Rugby Ontario 2022 Coach PD Webinar Series

November 15, 2022

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Rugby Ontario 2022 Coach PD Webinar Series

(WHITBY, ON) - Rugby Ontario is pleased to announce a FREE Coach Webinar Series coming November 2022. The series will feature eight Professional Development sessions from experts within the rugby and sport community. Coaches will receive two Professional Development Points per session they attend and will gain insight into a variety of topics to help support their coaching knowledge. Every webinar session will run from 7:00pm ET - 8:30pm ET. Each session will be recorded and shared with the community at a later date. 

An overview of the series is included below, along with a link to register and submit any questions with regards to each topic. Questions that are submitted will be sent to the panelists prior to the webinar to help guide discussions. 

*Please note you must register for each webinar session separately. Once you register you will receive an email with the information for that specific session. 

Webinar #1 – Coaching Minor Rugby 

Learn how to create safe, fun, inclusive, and engaging programming for diverse groups; adjust your coaching to suit each age group; and support positive youth development.  

November 2nd, 2022 

Panelists:

Amanda Neale-Robinson is the Executive Director of the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation where she works to support social change through a sport for development framework. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University and Humber College, Ms. Neale-Robinson brings 20+ years of integrated marketing communications experience in addition to nearly a decade of experience supporting the missions of youth-serving organizations. Prior to joining TIRF Ms. Neale-Robinson worked in broadcasting, sponsorship, event planning, and non-profit consulting. She serves as the co-chair of the board of Directors at Lake Shore Arts; was a member of Rugby Canada's Governance Committee and the Ethics and Integrity Steering Group; and supports grassroots projects through her work with The ReDesign Group.  

Ryan Jones is the Rugby Development Manager for Rugby Canada. His role is to support the growth and development of rugby across the country. Ryan has a degree in Recreation Management and Community Development from the University of Manitoba and he is currently pursuing a Masters degree with a focus on Sport Participation and Positive Youth Development in Sport at York University. Previously he worked with Rugby Manitoba and Rugby Ontario to support the delivery of youth rugby to schools, communities and local rugby clubs. Ryan is passionate about supporting youth to develop life skills through sport.

Dr. Karl Erickson is a faculty member and researcher in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science at York University. Prior to joining York University, he was a researcher in the Institute for the Study of Youth Sport at Michigan State University (USA). His research examines coaches, coaching, and athlete development in sport, with a particular emphasis on youth sport as a context for positive youth development. More personally, Karl played and coached rugby for many years, including several as Director of Coaching for a minor rugby program.

Webinar #1 Recording

Karl Erickson Slides

Ryan Jones Slides

Amanda Neale-Robinson Slides


Webinar #2 – Program Building, a Coach Perspective 

November 7th, 2022 

Join us in discussing how to build a culture of respect and inclusion, develop leadership and responsibility among all team members, and effectively recruit, develop, retain, and transition athletes.

Panelists:

Adrian Brown  Level 2 trained coach who began coaching both boys and girls in 2013 at the High School level and shortly after transitioned to coaching at the club level in 2015 for the Guelph Redcoats. He developed the 7s program for the club and continues to coach 15s to this day. In 2019 he was invited to work with the NRU Girls program and recently coached with U18 Ontario Women this past summer. He is also an assistant coach for the Brock University Women’s team and in 2022 he restarted the girls program at Centre Dufferin DHS in Shelburne after 10 years hiatus.

Darcy Patterson is currently an assistant coach at UBC and of the BC Elite 7s program. She also used to work in rugby development as a Rugby Development Officer for BC Rugby and then as the Girls and Women Development Manager. She is really into elevating the girls and women’s game in Canada and connecting the different levels. 

