Paul Roy – Builder
Paul Roy became involved in rugby as a player with the Fredericton Exiles RFC from 1979-1985. This chapter included league, provincial, and maritime championships. The opportunities that provincial teams, tournaments, tours and eventful road trips offer a young athlete proved to be too much to resist. The sparks of a life-long attachment to rugby were struck and kindled.
Convocating with his education degree from UNB in Spring of 1985, Roy received a job offer “out west,” and he made a life-changing move to Saskatchewan. On October 6th, he played his initial rugby match in his new home province. It was also the eventful day he met teammate Mark McElligott, and an enduring friendship and collaboration were set in motion.
In 1987 along with other teammates, he set in motion a mini-rugby program at Riverside, Boucher and Holy Cross schools, introducing rugby to Grade 7-9 boys. Following two successful years, the budding youth program was cut short, as co-collaborators’ career moves brought an end to this first attempt to develop local youth rugby. In the following decade, Roy was involved with the Prince Albert Gryphons RFC as a player, coach, and referee until that team’s era drew to a close in 1995.
A second attempt followed in 2002, as Roy introduced the sport to a group of eager Grade 7-9 students attending PACI. The following year, McElligott and students from Carlton Comprehensive High School came on board. As a result of this significant collaboration, the fledgling team then competed in exhibition games for two years and, as the Sask. Rivers Dragons, successfully joined the North Saskatchewan High School Rugby League in 2005.
Prince Albert rugby has been on the upswing ever since, thrilling their supporters with constant and continued success at league and provincial competitions. From 2002 to 2019, some 220 local-area student athletes have suited up for the Dragons. Prince Albert and area players compete each year for Saskatchewan at age-group regional and national competitions.
The groundwork laid over the years resulted in the genesis of a senior men’s team to represent the area: The Prince Albert Whiskey Jacks RFC. Formed in 2015, with a core of former Dragons providing players, support, and sponsorship, the Whiskey Jacks celebrated the 2018 provincial championship.
The domino effect has also produced a dedicated Dragons’ alumni who now coach and promote the sport, a mini-rugby program, and in 2019 the formation of a local girls’ team. These developments highlight the ongoing growth and development of local rugby, and open up possibilities for aspiring athletes of both genders in the Prince Albert and area community.
Over the past 35 years of coaching, inspiring, mentoring, and developing lasting relationships with local student athletes, Roy has dedicated countless hours to fostering the growth and recognition of the sport of rugby in Prince Albert.
Paul Roy is inducted as a Builder into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame.