Sol Jacques fell in love with rugby from the moment he started playing it at the age of 12. But since then, it’s been more about than just playing the game — it’s been about representing the city he loves.
The Penticton-born player knew he wasn’t picking the most popular sport to play in the Okanagan. He also realized that as the years went on, fewer kids were choosing to play rugby around him.
But that didn’t stop the UBC varsity rugby player from wanting to represent Penticton everywhere he went.
“Especially when playing a sport like rugby, it’s not a big thing like hockey is in Penticton, but there’s a small group of really dedicated people who keep rugby up and running for people like me,” said Jacques.
Even though the 18-year-old has temporarily left Penticton to go play at the University-level, the city he loves remains on his mind all the time.
“Being a guy who’s now playing rugby outside of Penticton, I kind of have to represent and show where I came from because those people are important in getting me to where I am right now,” he added.
Jacques was recently selected to attend Rugby Canada’s upcoming U19 Team Camp in Mississauga, Ontario from Jan. 3-9. The opportunity to travel east in the new year pushes him one step closer to reaching his ultimate goal of playing for the national team.
“That’s a little down the road, but definitely a goal of mine,” Jacques stated.
The road for the first-year Kinesiology student to potentially play for the Canadian national team starts with getting selected for the U20 team. That, of course, can’t be achieved without first making an appearance with the U19 squad this January.
“The pathway after this U19 thing is to hopefully put my hand up for the U20 selection,” he explained. “After that, there’s obviously the potential to go play for the national team.”
The UBC student-athlete understands the inspiration he can be to other rugby players in the Okanagan. But it’s not just those who play rugby who he’s interested in having an impact on.
“I just think that kids are playing less and less sports these days and I really just want to show kids that some pretty crazy things can happen if you stick with it,” said Jacques. “If you’re good to the sport, it will be good to you back.”
When Jacques wakes up every morning at his UBC residence in Vancouver, he’s only a 10-minute walk from the school’s rugby field. And when he envisions one day playing for his country, he also can’t help but think about representing Penticton at the same time.