Corben Bowen (right) has become a fixture in the provincial rugby program. The Grade 10 Sardis student credits practicing and playing against older boys for helping make him a better player.

Corben Bowen (right) has become a fixture in the provincial rugby program. The Grade 10 Sardis student credits practicing and playing against older boys for helping make him a better player.

Falcons help prep Bowen for BC battles

Sardis secondary school student Corben Bowen is in Las Vegas this week, representing BC at a rugby sevens event.

No one likes the beep test.

Designed by a coach with a sadistic streak, it involves having athletes run back and forth to pylons set 20 metres apart.

The time they have to do so gets smaller as the test goes on.

Athletes can jog at the start, but must sprint at the end, and there’s no better way to find out who’s truly in shape. On a sunny Tuesday afternoon at Sardis secondary school, the beep test quickly chases most of the Falcon rugby players off the field, retreating to the gym for a gulp of water.

But the youngest among them, Grade 10 student Corben Bowen, keeps going.

And going.

And going.

“It’s hell, but you’ve got to keep pushing yourself to beat your teammates,” Bowen said. “It’s painful at the end.”

That Bowen excels at the beep test says a lot about how hard he trains, and explains why he’s become a fixture in the Team BC rugby program.

It explains why he’s in Las Vegas this week, part of a 12 man U-16 roster taking part in the Las Vegas Invitational Sevens event.

It explains why he’ll probably represent the province in similar events in China (Hong Kong) and Germany.

“I’ve never done anything like this (Las Vegas) before and I think it will be amazing and fun,” Bowen said before leaving for Sin City. “If you want to be better you’ve got to play with and against the top athletes, and I’m just fortunate they picked me.”

More than 30 players participated in four tryouts to qualify for the Vegas trip. Bowen, who can play just about any position in seven’s believes versatility helped secure a spot.

“Not too many guys can do that because they have to have the right size and cardio,” he said. “We play three to four games each day.”

Past history with Team BC helps.

Two years ago he represented BC at a national rugby festival in Victoria, and he’s well known to his coaches and provincial teammates.

“The faces don’t change much because I play club and provincial and now this level, so I talk to the other guys on a regular basis,” Bowen said. “A couple have become really good friends. We text each other and hang out and great friendships come from it.”

Bowen’s other advantage is practicing  with, and playing against, older boys in high school.

“I come to school and play with a bunch of bigger guys, so when I make a team like this and play against guys my own age I’m not intimidated,” Bowen noted.

The trips to China and Germany will hinge on Bowen’s performance in Vegas.

There will be more tryouts and nothing is assured.

“It’s amazing to have these opportunities and it leaves me speechless,” Bowen said. “I’m doing something I love and having fun with it. Doing at this elite level is phenomenal.”

Find more info online at bcrugby.com

Just Posted

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

A student prepares to throw a plate full of whipped cream at principal Jim Egdcombe’s face as vice principal Devin Atkins watches as part of a fundraiser at Leary Integrated Arts and Technology elementary on Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
The pied principals: Chilliwack elementary staff get messy for charity

Cops for Cancer fundraiser saw kids ‘pie the principal’ at Leary elementary in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read