Rugby Canada’s decision to suspend publication of the National Rugby Post in the summer of 2007 left the Canuck rugby community without a magazine to call its own. Late in 2008, Elaine Wiltshire took the first step toward rectifying this by launching Scrum, a quarterly publication for rugby participants and fans living in Ontario. About 7,000 copies of the 32-page debut were mailed out Nov. 1.
Wiltshire, who has played for and served as co-president of the Caledon Cavaliers club, graduated from the Humber College journalism program in 2006 and works full-time as senior editor for Lexpert, a business law magazine and online directory published by Thompson Reuters.
She began working on ideas for Scrum in early 2008 and moved into scoring position when Rugby Ontario offered to provide her with its mailing list free of charge. Rugby Canada, the sport’s national governing body, has also shown support for the new magazine by purchasing ad space in the second issue, scheduled for publication in the first week of February. A full-page ad in Scrum sells for $1,500.
Scrum’s editorial mix includes news, columns on topics such as refereeing and health, profiles, and service pieces for players and coaches. Wiltshire has enlisted a team of volunteer contributors—including some ex-classmates from her j-school days— and writes a lot of the magazine's stories herself. Elaine’s father, Kevin, is helping out with ad sales, while her mom Lesley, is helping out on the admin side. Her sister, Elizabeth Wise, also lends design skills to the project.
While Wiltshire is working on building a paid circulation, selling subscriptions for $20 and single copies (through the Scrum website) for $6, her ambitions for the magazine are modest: “My short-term plan is to get through this year.”
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