Carleton Ravens women's rugby continues to make a splash on the international scene as Demi Swann and Lauryn Walker represent the Ravens internationally.
Ravens alumna Demi Swann (BSCH/21 – Neuroscience & Mental Health) was recently a member of the Scotland side at the first-ever WXV 2 tournament in South Africa. The Scots came away with the tournament championship by point differential, narrowly edging Italy for the title.
"It's fantastic for Demi to get this opportunity," said Ravens head coach David Luong. "She came from wrestling and proved to be a great athlete in her time here and her final year with Toronto."
Her former teammate, Lauryn Walker, is set to kick off competition at the Pan-American Games in Chile later this week as the captain of Team Jamaica.
Walker has played much of the 2023 season with the Lady Gaiters, including helping them to qualify for the tournament in the spring.
Early in the summer Walker and team Jamaica faced off against Canada at the Olympic Qualifiers. Despite losing out on a berth, the Jamaican side has qualified for the repechage tournament with hopes of still qualifying for the games.
Reflecting on what this means for his team, coach Luong was quick to praise the athletes. "I think this speaks volumes of the players. The program here is set up for high-performance athletes and our goal is always to develop student-athletes into incredible people while giving them the opportunity to play further than university."
Both formats hope to increase the level of competition in World Rugby. While 7s has quickly taken much of the mainstream media with its inclusion in the Olympics, the new XV competition hopes to continue to drive growth on the women's side internationally.
With a groundswell of support for women's sports in mainstream media, David believes that the increased visibility will only help to grow rugby in Eastern Ontario.
"The visibility can only help to start younger players," he explained. "Seeing things on TV will provide them something to aspire to be beyond playing sports in high school and university."