Athletes of tomorrow

Dawson athletes that are moving on to a bigger stage

by Alison Henstridge

Standing at 5’4 and weighing 120 pounds, this Dawson athlete is sure to surprise you when she tells you what sport she plays; even more when you find out how she got into it.

Jenna Giuliani has been playing soccer since the age of four, ran track and field and figure skated for 12 years, but decided on playing rugby in high school after she got into a little trouble.

‘’I had detention and didn’t feel like going to it so I decided to skip it and tryout,’’ said Giuliani.

After her first high school season as a fullback, Giuliani had been scouted by the Quebec Rugby Federation (FRQ) for the Under-17 (U17) category.

“They told me I could also play for the juniors team in my region,” said Giuliani who, in the same summer played for the Sud-Ouest juniors and the Quebec U17 girls team.

After graduating from Billings, Giuliani came to Dawson not only to study but to play rugby as well. With her two years of participation in the  rugby program, she has been a large factor in the way the back line plays.

“As a fullback I see the entire field so I have to make sure the back line is in the right spot and make sure everyone knows what I see,” said Giuliani.

Giuliani believes that the other sports that she participated in  helped to develop her rugby skills.

“Well I’m pretty sure figure skating gave me my agility and soccer and track and field gave me my ability to run for long periods of time,” said

Giuliani, “It’s my agility that gets me by the opposition because I can deke [them out] and run.”

Giuliani’s rugby skills have allowed her to distinguish herself from the rest of her team and has been asked to play for the Canada under 20 (U20) selection camp alongside Dawson and Quebec U17 teammates Cara Stuckey and Bianca Farella. Although the tryouts were held in the beginning of March in San Diego, another tryout may be necessary before the team is decided.

“It was an honour to be invited and a great opportunity,” said Giuliani of the Canada U20 selection camp, “Having a chance at possibly playing for Canada one day is a dream come true.”

While injuries are of serious concern for rugby layers, Giuliani is more worried about her performance on the field.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries playing rugby but my biggest fear on the field is having someone get by me on a one on one.”

Being just 18 years old, Jenna Giuliani will be graduating from Dawson College with a diploma in Psychology and a significant rugby scholarship to Concordia University alongside her good friend and teammate Cara Stuckey.

*If you would like to nominate an outstanding Dawson athlete to be featured in The Plant, contact me at alison.m.henstridge@gmail.com*

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