Three members of the Bayside Rugby Club are doing their best to raise money for multiple sclerosis research through a seven-a-side tournament later this month.
Paige Smith, her brother, Riley Smith, and Paige’s boyfriend, Taylor Stogryn, have organized a one-day tournament Sunday, May 31 at South Surrey Athletic Park, with funds raised set to benefit the MS Society of Canada – an organization near and dear to all three Baysiders.
Paige and Riley’s grandmother, an Ocean Park resident, suffers from the disease – a chronic, progressive condition that damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
“She’s only in her mid-60s, but we have never seen her out of her wheelchair,” explained Paige, 20. “Throughout our entire lives, we have seen her in and out of the hospital due to complications from the disease.”
Taylor’s grandmother also suffered from MS, and passed away when he was very young, Paige added.
“Taylor and I both want to do something fun this summer that promotes rugby and Bayside in our community, and it was Riley’s idea to make it a fundraiser for the MS Society,” Paige explained.
The tournament, which will run from 9 a.m. until the evening, will feature teams from five divisions – men’s elite, men’s social, women’s elite, and both boys and girls under-18.
While a large contigent of players will be from the Semiahmoo Peninsula, teams are coming from throughout the Lower Mainland and even Seattle.
In addition to registration fees, money will be raised through food sales and prize draws, including a 50/50 draw.
“We’re hoping to raise a few thousand dollars,” Paige said.
“We’ve had a lot of support from all over the community so far, and it should be a lot of fun.”
At the event, information will also be available about both MS and the Bayside Rugby Club, and the event is open to anyone.