‘I knew she’d make it’

P.A. rugby player Serena Franc (seen here at left with teammates in Brandon, Man.) will be competing at the 2017 Canadian Rugby Championship in Calgary next month as a member of the Prairie Blizzard, a team that includes players from Manitoba and Saskatchewan. (Photo courtesy Serena Franc)

P.A. rugby player to join Manitoba-Saskatchewan team for first national appearance

During her high school career, Serena Franc would drive out to Saskatoon two or three times a week after school in the springtime to play rugby.

It was a major commitment for Serena, who was also juggling 4-H activities and school responsibilities, and sometimes she had to fight self-doubt, but in the end she was determined to make time for the thing she loved. With no organized girls’ rugby in Prince Albert, she had no other choice than to travel to another city to play the game.

“It was very hard,” said Serena, now 17 and a graduate of Carlton Comprehensive High School.

“I’d almost have myself talked out of it every time I went somewhere, but (my mom) always told me I’m going to regret it if I don’t go. So my mom was a big push for me to keep going and keep pursuing it because she knew that I was meant to play it and loved it.”

Serena was first exposed to rugby by her brother Tristan, who started playing when he was in Grade 7 and would eventually move on to the P.A. Saskatchewan Rivers Dragons. Because of the lack of a girls’ rugby program in the city, Serena started practising with the Dragons as well. When she decided to participate in the sport at the club level, her mother Neru was willing to make the drive to Saskatoon.

“It was a little hectic but it was very worth it because I see the impact that rugby’s had on my kids and it’s been very positive for her,” Neru said.

“To make that commitment, to drive her to Saskatoon, has been worth it and she absolutely loves it and to be with girls that are likeminded like her, athletic, is pretty awesome.”

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