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Jack Hanratty

Halifax, Nova Scotia
Head Coach of Canada Women’s Sevens Rugby Team for the Paris Olympics 2024.

In the rolling hills of Ireland, where rugby is more than a sport, Jack Hanratty’s journey from a rugby-loving family to becoming the National Senior Women’s Sevens Head Coach for Canada is nothing short of extraordinary.

Growing up minutes away from the local rugby club, Jack and his brother were immersed in the world of scrums and lineouts. With a grandfather and uncle deeply involved in the rugby club, the sport was a family tradition that went beyond the field. Its values, sense of community, and the instant connection it brought captivated Jack and laid the foundation for his lifelong passion.

After missing out on a university course in rugby coaching and business, Jack received a call for a coaching job straight out of high school. Little did he know that this opportunity would set him on a path to becoming a pivotal figure in Canadian rugby.

An unexpected opportunity brought Jack to Nova Scotia, where he initially intended to spend just a week. However, the warmth of the rugby community and the province’s charm made him reconsider. Soon after, he became the provincial coach of Rugby Nova Scotia, a role he held for nine years, cementing his love for the region.

“The values of rugby translate anywhere. It’s a case of, you get on a plane, travel to any country, and you have an instant community.”

Jack’s coaching journey continued with roles in coaching Atlantic teams at the U19 and Senior levels. His breakthrough came when he earned a spot in the under-17 Men’s camp, marking the beginning of his involvement with the Canadian national teams. Jack’s coaching odyssey traversed the men’s U18 and U20 teams before transitioning to the women’s game, where he found his calling.

Taking on the role of the National Senior Women’s Sevens Head Coach meant leaving Nova Scotia for Victoria, where the team is based. Supported by Sport Canada, the team operates in a fully professional environment, training five days a week. With the goal of Olympic qualification, Jack and his team faced challenges, but the recent qualification has brought relief and a renewed focus on reaching the podium in Paris.

“I’m delighted that we’ve now qualified. It’s pure relief. However, we don’t want to be Olympians; we want to be Olympic medalists.”

For Jack and his team, hearing the national anthem after a hard-fought victory signifies more than just a win. It symbolizes a shared dream of representing their country at the highest level, and the desire to hear the anthem again on the Olympic stage.

Beyond the quest for medals, Jack emphasizes the broader importance of sport in society. He sees it as a crucial outlet for learning valuable life skills, dealing with success and failure, and fostering a sense of community. As COVID-19 has underscored the importance of physical activity, Jack believes that investing in sport is an investment in building a resilient and well-rounded society.

Reflecting on his own development, Jack acknowledges the pivotal role of organizations like Support4Sport in his coaching journey. From mentorship to funding, these initiatives have enabled him to access resources, travel for learning opportunities, and contribute to the growth of rugby at the grassroots level.

Jack recognizes the challenges facing sport, especially in the post-COVID-19 landscape, but remains hopeful. He stresses the need to make sport accessible to all, ensuring that financial barriers don’t hinder talented athletes or limit opportunities for those simply interested in playing.

As Jack Hanratty steers Canada’s Women’s Sevens Team towards Olympic glory, his commitment to the sport, coupled with the support of organizations like Support4Sport, continues to shape the future of rugby in Canada, inspiring generations to come.




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