Highlanders Rugby Club, which has since organized the annual rugby play-down in his name. The 2024 version of the Francis Cup is just the second year of it's existence, with plans for it to continue until at least 2026. 

"Every May we do the Francis Cup, this year it just happened to fall on May 11, but we're gonna stick to it," said Jillian Young, a Francis Cup organizer and member of the Airdrie Highlanders leadership team. "[Our] poster has until year 2026 so after that we'll do another one for four more."

Young mentioned that the day had been a great success--teams and players were having fun, and parents and spectators were having just as much fun watching. Even Airdire's mayor Peter Brown jumped into an under-7 game to toss the ball around for a little while. 

The weather was perfect for a day of rugby. Players, some of them six, seven, or eight years-old, zipped and zagged across the George McDougall field, racing towards the end zones and lobbing a rugby ball almost the size of their heads to open teammates.

Every team was awarded with medals and players were given pens to sign the Francis Cup banner, which was fastened to one of the end zone uprights. 

"It seems to be going well," said Young, who darted between the fields to take pictures and organize with the volunteer referees.

Karley Francis, the widow of Kyle, sat at the entrance of the field and remarked on the fun that the teams seemed to be having. 

"It's so awesome to see all the kids that come out and have the wonderful time that they have," she said. "I know Kyle would have been so proud to see this and it's just awesome to see the community come together for a fun day of rugby."

 

 


Riley Stovka

About the Author: Riley Stovka

Read more



Comments

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks