New Ideas: BC Rugby Conference 2018 concludes at Burnaby

January 16, 2018

This weekend saw the BC Rugby Conference take place at Fortius Sport & Health in Burnaby.  A packed three-day schedule included indoor and field-based sessions, aimed at helping coaches and referees improve their knowledge, understanding and skill set for building the game of rugby.  Sessions were presented by highly respected individuals from BC and the rest of the world, giving attendees the opportunity to analyse the game from a local perspective as well as consider alternative models and approaches from other rugby communities.

David Fraser, Coach Development Manager for RFU, delivered some engaging sessions aimed at coaching complex areas of the game (scrum and lineout for example) can be effectively coached through games.  These sessions were brought to life with live examples thanks to the participation of BC Rugby High Performance Academy athletes.

Dr Wade Gilbert, returning again after the 2017 conference, hosted three separate sessions across Friday and Saturday.  Looking at diverse topics including self-reflection, fostering the right culture in a team and coaching to peak performance, there was something for everyone in attendance, regardless of their coaching level.  His expertise in the world of coaching science is undeniable and he was a great resource to have on hand over the weekend.

Contributions also came from the very top of Canada’s coaching world, with both Damian McGrath (Head Coach – Canada Men’s Sevens) and Francois Ratier (National Senior Men’s Academy Coach) presenting to the attendees.  Their experience of coaching on the international stage, as well as their combined global experience from coaching in other countries, brought an important breadth to the sessions on offer.

Other presenters over the weekend included John Abreu (High Performance Manager, BC Rugby), Carolyn McEwen (UBC Faculty and Canadian Women’s Team athlete), Clint Lemkus (UBC), Chris Assmus (Officials Development Officer, BC Rugby), Bruce Kuklinski, Alan Hudson and Nathan Abdelnour (Match Official Development Manager, Rugby


BC Rugby would like to thank all of the session leaders for their valuable input as well as the dozens of coaches and match officials who travelled from across the province to attend.  Stay tuned for updates on materials used in the sessions and don’t forget the BC Rugby Staff page should you wish to contact us.