John Peel was born and raised in New Zealand,  John (JP) has been involved with Melville Rugby Club, Waikato Rugby Union and NZRU Sevens. JP currently serves as the Head Coach of the Toronto Nomads Senior Women's team and lead the club to their first ever OWL Cup appearance this past season. He has also served as a coach for the Ontario Blues High Performance Program

AnneMaree Peters started coaching rugby in 1996, helping out with her alumni High School program.  Since then she has had the honour and pleasure to coach numerous teams including her alma mater Brock University, countless high school teams and Junior Girls 7’s and 15’s Club and Rep teams.  Aside from 25 plus years of coaching she has also been active in the administration of the sport of Rugby: a past member of the Rugby Ontario Board of Directors representing Womens Programs, and various roles within the Niagara Rugby Union including a tenure as President.  Annemaree currently sits on the OFSAA Sport Advisory Committee for Rugby.  Her goal is to build a strong community within the team which builds a stronger overall rugby community. 

Webinar #2 Recording

Adrian Brown Slides

John Peel Slides


Webinar #3 – Coaching Sevens Rugby 

November 9th, 2022 

We will be discussing all things 7s including introducing 7s to 15s athletes, identifying positions of success, key skills for 7s success, managing tournament style play, and identifying and adapting your 7s style.

Panelists:

Khalil Ajram first got involved with rugby in 2005 for his high school team and the Aurora Barbarians. He is now involved in rugby across many levels as the head coach of Trent University 7s, Director of Rugby for the Aurora Barbarians, and Development Manager for both the Toronto Rugby Reds and Canada Misfits 7s. His previous roles have included program lead for Rugby Ontario 7s and Next Gen Manger and Talent ID Coordinator for Rugby Canada 7s. 

Jocelyn Barrieau has been involved in rugby, and proudly representing the province of Quebec for over 20 years now.  Her passion for 7s led to the establishment of the u18 Québec Provincial Women's 7s program in 2013 followed by the senior program in 2016.  This work culminated in trips across North America and the Caribbean as well as a silver-medal winning performance in the Canada Games in the summer of 2022.  She values strong team and player connection and aims to provide a competitive, safe and skills-based environment for all the teams she coaches.  Most recently she attended both the Commonwealth Games and the 7s World Cup in South Africa with the Canadian women's 7s team.

Ian Fitzgerald was born and raised in Kitchener Ontario where he was first introduced to rugby. He started coaching consistently in 2007, at Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Simcoe, Ontario where he teaches. He began coaching representative rugby in 2014 for the NRU Junior 7s program and the Ontario Junior 7s program. Since that time he his teams won Las Vegas 7s, won a National 7s title and were runners up one year prior. He continues to be involved with Rugby Ontario in both 7s and 15s in various capacities and in 2016 was given the opportunity to work as an assistant coach with the Canada 7s U18 side, competing at the first ever Tropical 7s, followed by the European Championships in France. Over the past four years he has also worked as an assistant coach for the Brock Women’s Rugby Team as a defence and forwards coach.

Chelsea Ross graduated from the University of Alberta in 2013. That same year, she helped the Pandas win their 6th CIS National title. Since then, Chelsea has earned 17 caps for Rugby Canada's National Senior Women's team and was a member of the 2017 World Cup Squad. She has pursued her passion for coaching at various levels now including high school, club, Edmonton Gold, Jr Pandas & Academy, Senior women's Wolfpack, and Pandas. Chelsea's coaching philosophy is focused around creating fun and challenging experiences for her athletes to learn and improve. She encourages a growth mindset for herself and her athletes. Chelsea currently is the Assistant Coach for Pandas 7's and 15's teams. She recently was the Apprentice coach at the Canada Summer Games in the inaugural women's rugby 7s competition, and the Head Coach for the Canada-West Select team in the NextGen tournament. 

Webinar #3 Recording

Webinar #3 Slides


Webinar #4 – Safe and Confident Introduction to Contact Rugby 

November 14th, 2022 

Learn about priorities and strategies for introducing contact rugby in a safe and inclusive way while staying concussion aware and building player confidence.

