Submitted by Martin Rourke
SHERBROOKE, Que. – There are different ways to earn your way to the Olympic Games. For Sandro Fiorino his voyage started when he was a Bishop’s Gaiter. The former football and rugby player is an assistant coach for the Canadian women’s rugby sevens team and will don the maple leaf in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Fiorino came to Bishop’s in 1993 to play football. Due to injuries he made the move to university rugby in 1997.
After his professional rugby career in Italy ended, Fiorino returned to Canada and got involved with coaching in Ontario. He worked his way up the ranks. He was a coach within the Ontario rugby provincial program from 2006-2011, during that same time he was head coach of the McMaster Marauders (2005-2011).
The last five years has seen Fiorino grow within Rugby Canada. He is currently an assistant coach with the women’s national team as well as the head coach of the U20 Canada, FISU and Maple Leaf development teams.
Remembering his time in Lennoxville, one memory stood out for Fiorino.
“My fondest memory was watching the men’s basketball team win the national championship,” said the 1998 graduate. “It was an amazing achievement for the school and the athletic department. Mitchell Gym was the place to be, it was rammed to capacity and physically shaking. I can still remember celebrating with the guys afterwards. It was a great sense of community as all teams on campus supported each other.”
Simply attending the Olympics is not enough Fiorino and the Canadian women’s rugby team.
“Heading into Rio, our expectations as being ranked third in the world is to make the medal round,” Fiorino said in an interview before leaving for the Olympics. “Once there, if and when, we perform to our best then the team should come home with a medal, hopefully gold.”
The women’s rugby sevens event takes place at Deodoro Stadium from Aug. 6-8 as part of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Canada’s Roster for the 2016 Rio Olympics (Name, club, hometown):
Britt Benn – (Guelph Redcoats) Napanee, ON
Hannah Darling – (Peterborough Pagans) Warsaw, ON
Bianca Farella – (Town of Mont Royal RFC) Montreal, QC
Jen Kish – (Edmonton Rockers) Edmonton, AB
Ghislaine Landry – (Toronto Scottish) Toronto, ON
Megan Lukan – (Unattached) Barrie, ON
Kayla Moleschi – (Williams Lake Rustlers) Williams Lake, BC
Karen Paquin – (Club de Rugby Quebec) Quebec City, QC
Kelly Russell – (Toronto Nomads) Bolton, ON
Ashley Steacy – (Lethbridge Rugby Club), Lethbridge, AB
Natasha Watcham-Roy – (Hull Volant) Gatineau, QC
Charity Williams – (Markham Irish) Toronto, ON
Canada’s Coaching Staff:
Meaghan Howat – Manager
John Tait – Head Coach
Sandro Fiorino – Assistant Coach
Sandeep Nandhra – Athletic Therapist
Matt Tyler – Athletic Therapist
Tyler Goodale – Strength & Conditioning
Callum Morris – Analyst
Mental Performance Coach – Kirsten Barnes
Canada’s 2016 Rio Olympics Schedule:
Day 1 – August 6
Canada vs. Japan – 11:30am ET/8:30am PT
Canada vs. Brazil – 4:30pm ET/1:30pm PT
Day 2 – August 7
Canada vs. Great Britain – 11:30am ET/8:30am PT