‘He goes way beyond call of duty’
Prior to high school, Kadyn Foster knew little about rugby and had no desire to take up the sport.
Big and athletic, Foster was used to playing baseball and football up until that point.
“I got pushed by lots of my fellow students and the coach, Mr. Fast, as well,” Foster said.
“He kind of talked me into it a little bit.”
Foster agreed to give it a shot. And he hasn’t looked back.
“Rugby, more than any other sport I have played, it is more of a brotherhood,” explained the soon-to-be 18-year-old who graduates from Walnut Grove Secondary this month.
“And this team means a lot more to me than any other team I have been on, and so do the guys.
“We have come a long way in the past five years.”
On the field, the Gators senior boys rugby team placed second at the Fraser Valley tier II championships.
And last week, Foster, the team captain, was the recipient of the Bill Turpin Award.
The award is presented to a graduating player in the district who not only excels on the field, but also contributes by giving back to the game, either through refereeing or coaching.
Foster said he was honoured and proud to win the award.
“Just the hard work and the dedication, it looked like it paid off in the end,” he said.
Jon Fast — who has coached Foster for all five years at Walnut Grove — called his captain a worthy selection for the award named after Fast’s former coach at D.W. Poppy.
“(Kadyn) is the type of individual who goes way beyond the call of duty when it comes to the average high school player,” Fast said, explaining how Foster can be seen out early setting up the equipment, or organizing things for the team.
“He has been an ambassador.”
Foster also helped coach the Gators’ junior team.
“He fell in love with the sport, really brought into the qualities that we taught him and is already asking when he is going to be coming back and being able to coach,” Fast said.
Foster also displays skill on the field.
“He is our go-to-guy a lot of the times,” Fast explained.
“When he is on the field, he makes a difference.
“His size alone, and his strength and power dictate a lot.”
Foster was among the team’s leading try scorers this past season.
As for his leadership qualities, Foster says a lot of those come from his father, Bob, and older brother, Brooklyn, who is playing baseball this summer for the Langley Senior Blaze. He also plays collegiately for the Canisius College Golden Griffins.
Foster said he patterned himself after his brother, who could always be seen organizing and leading his teammates.
“That also rubbed off on me from my father,” he added.
“If you need something done, he is going to do it, and if something is chaotic, he is going to take the leadership role and make sure everything is lined up and in order.”
In addition to his athletic prowess, Foster also possesses some artistic flair.
Foster created Walnut Grove logos and shields in the past, including for the team’s rugby tour to Ireland back in March and hopes to graphic design at the post-secondary level.
He discovered a passion for graphic design back in Grade 8 during a computer studies class.
Intrigued by what he had just learned, he took a Graphics 11 course while in Grade 9 “and fell in love with it.”
Foster, whose position is loosehead prop, also plans to continue his rugby career, playing at the club level with Delta next season.
He is also currently training with the Central Fraser Valley U18 team which will compete next month (July 6-8) at the provincial regional rugby championships, which will be held at UBC.