The Rugby Canada Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer Allen Vansen announced that they have agreed to begin the transition of leadership at the organization.
“After much consideration and consultation about what’s needed for the organization in the long-term and with my own professional and personal objectives, I have made the decision to step down as Chief Executive Officer of Rugby Canada in January 2022,” said Vansen. “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lead such a remarkable organization and want to thank the Board of Directors, management team, and our athletes. Both the board and I recognize change is an important catalyst at this juncture of Canadian rugby history.”
Vansen joined the organization in 2016 after serving as the Executive Vice President, Operations, Sport & Venue Management of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. He helped evolve Rugby Canada into a modern sports and entertainment organization by delivering equality in national team athlete financial support, through the construction of the Al Charron National Training Centre and by guiding Rugby Canada through the many significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Allen has steered Rugby Canada through significant organisational, governance and financial changes during his tenure and implemented numerous key initiatives, all of which have positioned us well for the future,” stated Sally Dennis, Chair of Rugby Canada.
“We have achieved many other milestones both on and off the field under his direction as our sport has evolved both nationally and internationally, despite not qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2023,” she added, referring to the participation by both men’s and women’s 7s teams at the Olympics, the end of pay-to-play for the women’s XV team, numerous successful Canada Sevens events and the enhancement of the performance pathway. “On behalf of the board I want to thank Allen for his tireless service to Rugby Canada and rugby in Canada.”
Given the recent launch of the review of the high-performance program and other key priorities, Vansen has agreed to serve as CEO until January 31, 2022. The Board of Directors of Rugby Canada will initiate a comprehensive search process for the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer immediately.