BC Rugby is delighted to confirm details of the 2020 Elite Youth Sevens Boys’ Program. The program will see some changes to how it functioned in 2019 thanks to the proposal spearheaded by Rugby Development Manager (Men & Boys) Aaron Takel. Takel has retained the Adam Roberts as the program lead in 2020 to deliver the vision of growth and development for boys’ Rugby Sevens across the province. The program will feature four regional teams and training groups and compete in four key Rugby Sevens tournaments across the year, culminating in a selection to the BC U19 Boys’ Sevens Team that will compete in the Dubai Sevens Tournament in December.
After coming into his new role in May 2019, Takel has evolved the program to give players a more accessible and accommodating platform to support development. Roberts will oversee the day to day operation of the program and will work with four regional Head Coaches to train some of the top Age-Grade Rugby Sevens talent in the Province. BC Rugby is proud to confirm that these regional Head Coaches will be:
BC Island – Dustin Dobravsky
BC Mainland – Aaron McLelland
BC Valley – Phil Llewellyn
BC Interior – Leana Marton
“This coaching pool has a real richness to it,” commented Roberts, “together they bring decades of coaching experience, both in BC and internationally, as well as experience of competing and coaching at some of the highest levels. I’m incredibly excited to work with them and I’m sure a lot of the athletes will be fired up to work with them too.”
Each regional head coach will enlist further local coaching assistance to maximise the impact on the ground, as well as ensuring that this program remains accessible to players right across the province. Further announcements will be made as additional staff are confirmed.
The EY7s Boys’ Program will see these four regional teams compete at key tournaments spread across the year including the Western Canada Sevens in Edmonton, The Vancouver Sevens Invitational, the Langford Sevens and the Kamloops Sevens Tournament. Based on participation and performance across the year, a team will be selected to represent BC at the Dubai Sevens Tournament in December, pitting the players against some of the top Age-Grade talent in the world.
“We recognised that this program needed to evolve,” says Takel. “With this set up I’m confident that we will provide a clear pathway for players striving to perform at the highest level in the province. The tournaments will be treated as our very own domestic sevens series where our four regions will get a number of opportunities to grow and develop. The teams can find their identity, put into practice their learnings from the previous tournament, compete against each other to be the best region in the province and on an individual level secure a spot on the BC Elite tour to Dubai at the end of 2020”
While the program will really get going in January 2020, some early regional ID sessions have been confirmed (see table below).
Interior Friday, Dec 20 5:00 pm – 7:30pm Kelowna – Rutland Dome
Interior Saturday, Dec 21 9:30 am – 12:00pm Kelowna – Rutland Dome
Valley Tuesday, Dec 10 9:30 am – 12:00pm Langley – Langley Events Centre
Valley Thursday, Dec 12 9:30 am – 12:00pm Langley – Langley Events Centre
Island Wednesday, Dec 11 5:00 pm – 7:00pm Victoria – UVic Turf fields
Mainland Sunday, Jan 19 12:30pm – 2:30pm Vancouver – St. George’s
BC Island: Dustin Dobravsky – A National 15s and 7s player, Dustin is a familiar name and face to many in BC. In recent years Dustin has started turning his hand to coaching, working with his club, Castaway Wanderers and their U16 Boys’ team. Dustin has also worked across the South Island, coaching the VIRU Tide U16 and U18 teams. His experience of playing at the international level will undoubtedly bring an exciting component to his coaching role with the EY7s program.
BC Valley: Phil Llewellyn – Phil is a Level 3 coach with extensive experience of international, national and community 7s and 15s as both a coach and manager. He has previously worked with England and Ireland Rugby Unions in player development roles and is also a qualified coach educator. Currently residing in Canada, he is taking the opportunity to explore the country and get involved with coaching within the Fraser Valley community.
BC Mainland: Aaron McLelland – Originally from New Zealand, Aaron has quickly made a name for himself in the BC Rugby community across XVs, Sevens and Touch Rugby. Currently studying at UBC, he is also a player-coach for the UBCOB Ravens (2018 & 2019 BC Champions) and has worked as a coach with BC’s Age-Grade Rep XVs teams.
BC Interior: Leana Marton – A BC player “back in the day”, Leana first moved to the role of manager and then subsequently discovered a flair for coaching. Known throughout the interior and beyond for her passion and commitment, Leana has coached club, regional and provincial teams with great success across both Sevens and XVs. Returning to the EY7s program for a second year, she is excited to empower players in the interior to take their game to the next level.