Panelists:

Nathan Abdelnour has a long career working in rugby, notably in the officiating sector. He is a former member of the Rugby Canada National Panel of Referees and was the Manager, Match Official Development at Rugby Canada for over 7 years. He has since moved into a variety of sport executives roles at Dive Ontario and Rugby Québec. Nathan and his wife, Ashley, welcomed their first child this past March, and are active members in their community. He is also working on the next chapter of his career, looking to provide a humanistic approach to developing sport and working to achieve our collective social growth and development in a variety of volunteer roles.

Heather Muir is the Training and Education Coordinator at Rugby Canada. Her primary focus is managing the implementation of a new Learning Management System (LMS) for the organization while assisting in the delivery of coach and match official education across the country. Heather has previously played at club and representative levels in Manitoba, BC, and New Zealand. She currently plays at the club level in BC while also assistant coaching high school and U14-U16 junior teams.

Meghan Peets began playing rugby in high school and continued in university and club with the Ontario Women's League. She originally started coaching gymnastics and trampoline before transitioning to coaching rugby at the high school she teaches at in Toronto. She also works in coach education as a World Rugby Learning Facilitator.

Webinar #4 Recording

Webinar #4 Slides


Webinar #5 – Competition: Technical Skills and Decision Making 

November 16th, 2022

We will break down technical skills, learn how to refine them, and share ways to enhance decision making and rugby IQ in competitive athletes.

Panelists:

Jack Hanratty is originally from Dublin, Ireland, and started his professional Rugby journey in 2008 working for Leinster Rugby in development, while also being Director of Rugby and Head Coach of Dublin City University. Following 5 years with Leinster, Jack moved to Canada where he served as Rugby Nova Scotia director until 2021. Jack has been involved in multiple roles with Rugby Canada serving as assistant coach for the U18M, U20M before being appoint head coach of the U20W side. In 2021 Jack became Head Coach of the Canada Senior Women’s 7s on an interim basis before being announced as the full time head coach in summer 2020.

Darrell Devine is a long time world rugby facilitator and referee. He has coached all levels of rugby from high school, club, provincial to national level. He has been a Coach for the Ontario Blues Senior Men’s and Women’s Programs. He also served as Head Coach for the University of Guelph Men’s Team, winning OUA Gold three times.

Webinar #5 Recording


Webinar #6 – The Art of Coaching 

November 21st, 2022 

Learn how to improve your session and season plans, prepare to adapt on the fly, include more creative and games-based coaching, and make the most of the resources available to you.

Panelists:

Dan Valley is the Women's Rugby Head Coach at Queen’s University – since moving to Queen’s in 2017, he has led the program to 2 OUA titles (2022, 2019) and 2 USports Championship finals (2021, 2019), including the program’s first-ever National Championship in 2021. He was also named the OUA Coach of the Year in 2021 and 2019. Prior to his time at Queen's, Valley was the Head Coach of Rugby Canada's U18 Women’s 15’s program and was also a Technical Lead for Canada 7’s NextGen program in Ontario.  Valley was an Assistant Coach of the McMaster Marauders Women’s Rugby program that won a USports Championship in 2015, and coached Oakville Trafalgar High School (Oakville, Ont.) to six provincial medals (three gold, two silver, and one bronze) from 2011-2017. Valley holds a Master of Sport Coaching from the University of Queensland, a Master of Teaching from Griffith University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honors Kinesiology) from the University of Western Ontario.

Aaron Takel is originally from Wales and has been in Canada since 2006 when he came for a 6 month visit to play rugby. He has a passion for learning and trying to simplify the complexities of sport. For the rest of the time he is a Physical and Health Education teacher at Collingwood School in West Vancouver for 80% of the time and 20% of the time a coach mentor for all other coaches of athletic programs. He is currently enrolled in a MSc Sport Performance Coaching degree at the University of Stirling, having already completed a Sports Management and Secondary Education undergraduate degree. He has worked as a technical director of rugby for two Canadian provinces (Alberta and BC) and has also spent three years working for Rugby Canada as a performance analyst with the senior men's fifteens team involved in approx 50 international rugby matches.

