Jen Kish after 2017 HSBC Women’s Rugby 7s at Westhills Stadium. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

© Copyright – 2018 – Victoria Sports News

One of the world’s best all-time rugby players, Jen Kish, captain of Canadian women’s rugby 7s and Team Canada has officially announced her retirement.

The highpoint of her career was leading Team Canada to a bronze medal win at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Although it was no secret that 2018 would be her final season, injury stopped her short, as she missed the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She will watch the HSBC Women’s Rugby 7s on May 12 and 13 at Westhills Stadium.

“I know my early retirement may come as a shock to some and that I may have let some of you down, but from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate the support throughout the years,” said Kish in a release by Rugby Canada.

“The decision to not finish the season was not an easy decision, but a necessary one to make for the future of my physical and mental wellbeing.”

Kish has played an integral role in what that legacy is.

She began playing provincially at the age of 16 and quickly made the jump to Canada’s U-19 Team, captaining the team in 2006-07. While Kish’s future with the national senior women’s team would be spent on the sevens pitch, she started in fifteens, going to three Nations Cups as well as the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

But that’s when Canada’s women’s sevens head coach John Tait convinced her to make the switch to sevens. And it’s a good thing he did because she went on to become one of the most dominating players in the sport.

Kish captained Canada to a silver medal at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, a gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games and a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Talk about owning the podium.

“To have the opportunity to put on the Canadian Jersey for the past 13 years has been an absolute privilege,” said Kish. “To lead the team has been an honour and a dream. I wore the jersey with a lot of pride and nothing will ever come close to giving me that same feeling. What made putting on the jersey so special though were my teammates. To be surrounded with likeminded people who grind it out each day for each other, willing to do whatever it takes, is why I took so much pride in the jersey.”