OTTAWA, October 12, 2019 – #SaveTwinElm is taking its best shot in a national contest in an effort to raise funds to bring its beloved facility up to code and make it accessible for all.

Twin Elm Rugby Park is a not-for-profit athletic facility incorporated in 1973, when four families mortgaged their homes to purchase the land. Over the decades, through volunteers and unpaid staff, Twin Elm has grown to be an international standards facility with five full-sized natural grass fields, a clubhouse with men’s and women’s change rooms, meeting rooms and a lounge. The main field’s stands accommodate over three thousand sports enthusiasts.

“As a police officer, I know first-hand the positive role sports can play in the lives of youth in our community,” said Ian McDonell after nominating Twin Elm for the Kraft Heinz Project Play. “It’s my goal to ensure all the incredible opportunities rugby provided me are available to my three daughters and kids across Canada for generations to come.”

Kraft Heinz Project Play is a joint partnership between TSN, RDS and Kraft Heinz to provide Canadian communities with funds for play-based infrastructure projects. It commits $325,000 to building better places to play. The grand prize winner collects $250,000 and the other three finalists take home $25,000 each.

“We are proud to partner with Kraft Heinz to entice and excite our communities to provide opportunities for all to play in accessible, world class facilities,” says Lee Powell, president of Twin Elm Rugby Park. “The effects of climate change are causing damage to the park. With the support of the Kraft Heinz Project Play, we have the hope to not only reverse the damage — but enhance the glory days of Twin Elm and open our doors to all.”

The facility hosts Rugby Canada’s men’s and women’s national teams in international competitions, as well as Canadian, provincial, post-secondary and local championships. The fields welcome ultimate frisbee, touch football, Gaelic football, hurling, lacrosse, soccer and even national German Shepherd competitions.

One recent highlight saw Twin Elm host the Mixed Abilities Rugby Program, providing an opportunity for people living with disabilities to participate in sport.

“Rugby’s core values have enabled us to create a safe place for everyone of all abilities to play rugby,” said LeeAnn Napiorkowski, founder of Mixed Ability Rugby. “We look forward to having an accessible clubhouse in the nation’s capital, where everyone will experience a wonderful environment inclusive of all athletes and their families.”

Twin Elm requires major renovations to its infrastructure, especially plumbing, electrical and modifications to make the facility accessible to all, including our LGBTQ2 community. As women’s rugby is the fastest growing sport in Canada, Twin Elm has designs on adding changeroom facilities for female referees, as well as a gender-neutral changeroom.

“Twin Elm has played a major role in my rugby life, from my local club days to my Rugby Canada days when we were fortunate to be able to host national teams from around the world,” recalls Al Charron, former Captain of Rugby Canada’s men’s national team and member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame. “Twin Elm is a real treasure, and with a boost to its infrastructure we can create a jewel of a sports facility that visiting teams will be impressed with, and a sports home residents will be proud of, and everyone will enjoy using for years to come.” 

Voting takes place Friday, October 18th at 12 noon eastern through Sunday, October 20th, 2019 at 12 noon eastern. To vote for #SaveTwinElm, click here.

The grand prize winner will be announced at the end of October on TSN and RDS.

For more information:

Twitter: @TwinElmRugby

Instagram: twinelmrugby

Facebook: Twin Elm Rugby Park

For interview requests, please contact Lee Powell (613) 286-9986 and LeeEllen Carroll (613) 794-6868