Clayton Heights rugby players lent a hand and a shovel at their school Nov. 30.
Tony Lyons, janitor at Clayton Heights Secondary, arrived for work that morning with a lot of shovelling ahead of him.
It was the morning after the first big snowfall of winter, schools in Surrey were all open, and there was a lot of snow to clear from CHS sidewalks.
But after Lyons got started, he looked up to see an army of rugby players arriving at the school—shovels in hand.
“While shovelling snow early in the morning to try and get the school ready to be opened,” Lyons said, “I noticed kids walking down the sidewalk shovelling snow.”
Lyons said the boys rugby team, and a few others, had showed up early for classes, just to help out clearing the sidewalks so students and teachers could access the building.
“They shoved city sidewalks on the way and community sidewalks located around the school,” Lyons added.
The Clayton Heights boys rugby team is coming off a very successful year.
The program was only restarted in 2022 after being shelved for a long time because of a lack of coaches.
“We have not had rugby at Clayton Heights Secondary for many years since some of our long-time teachers and coaches retired,” Bruce Dayton, manager of the rugby program, told the Cloverdale Reporter earlier this year.
Dayton, who is also counsellor at the school, reached out to Andrew Evans, director of rugby at Trinity Western to help find some people who wanted to coach.
The rugby program made some noise and capped off a dream return to rugby this year by capturing a AA Tier II gold medal June 4 at the high school championships in Abbotsford.
The gold medal win followed some big successes on the pitch as Clayton Heights won the South Fraser Regional rugby championship, which gave them favourable seeding for provincials, and they also won the Rodeo Bowl, a cross-town rivalry game with Lord Tweedsmuir.
Dayton told the Reporter each kid played their heart out during the season (some never played the game before) and each rugby player learned valuable life lessons and life skills.
“They care so much about each other and the game. This is what will be remembered long after the season is over, along with the values (the coaches) are instilling in our boys,” he said.