Ensign Cup Benefit Rugby Game 1983-Present - kelownarugby.com
"34 years ago, Rusty Ensign was playing in a Rugby tournament in Edmonton with the Crows. He drove his head into the knee of an opponent while tackling and crushed vertebrae in his neck, immediately paralyzing him.
Unfortunately, his spine did not recover and he remained a quadriplegic. It did not daunt Rusty, as he continued ranching, running his family business, Ensign Construction, and is currently a city counsellor in West Kelowna.
Every year the crows hold a tournament in August, the Ensign Cup, in tribute to Rusty. Money raised from this tournament is donated to a charity of Rusty's choice."
kelowna-crows - kelownarugby.com
Originally for Rusty Ensigns rehabilitation, the annual event has raised thousands of dollars for numerous causes over the years including the Man In Motion World Tour in 1986, 1987 and ICORD.
The 35th annual Ensign Cup benefit games held Saturday September 2nd, 2017 at the Parkinson Recreation Centre in Kelowna, BC had the Crows over 30s take on the under 30s in a inter-squad match.
Played on a terribly hot afternoon, with a recorded high of 36.2o or 90.68f, the game was shortened to four 15 minute quarters from two 40 minute halves.
The old boys had six spares but the young fellas only could muster one spare. It was still a game at the half 21-15.
The heavier scrum prevailed in the second and despite a few gallant runs by the under 30’s the old boys finished victorious 54-27.
Tries for the old boys Dempsey 3, Eddie Pyl 2, Mertah, James Cannahan and Sam Stringer all with one. Eddie Pyl went 6 for 7 in converts with Ben Pellet adding one.
For the losing side Curtis Killmarten scored 2 tries with Jake Pillon, Danny Illichman and Johab Campbell all scoring one. The lone convert was kicked by Rick Schouten. Final tally after 35 games over thirty, 17 wins, under thirty 15 wins with three draws.
After serving 32 games out of 34 prior Ensign Cups George Curran finally hung up the boots at the age of 54 and became a spectator. This is a milestone as George was the last player to play that Rusty played rugby either with or against.
Honourable mention goes to Bob Monaghan at 47 to be the oldest playing and Chris Ward for refereeing the game. Special thanks to past Crows Presidents and players Jeremy Harris and Jeff Findlay along with former players Mike Geddes, Wes Polak and Shaun Klotz for attending.