Author Tags: Sports

Rugby was first played in Victoria, B.C. in 1877. The Rugby Union of Canada existed from 1929 to 1939. Reformed in 1965, it's now known as Rugby Canada for which Doug Sturrock of Vancouver is an honourary historian. An avid player and coach who was born in 1936, he wrote a Master's thesis, The History of Rugby in Canada, in 1971, and taught physical education for 32 years at four Vancouver secondary schools, most notably at Magee Secondary for 27 years. His various teams won five provincial championships and made fourteen overseas tours.

Subsequently Doug Sturrock and Tom Keast co-authored Once A Mermaid: The Meraloma Club 1923-1998 (Meraloma Club, 2001), a history of the Kitsilano athletic club that commenced as a swimming group, but soon branched into other sports, most notably rugby. The name Meraloma is derived from Mer for mermaid (ie. swimming), a for alpha (first letter of the Greek alphabet), om for omega (last letter) and a for always. The Mermaid Athletic Club became the Meraloma Club in 1925.

In 2014, Sturrock wrote Magee Secondary 2014 Centennial Memoir and was inducted into the British Columbia Rugby Union Hall of Fame.

Printed in Germany, Doug Sturrock's 1,000-page It's a Try! The History of Rugby in Canada (Langley: Sturrock Consulting 2017 / $65.00 / 978-0-9958694-0-0) is his updated and expanded version of his Master's thesis. According to Sturrock, no other comprehensive history of rugby in Canada exists.

[BCBW 2017] "Sports"

Biography (2017) -- Doug Sturrock


Educated in Vancouver at Bayview Elementary School, Kitsilano Secondary School, the University of British Columbia (BPE) and the University of Alberta (MA).


Physical education teacher at five secondary schools for 32 years, the last 27 years as a department head at Magee Secondary School, and a teaching associate for one year at Simon Fraser University. Coached and refereed rugby at four schools for 39 years, while also coaching wrestling, track and field, and sponsoring boys’ basketball and girls’ golf. Rugby convener (coordinator of league play) for Vancouver for one year, an athletic director for 15 years at Magee Secondary School, and conducted many Vancouver School Board and British Columbia Rugby Union (BCRU) coaching clinics from the 1970s through to the 1990s. Retired from teaching in 1998 but continued coaching at Magee Secondary School until 2004. From 1969 to 1973, and from 1980 to 1982, coached the Meraloma Senior Men’s Rugby team. 16 overseas tours were made - 14 as Magee’s coach and two as Rugby Canada Under 19 assistant coach. The high school teams won five Vancouver (VSSAA) championships, seven Vancouver and District (VDIHSAA) championships, and five provincial (BCSSRU) championships. Two Meraloma senior men’s teams won provincial (BCRU) championships, in 1972 and 1973.

From 1982-1995, was on the selection committee for Rugby Canada’s Under 19 national team, serving as chair on several occasions. Chaired the BCRU Centennial History Committee in 1989, was president of the Vancouver Secondary Schools Athletic Association (VSSAA) in 1975-1976, president of the VDIHSAA in 1976-77, and president of the BCSSRU in 1987-89. Technical Advisor (Rugby) at the 1993 Canada Summer Games and was Rugby Canada’s vice-president of Junior Men’s national teams from 1992 to 1995, while also being the chair of the under 23 Selection Committee.

As Honorary Historian for four organizations, researched and compiled information for several rugby players who were inducted into both the BCRU Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, and was recently appointed to perform the same role with Rugby Canada Hall of Fame. Co-authored with Tom Keast in 2001, Once a Mermaid-The Meraloma Club 1923-1998, wrote the Magee Secondary 2014 Centennial Memoir, and after 15 years of research and documenting, published It’s a Try! The History of Rugby in Canada. the first such undertaking for the sport of rugby in our country\

Current Professional Activities
A member of three committees:
1. BCSSRU Tournament Organizing Committee responsible for the secondary schools’ provincial championships that are held annually for 36 teams.
2. BCSSRU Scholarship Committee that awards scholarships each year to deserving athletes.
3. BCRU Hall of Fame Selection Committee responsible for choosing inductees into the BCRU Hall of Fame and for writing their citations.
4. Rugby Canada Hall of Fame Selection Committee (chair) responsible for choosing inductees into the first Rugby Canada Hall of Fame in 2017.
The honours or awards received are:
1. 1974 Vancouver Rugby Union – CW. Stoess Trophy for sportsmanship, leadership, and playing ability.
2. 1986 British Columbia Rugby Union – Jack Patterson Award for outstanding contribution to the game of rugby football in British Columbia.
3. 1990 VSSAA – Longstanding Service Award.
4. British Columbia Secondary Schools Rugby Union – Life Member.
5. 1999 British Columbia School Sports – Honour Award.
6. 2001 Sport BC – President’s Award.
7. 2015 Inducted into the British Columbia Rugby Union Hall of Fame.