The Nelson Grizzlies Rugby Club was formed in 1989. The clubs first president was fire chief Randy Brieter. He along with team founders John VanZanden and Dr. Loren Kozak developed the team. In those early days, Japanese students from the Canadian International College were recruited to help fill the team. The Nelson Grizzlies have played in the Inland International Rugby Union which included Canadian teams from the Kootenay and Okanogan and American teams from Washington, Idaho and Montana. The team now plays in the Kootenay Rugby Union. The Grizzlies have proudly represented the region at the BCRU provincial finals on several occasions.