Excitement continues to grow on campus as Acadia hosts the U20 Women’s Rugby Tri-Nations Cup this month. Acadia is represented by five Axewomen on the national team. The Cup series is expected to attract over 1,000 people, including athletes, support personnel, local rugby fans and visitors from out of town.
This year marks the fourth year in a row that an important sports event is being held on campus. Although there are economic benefits and partnerships with sports organizations as a result of hosting, this Cup series is a chance for the Acadia community to create new opportunities for the future.
“Anytime that we can showcase our campus, people want to come back,” says Kevin Dickie, Acadia’s Director of Athletics and Destination Acadia. “It could be student-athletes or high school students who want to go to university here. It could be people who want to relocate to become professors here. There are a lot of intangible benefits to hosting events on campus. ”
Dickie adds that it’s certainly not difficult to recognize the impact of an event like the Tri-Nations Cup has on Wolfville as it’s “vast.”
But while the Cup series brings great national and international exposure to Acadia, the event also positively impacts students and athletes within the university. Playing host to a prestigious international event creates a strong sense of community and pride among the university’s student body.
"I think our athletic program, in some ways, puts Acadia on the map in certain places and I think our students take pride in that. I can tell by the number of them that attend these events,” says Dickie.
Axewoman Annie Kennedy says the Cup series influences other members in the community because “it showcases the talent in the U Sports league and locally at Acadia.”
Kennedy emphasizes that the greatest benefit of competing in a tournament is being part of a team and working towards a common goal.
“We all come from such different backgrounds, but what binds us together is our mutual love for the game and hunger to win a championship.”
Canada’s team will face the UK team on Friday, August 10. The Acadia Axewomen Rugby home opener is on Saturday, September 8.