Delighted to announce the formal expansion of Sky High Sports rugby tour operation into Canada.
Sky High Sports are delighted to announce the formal expansion of the Rugby Tours operation into Canada. From March 2020, Sky High Sports will open a Canadian office with an objective of increasing the availability of our European Rugby Tours. We’re also delighted to confirm that this expansion includes the addition of Canadian Tour Itineraries for our clients based in Europe.
The operation will be led by ex-Canada International Scott Hendry and be based out of Burlington, Ontario. Scott, who has a long career at all levels in Canadian Rugby, will operate nationwide & work with Sky High Sports alongside his own Rugby coaching commitments.
“Scott & I have been discussing the move for some time & I am thrilled to have him on board.,” said Sky High Sports Director Richie Gledson. “We have a longstanding connection with a number of clubs and schools across Canada & have always relished the opportunity to provide them with excellent Rugby Tour experiences on our side of the Atlantic.”
“Being based 1,000’s of miles away does present some obstacles, especially when we’re in contact with teams for the first time. We’re excited now that being able to have a Sky High Sports representative on the ground will remove any remaining concerns & enable us to reach more and more teams with touring ambition in Canada.”
Scott Hendry is the current Head Coach of the senior rugby programme at the Oakville based Crusaders Rugby Club, a front runner in the Marshall’s Premiership – the pinnacle of club rugby in Ontario. “The game of Rugby has been and continues to be an enormous part of my life. I can truly state it has helped shape me into the person I am today,” said Scott Hendry. “I feel it is my duty to impart my knowledge of the game to the young players of today, so as to foster a healthy respect for Rugby and its ethos.”
The connection between Sky High Sports and ‘The CRU’ goes back to 2015, when their then U17 XV toured England and Wales alongside the Rugby World Cup 2015. Ex-President of the club, David Haslam: “Sky High Sports were an outstanding resource for the planning and execution of our UK tour in 2015. We searched a number of tour resources and Richie through Sky High Sports offered the most comprehensive and detailed package as well as excellent value. Their professionalism and attention to detail allowed our tour leaders to concentrate on the rugby and tour wellbeing, whilst the details seemed to take care of themselves in the background.”
“We’ve had The Cru’ 2015 Tour Jersey on our office wall ever since,” continued Gledson. “We had the chance to visit the club in 2018 as part of a promotional visit to Ontario. The club, facilities and hospitality were awesome & I look forward to watching from afar how the club performs under Scott’s stewardship.”
Hendry, who’s home-club is the Toronto based Balmy Beach Rugby Club, represented Ontario at age-grade and senior level in the 1980’s & 1990’s. During which he had the opportunity to play against some of the greatest players of the day in games against New Zealand ‘A’ & England ‘A’. He went on to represent the Canadian national side between 1991-1997, touring both England and Australia & winning three full-caps in Tests against Uruguay, Argentina & the USA. Age didn’t get the better of him & he competed in three Bermuda Classics for Canada.
Post playing, his coaching credentials are equally wide ranging. Initially working with the Assumption High School U18 Girls XV in Burlington, Scott then coached the U18 Boys & eventually senior men at Burlington RFC, before moving onto neighbours Hamilton Hornets who compete in Division 1 of the Niagara Rugby Union. Since 2016, Scott has overseen the U16 Ontario Blues select side and has recently been appointed to the provisional talent identification team.
“The wealth of knowledge, contacts and experience in Canadian Rugby which Scott possesses is incredible,” said Richie Gledson. “The moment he expressed an interest in joining our team, I jumped at the opportunity. We cannot wait to get started.”
Sky High Sports first worked with a Canadian team back in 2009 & have strived to knock down barriers, both perceived and real, making it easier for teams to travel from North America to Europe. “Welcoming Scott is another big step forward in our mission to become the go-to guys for European Rugby travel in North America,” continued Gledson. “We’ve a fantastic working relationship with Air Transat & a US-based group flight specialist and can offer our clients worldwide to pay for their tour in their own currency. Both services have added enormous value to our products.”
Sky High Sports will launch a range of Canadian Tour Itineraries in the summer of 2020, with Scott being the central figure.
Sky High Sports provide a 24-7 Tour representative on each of their major tours, including those travelling from Canada to Europe. “I thoroughly believe in what Sky High Sports do, having been a customer” said Scott. “I ran a tour for the Hamilton Hornets to Spain in 2018 & it was a phenomenal experience. The tour was utterly seamless & having a representative with us made such a difference.”
Richie Gledson: “We now almost insist on including a ‘rep’ on each tour. It provides incredible assistance and immeasurable added-value and knowledge to touring teams. They’ve spent 12+ months fundraising for the trip, so it is not fair on the coach or teacher to be responsible for the logistics once they’re in town. We’re also clear that these reps are full-time Sky High Sports reps. They know our business inside out & know what makes things tick. It is a far cry from a sub-contracted guy who hops from jolly to jolly.”