Skenes deserving of award

The husband-and-wife coaching team of Brad and Alanna Skene accepts the City of Duncan Sports Trophy. - Peter W. Rusland
The husband-and-wife coaching team of Brad and Alanna Skene accepts the City of Duncan Sports Trophy.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Brad and Alanna Skene have young twin children, but that doesn’t stop them from devoting enormous amounts of free time for the betterment of rugby in the valley.

The Skenes were named the 2013 winners of the City of Duncan Sports Trophy for excellence and sportsmanship in guiding young players to reach their full potential at the high school level and the Cowichan Rugby Club.

Both currently teach at Cowichan Secondary School. The high school girls’ team there cleaned up this season, winning five championships: the Joe McGeachy tournament, Island Sevens, Provincial High School Sevens, Island XV and the Provincial XV.

The results are reward enough because the Skenes love what they do. The significance of the award in valley sports history made it all the more special.

“The award means a great deal,’’ noted Brad Skene. “It’s probably the most important award that either of us has ever received. The T-Bird girls’ rugby team had an unbelievable season in 2013 — more than we have hoped or planned for and it is an honour to be recognized for its accomplishments.

“This type of award causes a bit of reflection. Alanna and I realize that the 2013 season would not have been possible without the seasons and great athletes that came before it in the program. We have been coaching rugby for over a decade at Cow High and the CRFC and this award provides recognition for our time and efforts over this period.’’

Even when Alanna was eight months pregnant, you could still find her at the field.

“Alanna and I are very fortunate to work with great people on the girls’ team,’’ Brad indicated.

“The players buy into the program and make a major commitment of effort and time. It isn’t what they do or we do. It is about our program and what we can do together.

“Alanna and I do have knowledge and expectations to give to the players, but they have to be open and accepting. We can’t forget the support that the school’s athletic department, PAC and administration, along with our families and the Cowichan Rugby Club, have given to our program. Without this network, we won’t be able to function the way that we do, nor would we have the success on the field that we have enjoyed.’’

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