Kelly McCallum revealed her athleticism as a teenager at Balmoral Junior High School and Earl Marriott Secondary School where she excelled at soccer and water polo. At one point she traveled to Quebec to train with the Canadian women's water polo team. In 1993, while attending Douglas College on a soccer scholarship, she was a spectator at a rugby game when asked to play on the wing for Douglas RFC because they were a player short.
Kelly continued to play both sports for one more year before opting for the Douglas RFC in the West Coast Women's Rugby Association until the end of 2002. With a year away (1998) to travel in Europe and study as an exchange student at the University of Queensland (Brisbane), she joined the Brothers RFC, scored two tries against the favoured Queensland University in the Queensland Grand Final and was the leading scorer for the club (including all the men's teams).
As captain of Douglas from 1999 to 2002, Kelly led the Premier side in winning two of four provincial finals. During two championship seasons, the team compiled a 35-2-1 record and outscored the local and Pacific Northwest teams by large margins. Throughout McCallum's career with Douglas, she received several Outstanding Back and Most Valuable Player Awards and in 2001-2002 was named the BCRU Playerâ€“of- the â€“Year, the first woman to be accorded this honour.
From 1999 to 2001, McCallum initiated and coached girl's rugby at Elgin park Secondary School.
In inter-union and inter-provincial competition, McCallum was a standout player and captain for both the Fraser Valley and British Columbia and played for British Columbia in 1994 (national champion), 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2000.
From 2002 to 2008, she played overseas with Richmond (England) and Sydney University (Australia). In 2002-03, she was Richmond's Premier team's Outstanding Back and in 2004-05 was the Most Valuable Player. She also found time to coach the Richmond Academy from 2002-2004.
McCallum was introduced to seven-a-side when she won a spot on Canada's first-ever women's side at Hong Kong in 1997 - the first year for international sevens' competition for women - and was the leading scorer for Canada.
McCallum was first capped for Canada 15s in 2001 against the USA, was capped 30 times in six years and played in the 2002 and 2006 Women's Rugby World Cups. From 2004 to 2006 she captained the team from fly-half and used her goal-kicking skills for conversions and penalty goals while being captain on 16 occasions. During her time with the national team, she represented Canada with pride and distinction and was an excellent role model for all young women with her dedication to be the best. With her discipline and leadership McCallum was instrumental in building a foundation and culture within the women's program. Ric Suggitt, former Canadian men's coach and head coach of the USA Women's Seven's team, had this to say about her:
She has demonstrated the ability to keep schedules and manage timelines while she balanced the basic needs of the team and a work schedule. Kelly has been able to maintain and implement the team culture from one year to the next, and has helped new players adjust to the increased training regimes and changes in coaches. She attended to every technical detail of her position of her position and all the while ensuring that the players around her were prepared for all the critical points in the women's game plan.
McCallum has been an ambassador for British Columbia and Canadian women by playing and/or coaching in England, Australia and Japan. Her involvement with the Japan Rugby Football Union as the Olympic Academy Woman's Sevens Rugby Coach and technical advisor for the national women's 15s from 2010-2012 was yet another example of her leadership and dedication to high performance.
Indeed, Kelly McCallum's sparkling rugby career for her club, sub-union, province and Canada warranted her inclusion in the BCRU Hall of Fame.