Born in Surrey, England, Mark Smerdon started playing the sport of rugby in his hometown of Exeter, Devon. He was St. Francis Xavier University’s first women’s rugby coach in 1984 and is currently the Women's Rugby Head Coach at Brock University in addition to coaching at the high school, club, and provincial levels. Smerdon coached the Streetsville Secondary School boys and girls rugby teams guiding the girls team to an OFSAA title in 2012. He has also coached the Mississauga Blues RFC (from U10 to senior men), Rugby Ontario (boys U18 National Champions 2013, U16 and U18 girls, and senior women), and the Upright Rugby Rogues Sevens (tournaments in NY, Vegas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Florida and Toronto). Mark is also a coach mentor in the Niagra Rugby Union.    

Webinar #6 Recording


Webinar #7 – Competition: Attack Structure and Tactics 

November 28th, 2022 

Learn how to effectively plan, execute, and adjust your attack strategy including specific tips for coaching structure, systems, and tactics.

Panelists:

Ryan Surgenor is an experienced attack and set piece coach in Eastern Ontario, driven by a passion for contributing to the community and creating opportunities for athletes in Eastern Ontario. As a coach, his goals are to lead at the highest level of rugby available in Eastern Ontario, while making sure athletes are mentally and physically prepared for the next level of competition. He fills his bucket by unlocking athletes Rugby IQ and elevating community projects. He plays for Bytown Blues and previously played with uOttawa, Ontario, University of Queensland, and Ontario Arrows. He currently coaches at u18 EORU, u19 Quebec, Ashbury College, and occasionally for Bytown Blues u8s.

Sean Medeiros the head coach of the Brock University Men’s Rugby Team. Prior to taking on the role at Brock he worked as the Manager of Provincial and High-Performance Programs for Rugby Ontario from 2016-2022. He has been involved with Rugby at all levels ranging from Club and High Schools (Mississauga Blues/Streetsville Tigers) through to provincial and national team programs (Ontario Blues/ Canada u18 and Canadian University Men’s All-Star Team). In 2019 he worked as part of the management team to launch the Ontario Blues Jr Arrows Academy, where he served as director from 2019-2022.

Webinar #7 Recording


Webinar #8 – Competition: Defensive Structure and Tactics 

December 5th, 2022 

Learn how to effectively plan, execute, and adjust your defensive strategy including specific tips for coaching structure, systems, and tactics.

Panelists:

Aaron Takel is originally from Wales and has been in Canada since 2006 when he came for a 6 month visit to play rugby. He has a passion for learning and trying to simplify the complexities of sport. For the rest of the time he is a Physical and Health Education teacher at Collingwood School in West Vancouver for 80% of the time and 20% of the time a coach mentor for all other coaches of athletic programs. He is currently enrolled in a MSc Sport Performance Coaching degree at the University of Stirling, having already completed a Sports Management and Secondary Education undergraduate degree. He has worked as a technical director of rugby for two Canadian provinces (Alberta and BC) and has also spent three years working for Rugby Canada as a performance analyst with the senior men's fifteens team involved in approx 50 international rugby matches.

Dave Butcher is in his 6th year as Head coach of the Queen's Men's Rugby Team and has a long history of high performance coaching specializing in set piece and defence. He was a pro player for 10 years before beginning his coaching career as the Scottish Rugby Performance Coach and Specialist Skills Coach. From there he took the role of Provincial High Performance Manager at Rugby Ontario before starting at Queen's. Since arriving in Canada he has coached with the Men's, Women's, and U20 Men's Canadian National teams, as well as the Toronto Arrows

Click here to register for webinar #8


If you have any questions regarding the webinar series, please email courses@rugbyontario.com

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Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to lead, support and promote Rugby for All from communities to clubs to province. This mission signals a movement toward creating a more cohesive, supportive and progressive sporting environment that is responsive to the needs of all members.

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