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Catalog Number 2014.37.9
Object Name Video
Title Gareth Rees Interview
Scope & Content Gareth Rees:
00:13Childhood - how did you get involved in the sport: came from a family of two physical education teachers so sport was year round when he was growing up; family is from Britain, he is first generation born Canadian; played at the Castaways Sport Club, family played rugby, soccer and field hockey (his Mom) and that's where his extended family was
00:40Why and how rugby: it was a sport he chose, he played all different sports growing up in Victoria; it is a big part of who he was as an athlete because he did not specialize; it is a big concern of his that kids play lots of sports and have different experiences; rugby came at age 16, had to decide between soccer and rugby, his father had played at a high level, he loved the game and the camaraderie, he loved the challenge, it was the teamwork that attracted him: the different types of players and the different levels of skills they needed to have
01:29At age 19 his first big achievement was being picked to play for Canada, he learned all his rugby here and had great teachers, great coaches, a great team and great players; getting picked for Canada was huge, the recognition was nice and good for Canada and Canadian rugby; he was playing to do well for Canada and his Canadian teammates
02:01What drove you: the rest of the world did not think that we had the right accent and that Canadians had the right to be good at rugby; that drove he and his teammates; they wanted to prove to the rest of the world that they could beat them and they did it over the course of our careers and are very proud of that; for him it is a very big thing to prove to the rest of the world that Canadians could play rugby
03:14At what point did you think you had made it: going to a world championship and earning his living from playing the game professionally; talks about training by himself in a stadium in England and realizing it was a dream come true from growing up in Victoria where they had no stadium
04:11Highlight of his career: putting on the Canadian jersey for the first time; beating France in Ottawa; to bring that to a Canadian audience with a great group of guys, to beat the best team in the world at that time; so much of it is about sharing with the team; that moment cannot be taken away from you
05:15On being inducted into the International Rugby HOF: it was surreal; end of a journey; felt it for the community in Victoria that produced him, who created opportunities for him, he felt it was great for them; felt it for his family who loved sport, for his Dad, for rugby, the game to be recognized, great for the guys he played with and for the current athletes
06:49Importance of family: his Dad is Welsh, his Mom British but they are very, very Canadian; sport was part of the household, a healthy part; it was not an issue if he had not been successful, it was about the value and what was behind sport and the people you meet in sport
08:03How did it affect you to make your Dad proud: he is happy for them as Canadians and adopted Canadians and first generation; they made Canada their home and raised their family here, so for Canada's Sports HOF to recognize him is incredible; his Dad is a coach but the game never got out of hand, it was about the values you got from the game - the friends you made, the need to interact with different people, how to deal with success and failure, that is why we were playing sport; to know
09:26On being the first inducted in his sport to the CHSOF: very important to him that rugby has an important place and that younger players can go and see himself and his generation go there and that there is no reason why they couldn't go out and do the same thing and that hopefully the story behind his success resonates and people use that to have their own good experience; because of the community side of rugby and that you can travel all over the world and have an immediate group of friends, is an important aspect of the sport to him; open the field it is very important that you get along with the people around you, you know what you do well and what you don't do well and ultimately you have to respect the game and the opposition
10:40Challenges: number one is not to lose that [respect for the game], we have very professional support for athletes to win medals but I wouldn't want to be that at the expense of the values that is at the centre of it; if it started to jeopardize the game that would be cause for concern and disappointment; exposure is the other challenge, to get people to the game, make sure they understand it, that it is a physical contact game and to respect it; don't stop being involved whether you are in administration or helping at a club level, that is part of the culture of rugby
12:06Impact you bring: by accepting this honour it is not about him but a group and a generation; to keep that value part of the games, even at the highest level there is a way to win and to lose and if you don't do that, that is not rugby to him and not to be tolerated; empower other people to make those tough decisions professionally, not to be afraid to call out something, that's what makes them strong
13:03His role today: he gets to deal with the best players in the country who are great ambassadors for the sport, the challenge is on the performance side, to work very hard and take responsibility very seriously; he is taking his experiences and bringing them to the table and to raise the bar and challenge athletes to be as good as they can be for Canada
13:40It was a great moment to be on the stage with his friends; the game had a great moment and achieved some profile; the character of the game will come clear
14:25Values: hard work is at the heart of it, if you don't work hard you won't have success, that goes for anything in life; the ability to communicate, to be honest with yourself when looking at performance, to look at things when you are not doing well and try to improve; ultimately it's respect for yourself, not doping, have respect for the game and that you are not going to win every match and you are going have a great experience win or lose and that rugby is special
15:26Advice to athletes: enjoy it on your way up, lots of time to get to reflect on it, enjoy even the mundane experience, never take the honour you have been given to represent your country lightly, as Canadians we don't often expect you to win but we do expect you to behave and play in a way that makes us proud; we often talk in rugby about being the custodian of the jersey
16:42He was lucky to have played as an amateur and professionally in Europe at a higher level, he was able to test himself against the best; at the end of his career he realized financial gain; now the challenge would be how much you can put into the sport without jeopardizing your career, home or family

Year Range from 1986
Year Range to 1999
Subjects rugby
Search Terms team player; integrity; achievement; honesty; love of sport; challenge; determination; sharing; pride