Friday, September 16, 2011

Howlers howling for Canada

We Stand On Guard For Thee
(Painting by Ladd Fogarty)
You will be hard-pressed to find anyone in the sporting world who is more passionate about their sport than Karl Fix is about rugby.
Fix, who has been a fixture in Regina for years and has been involved in the Canadian rugby scene for just as long, loves rugby the way a mother loves her children.
So it comes as no surprise to learn that Fix, or rather one of his babies, has been involved in helping out the Canadian men’s team that is playing at the World Cup in New Zealand.
The Dog River Howlers, a rugby club based out of Regina, has raised $60,000 to help players on the Canadian rugby team while they are at the World Cup in New Zealand.
Karl Fix, the Howlers’ founder and president, says the Howlers spearheaded the 'We Stand On Guard For Thee' fundraising endeavour . . . “for these young men, most of whom are amateurs and needed this support in order to ‘stand on guard for us.’ "
By support, Fix is referring to the players needing to pay the bills over here while they’re playing over there.
According to Fix, the fundraising effort involved selling various ‘We Stand On Guard For Thee’ gear, along with a limited edition print, the original of which was done by Regina artist Ladd Fogarty.
“The idea,” Fix says, “is that the players ‘stand on guard’ for us and in turn we ‘stand on guard’ for them by supporting this fundraising endeavour.”
Fix says that two people who own one of the limited edition prints are Capt. Trevor Greene, one of our Canadian military heroes who was injured by an axe blow to the head during a meeting with villagers in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in 2006 , and Peter MacKay, the Canadian minister of national defence.
Fix also notes that Canadian player DTH van der Merwe, who is a product of Regina’s LeBoldus High School and the Regina Rogues, has worn Capt. Greene’s name around one wrist ever since hearing the captain give “an inspirational speech to some of the team and a room full of Canadian rugby supporters.”
Fix, who was a founding father of the Rugby Canada Super League's Prairie Fire, happened to be in that room, too.
“I witnessed him saying these few words that evening in Victoria and it was probably the most inspiring nationalistic thing I've ever heard,” Fix says. “You could hear a pin drop in that room with some 250 teary-eyed people almost mesmerized by his words.”
The Dog River Howlers are an invitational rugby club founded in early 2007 for the lovers of the game. The club is based in Dog River, Sask., the fictional home of CTV’s popular Corner Gas series.
The team colours are red (colour of the Canadian flag), orange (colour of the Prairie harvest moon) and black (the colour of the Prairie midnight sky).
Five members of the Canadian team have played for the Howlers -- Hubert Buydens, Nanyak Dala, Scott Franklin, the superbly bearded Adam Kleeberger and Ryan Smith. Kleeberger and Smith also have coached with the Howlers.
Canada is 1-0 at the World Cup, having beaten Tonga, 25-20, earlier in the week. Next up for Canada? France, Sunday, 1:30 a.m., Pacific time.
By the way, you will find the Howlers right here.


gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
     
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
     
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