Derek Pue is focused on getting the most out of women’s rugby program as they are going into the final year of their trial period.
The women’s WolfPack rugby sevens team is in the final year of its trial period and head Coach Derek Pue is filled with optimism and excitement for the upcoming season.
Derek Pue, a proud dad and a self-professed football and rugby addict, is very friendly and unassuming, a man who always wears a smile on his face.
He speaks about rugby with an enthusiasm and passion, but also with a realization that this could be the final year for the program.
The rugby sevens program is TRU’s newest athletic program, which hosted open tryouts a few weeks ago, trials which Pue felt went really well. For him, the goal is just to get the message out to the community.
Pue believes his biggest challenge with the program will be creating awareness about the program.
“Rugby isn’t a household name when it comes to sports in Canada,” Pue said.
He also alluded to the fact that Canada’s women’s rugby team getting a medal at the Olympics has helped gain more attention for the sport in Canada.
Pue aims to ride off the wave and momentum that was created from that success. He also mentioned how that success has helped gained more traction in local schools.
“I think our biggest challenge is going to be to get to them and show them TRU is a great spot that you can come and learn and do your studies, but you can also play a high caliber of rugby,” he said.
Pue also spoke about the tough schedule they had last season, especially against stiff competition.
“Last year we got thrown into the deep end in terms of the competition, playing against international caliber athletes at UVIC and UVA, they all have very strong programs,” Pue said.
Pue emphasized that one of his goals going into the season is to increase the workload of his players to improve the skills of the team. He added that he is very open to all types of athletes joining the team and the sport, as he believes rugby sevens isn’t just for rugby players but for all athletes.
Pue mentioned the fact that some people age out of certain sports and need some form of athletic competition and rugby can offer an alternative.
Pue acknowledged having a set plan for the trial period and then another plan for the next five years if the program is approved.
The ‘Pack women’s rugby has also been involved in programs within the community and that is something which Pue is proud of.
“Through TRU we got out and few of the girls were involved in the Raise-a-Reader program, they went out with the mayor and stood at Starbucks and took donations for the Raise-a-Reader program, which is incredibly important to varsity athletes,” he said.
The women’s rugby team also attended the sponsorship breakfast and the Terry Fox Run as well.
The team seems to be getting involved in the community and the program seems to be looking to grow; hopefully, the sport is approved and stays at TRU.