Madison Grant is heading to Victoria, B.C. to train with the Rugby Canada rugby sevens program. (Alycia Douglass/TC Media)
CORNWALL, Ontario - In just a week, 16-year-old Madison Grant will make the voyage from Cornwall to Victoria, British Columbia to pursue her dream of playing professional rugby.
Grant recently travelled to Victoria to take part in a training camp with members of the Canadian Olympic team. From there, Grant gained a spot in the centralized Rugby Sevens program on the U-18 Canadian team, as well as the women’s all ages top-24.
“I’m trying to be mentally and physically prepared for what’s coming, but it is bittersweet moving so far away from home,” said Grant. “It’s definitely overwhelming moving across the country, but I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
Having played many other sports throughout the years, Grant says the physicality is what attracted her to rugby. Having picked up the sport just two years ago, Grant says it just stuck.
“I grew up playing basketball. In rugby, you need to be aggressive, but you also need to be fast and have a good sense of your surroundings,” said Grant. “Athletically, it challenged me in a whole new way.”
Grant says that her coach helped instil a solid work ethic from the early stages of her rugby career with the St. Joseph’s Panthers. She says that constant encouragement from friends and family has helped her become a better athlete.
“I’ve had a lot of support from my trainer, as well as my teammates, and friends and family,” said Grant. “It’s important for me to acknowledge when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and accept that I need to slow down sometimes.”
For Grant, this experience will help propel her trajectory toward her Olympic dream with hopes of competing in Tokyo 2020.
“I don’t want to underestimate the challenges I’m going to face, but I also don’t want to overwhelm myself,” said Grant. “I’m just keeping an open mind for what’s to come.”
To assist with expenses, a gofundme page has been set up. Visit it here.