WOLFVILLE – Chris Killacky cheered for both his daughters at a recent rugby match at Acadia – and that meant he was cheering for two teams at once.
His daughters, Lucy and Anna Killacky, play rugby for St. Francis Xavier and Queen’s University respectively, and were pitted against each other at the second quarterfinal match Nov. 1 at Acadia University.
He said he navigated the cheering by encouraging “whoever appeared to be doing well,” and held two flags, taking turns waving them in the air. It was a special moment for him, too, because the game reunited the girls in their hometown of Wolfville.
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“It was a mixture of excitement and fear,” laughed Killacky, “and there was a sense that one would come away very happy, and one very disappointed. But it was a special day to be able to see them play together again.”
Anna Killacky said she “didn’t even think about the fact” she was playing against her sister during the game, because playing against friends and acquaintances is common in the sport.
“We’ve all played at the high school or provincial level together. We play very different positions so don’t really go directly against one another on the field,” she said.
When St. FX beat her team, she stayed behind after her team left the field to give her sister a hug.
Lucy Killacky said the moment was a special one, and indicative of the sisters’ strong bond and encouragement of each other.
“Anna is one of my favourite people, so seeing her after the game was great. We support each other well on and off the pitch so being able to spend time with her this past weekend was definitely a highlight,” she said.
Chris Killacky is an associate professor at Acadia University’s Divinity College, and his youngest daughter, Madeleine, also plays rugby.
That meant three daughters were all playing at the tournament, and he took it all in as a fan in the stands. He said this family connection through sport is not a new one, since the girls all played rugby together during their high school years.
He said he sees rugby as what has kept his daughters so close over the years, and as something they will continue to share and look back on in future years.
“It speaks to the importance of sports for young people – and for those two sisters, it’s a common interest they’ll share for the rest of their lives,” he said.