Vince Fowler originally brought the idea of a Rams Women’s Team to the Executive in the late 1990’s. He was instrumental in convincing the Rams to start a Women’s Team and for that, the Rams Women’s 110% Award is called the “Vince Fowler” award.
There is a story from back in 1997 as told by Derrick “Rabbit” Telford and he says: “My favourite memory as President, I had a couple…but it was the ’97 AGM and we had about 8 people show up and discussed women’s rugby…needless to say, the debate was long, and ended up with a slim margin of victory for a Rams’s Women’s team. Maybe by 1 or 2 votes. They were to be called the “Ewes” and do all the bingos and pay more in fees than the men. As it turned out, it was to be a great moment for the Rams…..” Hmmmm, well at least we don’t pay higher dues than the men…..but that bingo thing…..? Ya, that happened…..
In April of 1999 a few women showed up to Bishop Caroll High School for our first rugby practice….For the first couple of years, we only ever had 12-13 girls registered….we didn’t even know what it was like to play with a full squad….ever! Needless to say, we pretty much got smoked every game. But we stuck together, we worked hard and we learned and then we were lucky enough to have the Legend himself, Fred Kazakoff take over as head coach from 2002-2004….for all three years that Fred coached us, along with Vince Fowler, the Rams Women were City Champs and in 2004, we took the Provincial Championship!
In 2005/2006, the Rams Women were hit with a terrible plague…..their bodies swelled up, they became irritable and impossible to be around, there was vomiting, nausea and bad skin….this was the year that 6 of our teammates all became pregnant and had babies….this was also known as the Year of the Ram Lamb! It was amazing for so many of us to go through the experience of having our first babies with our teammates there to support us and the even more amazing thing is that a few of those Rams Lambs are currently playing as Rams Jrs today!
2011 was another notable year for the Rams. This was the year Coach Shaun Oosthuizen stepped in and led the Rams to an UNDEFEATED SEASON!!! Shaun sent this message shortly after that season:
“Hi, I found myself being awake at 4 this morning with the thoughts, memories and emotions of last year. I ended up playing through the semi-final against the Hornets and the final against Red Deer. All the emotions from them scoring and taking the lead and in slow-mo the kick off, last 2 scrums, and the penalty with the quick tap, the off loads and us spinning and scoring under the posts. I truly have never felt such a rush and awesomeness at 4 in the morning….just wanted to share that with you!!!!”
Since then, we have had Rams Women playing Varsity level Rugby and representing Canada in both Rugby Union and Rugby League…..and we are so proud of you all!!
The Rams women continue to grow to be, not only inspiring rugby players and coaches, but amazing Moms, teachers, police officers, nurses, accountants, paramedics and career women. We are so proud to be a part of this club! We have girls playing U5, U7 and U9 co-ed rugby and the Rams were instrumental in creating the very first U11 girls Division in Calgary in 2019!! We also have a U13, U15, U16 and U18 Girls teams as well as Sr. Women’s Div 1 and Sr. Women’s Premier teams.
Rams Rugby is truly for everyone, and when we slip that jersey over our heads and look around at the amazing women and girls in that change room and on the pitch……when we pound pre game Skittles for “Beast Mode”……or scream “Live, Sweat, Bleed Blue” before kick off……we all know we are exactly where we belong. Where we can truly be ourselves and know our teammates have our back no matter what, on and off the pitch……We are so proud to BLEED BLUE!! #oncearamalwaysaram