Jordan Jacobs. Gary Ahuja Langley Times

Langley’s Jacobs on track for success

Langley teen recruited for rugby after taking part in RBC Training Ground program

Jordan Jacobs is used to running — and leaving her competitors in her wake — but unlike in track, this time those chasing her are trying to bring her down by any means necessary.

Welcome to the life of a dual-sport star, excelling in not only track, but in rugby as well.

“It was never on my radar,” she said last week, after returning home from practice with the Langley Mustangs track and field club.

“Every other sport I played, you were always penalized for contact,” she said with a laugh.

Jacobs, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Walnut Grove Secondary, danced when she was younger, as well as competing in ringette and basketball.

She had whittled her sports down to two in recent years, track and basketball, before exchanging her basketball for a rugby ball.

Jacobs admits she never would have given rugby much of a thought had she not attended the RBC Training Ground talent discovery event last January at the Langley Events Centre.

She was one of 90 or so young athletes between the ages of 14 and 25, who showed up at the free event.

The purpose of the program is to bring new and undiscovered athletes into Canada’s Olympic talent pool and the participants are subjected to a battery of tests evaluating their speed, power, strength and endurance.

Jacobs’ bib read No. 1 and the teenager was one of a dozen athletes from the regional competition who were extended an invitation to participate that spring at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

And with officials from the Canadian Olympic Committee and 14 national sports organizations, it is fair to say Jacobs left a lasting impression.

In 2017, more than 300 athletes out of a total of 2,100 who attended RBC Training Ground events across Canada, were invited for additional testing by a national sport governing body. And from that list of 3,000, 30 were selected to receive ongoing support funding from RBC in order to pursue their Olympic dreams.

Jacobs made that exclusive list.

Jacobs met seven elite benchmarks from three different sports — rugby, rowing and cycling — and Rugby Canada formally invited her to join the national team development program, with RBC partly funding her potential Olympic journey.

As a sprinter — she specializes in the 100m and 200m as well as relay events — Jacobs plays wing in rugby, to better utilize her speed.

The past year has been busy for Jacobs as she juggles training in both track and rugby, having to sacrifice basketball — she played for the Walnut Grove Gators up until this season.

She still runs with the Mustangs and with the Gators, as well as training with the Bayside Rugby Club out of White Rock and with the Rugby BC sevens program.

And that’s why Jacobs is recommending other athletes to give it a shot this Saturday as the RBC training program returns to the LEC.

“I had an open mind to it all. Worse case scenario, it doesn’t work out and you go back to where you were before this,” she explained.

As for her future, track is still the focus.

“She has a lot of natural talent,” said Dwayne Lotnick, her coach the past three years with the Mustangs.

It was at Lotnick’s suggestion that Jacobs and several other Mustangs teammates attended last year’s session.

As for Jacobs getting tapped for funding to help her pursue her athletic dreams, the coach was not surprised.

“(Jordan) is a really good sprinter and I think the RBC program really suits that type of athlete,” he said.

Program returns to LEC

The RBC Training Ground program returns to the Langley Events Centre on Saturday (Feb. 3) and it is one of 30 combines happening across Canada.

And on hand in Langley will be 2016 Olympic silver medallist Laura Brown.

As a young gymnast, Brown always wanted to compete at the Olympics but a back injury as teenager derailed that dream, so she switched sports and started cycling and two years ago, helped Canada win bronze in the team pursuit.

There is no charge to participate and interested athletes may pre-register at Registration begins on Saturday at 8 a.m. and the testing will be conducted from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Top performers will be invited to the B.C. regional final in Richmond on April 7.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Walnut Grove’s Jordan Jacobs in the junior girls 100m heats at the 2017 BC high school track and field championships at McLeod Athletic Park. Greg Laychak Black Press

Just Posted

Why some Langley sidewalks don’t get shovelled

All walkways are not equal under rules that give priority to higher-traffic areas

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

Stock trading allegations dismissed against former Langley spiritual leader

Investors allegedly lost $740,000 investing through a local religious organization.

Langley photographer captures otters amid the ice

While photographing winter on the river, a local photographer was there when otters caught a fish.

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read