Rugby Canada helping with recovery efforts in small-town Kamaishi, Japan. (Twitter/Rugby World Cup JP)

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Rugby Canada may have not taken home the trophy, but the team earned gold in the hearts of many Japanese locals.

Team Canada were about to face Namibia in their final game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but severe weather caused by Typhoon Hagibis devastated the host town of Kamaishi, Japan. Rugby officials had no other choice than to cancel the match.

RELATED: Rescue efforts underway after typhoon rains flood Japan

“The team was obviously very, very disappointed about the cancellation of their final game, but after some time to process it we turned our focus to what we could do for the community,” says Gareth Rees, director of commercial and program relations for Rugby Canada.

Team Canada players decided to spend the rest of their fleeting time abroad helping the recovery efforts in Japan.

Typhoon Hagabis, meaning ‘speed’ in the Filipino language Tagalog, is being recognized as one of the strongest storms to hit the country in years. The death toll from Hagabis is at 72, according to recent numbers.

“Any small bit we could do to help the people affected by the typhoon, it is an amazing community up there and we thank them for their hospitality,” says Gordon McRorie, a scrum half from Calgary.

“We were obviously gutted about the decision to cancel our Namibia game but we wanted to give back in a little way to the people of Kamaishi who had given so much to us.”

READ MORE: Tough rugby world cup for Canada

Videos published to social media captured the devastation the typhoon caused, with washed-out highways, canceled flights, and evacuees in the hundreds of thousands leaving city centres for safety.

In many parts of small-town Kamaishi in the north-eastern part of the country, mud and debris damaged residential homes and storefronts.

“It was a landslide evacuated community, so we went in and helped shovel out some of the roads so cars could get in,” says Andrew Coe, a winger and full back from Markham, Ontario. “We went into some houses that weren’t properly protected, so they got pretty torn up in the typhoon.”

Now, Rugby Canada is back on home soil and its members will return to their local rugby clubs.

“I’m really proud to have been a part of the efforts,” says Rees.

“It revealed the true values of our game and this Canadian team to go beyond rugby and give back in whatever small way they could to a community and a country that gave so much to us.”

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Confusion surrounds terms of RCMP withdrawal from pipeline construction area

B.C. Deputy Commissioner clarifies terms of agreement following minister’s statements

Stop checks, searches of Wet’suwet’en pipeline opposers unlawful: Watchdog

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs file complaint

Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters speak up

“Protesters get one side of the story and they stand up with their fists in the air.”

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Petition slams Victoria councillor who chastised police after Wetsuweten protest

Ben Isitt calls effort to get him suspended is not a ‘reliable barometer of public opinion’

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read