Friday, May 1, 2015

Stars Rugby 7s Returns Coach Joel Bonnaud for Stampede 7s Tour

Stars Rugby 7s is proud to return Coach Joel Bonnaud to the staff for Calgary Stampede 7s. I came to know Joel quite well as my club 7s coach with the Columbus-based W1823 7s side. We've amassed plenty of time together on the road traveling to qualifier tournaments around the Midwest 7s series and off-season trips to New York 7s & Atlanta 7s.

His passion for the game, strong relationships with the players, and tireless efforts in providing year-round programming for our club made him a clear choice as a coach for the Stars team. Plus he has tutored us in French, hosted our team for Thanksgiving dinner, for barbecues & team bonding, all while demonstrating remarkable patience & calm and a fantastic sense of humor.

Joel shared his bio and coaching philosophy:

Joel grew up in the South West of France (Toulouse area) – an undeniable rugby stronghold – and was then involved in the game very early on, reaching the Federale 1 level (top amateur level) in his Senior years.In 2005, Joel and his family moved to the NYC metro area and a couple of years later, he decided to start giving back and share his passion by opening his own youth rugby club, Try Rugby.

Moving once more in 2011 to New Albany, OH, Joel kept running his youth club, but also started coaching women's college D1 rugby at The Ohio State University Women’s RFC. In two seasons with the team he led the squad to CRC 7s championship match and consecutive appearances in the USA Rugby Collegiate 7s Nationals Elite 8.

In 2014, merging efforts with the prestigious Tiger Rugby, Joel not only launched the Tiger Youth Rugby Academy (opened to all Grades, Boys and Girls, with its own facilities), but also created the women’s club 7s team “W1823”.

After a successful first Midwest Competitive Summer, W1823 went on to participate in New York 7s, Atlanta 7s. Several players had the great opportunity to play for Stars Rugby in Tobago 7s, Vegas 7s and as well join the American Rugby Pro Training Center high performance 7s camps. In February 2015, Joel had the privilege to coach one of the Stars Rugby Elite Women’s teams in Vegas.

Joel’s coaching philosophy focuses on player development, which is why he founded W1823 and joined Stars Rugby: “Outcome only is a byproduct of content. The goal isn’t then to collect easy wins in order to show a nice record, but to evolve in an environment of excellence, surrounding yourself with the best and playing against the best…There is no better reward than watching players and team as a whole continuously reaching new heights and pushing their limits."

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