Upright Rugby uses a player-centred model of learning that best provides for developmental needs of young aspiring rugby players. Our programs are designed for players ages, 10 to 18, with the understanding that the players need to develop not only the skills but knowledge to best prepare them to accomplish their personal long-term goals in the sport of rugby. Our programs adhere to the LTRD model of Rugby Ontario and LTAD of Sport Canada and addresses the specific stages within their models.
Long-Term Rugby Development (LTRD) is the Ontario Rugby Union’s adaptation of the Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD) developed by Sport Canada and is a scientific model that has been readily adopted by many major sports organizations across the globe. It is a series of stages established to facilitate the needs of the individual athlete through their natural stages of growth and maturity.
Upright Rugby’s Program Development Model is designed to:
- Provide a safe environment that seeks to best address the player’s health and welfare within the sport of rugby;
- Provide on a enjoyable environment that focuses on player-centred learning and development;
- Provide a calculated player development pathway that best suits their personal needs;
- Promote lifelong enjoyment of rugby and the pursuit of physical activity;
- Facilitate best practices for player growth and development.
Our program is designed to address the personal needs and ambitions of each player; recognizing not everyone is a national team player but each player does have their own personal goals. Those committed to Upright Rugby’s model will definitely find success and ultimately be much more likely to achieve their player-goals than those who are not involved in a program of this nature.
The “10, 000 hours” concept of mastery of skill and knowledge is facilitated through the learning continuum of our summer camps (for kids 10 to 16yrs old), and refined in our Player Development Program for kids that are 14 to 18 years of age.
Our athletes are playing, training and enjoying the game of rugby for 100 hours more than the average player in Ontario. Our facilities and program design ensure that Upright athletes are closer to achieving the optimal amount of hours required in the mastery of skills.
Rugby development at Upright is not about making superstars, it’s about making skilled, informed, and knowledgeable players, who enjoy their sport and are willing to work hard to achieve their goals.
Elite Athlete Development Program (EADP)
Those interested in Elite Level playing opportunities should consider our off-season Elite Athlete Development Program. Our “academy” focuses on developing the core skills necessary for “breaking the gain line” and moving on to the next level. Whether your ambitions are provincial, varsity, national, or simply to be the best player you can be, our sessions will provide you with the resources and know-how to get you there.
Our mission is to provide an off season training program for boys and girls, aged 15 to 19, that are passionate about rugby and committed to their success. Ultimately, we want to train our athletes in order to best provide an opportunity for them to excel in their sport.
Our program includes:
- Training and Facilitation provided by some of the top coaches in Ontario, each of whom bring their own impressive résumé of Elite level strength training and conditioning specific to the nature and needs of rugby;
- Development of tactical experience in game situations through our indoor touch rugby league;
- Advanced skills training that utilizes the latest technology to provide concise, accurate feedback for each athlete;
- Functional Motor Screening and consistent monitoring of our athletes progress from a medical and physiological perspective;
- Weekly Yoga Classes in order to increase range of motion amongst our athletes, strengthen their core and minimize the risk of injury;
- Our program maintains consistency with the Long Term Rugby Development (“LTRD”) goals established by Rugby Canada and implemented by the IRB.
Club Competitive Skills Program (CCSP)
CCSP is designed for the player that is looking to advance their skills and improve their overall game-sense without the time commitments and pressure of competing at the highest levels. Open to kids between the ages of 15 and 19, CCSP athletes will participate with the other athletes training within the off-season program during our skills sessions and also participate in our indoor touch-rugby league.
The program provides first-class instruction and feedback to all participating players from our highly-reputable coaches. The majority of our coaching staff are current or former provincial age-grade coaches; while the occasional guest coach from the national team (player or coach) often runs a session as well.
Tyler Leggatt (Lead Director, Upright Rugby Canada)
Mark Smerdon: Assistant Coach Ontario U18 Jr Blues; Asst Coach, Streetsville SS (OFSAA Gold Medal Champion 2012)
Lead Director — Upright Rugby Canada
With over 25yrs playing experience and more than 10 years as a head coach, at the high school, club, provincial and varsity level, Tyler Leggatt has a lot of knowledge and expertise to provide to both players and coaches within our academy program. In his time as an active player with the Oakville Crusaders, Tyler won: Rookie of the Year, Most Improved, Most Valuable 1st XV, Club Player of the Year, and the Captain’s Award for dedication and commitment.
One of the founding players of the Super League team, the Niagara Thunder, and an active player within the RCSL for three years. During that time, Tyler also represented Ontario Sr Men’s team for two seasons. More recently, Tyler has competed for Canada as member of the Canadian Classics, Over-33 team and was fortunate to participate in three World Rugby Championships in Bermuda between 2007 and 2011.
As a coach, Tyler has been involved with the Oakville Crusaders, McMaster Men’s Varsity team as an Assistant Coach through three OUA titles. More recently, a head coach with the Ontario Jr Blues program, where he was head coach of the gold medal winning team of the 2010 National Championships.
7′s Certified Coach: Intro to Comp (Level 1)
NCCP Level Two: Intro to Competition
Qualified Learning Facilitator for Rugby Canada
Mark Smerdon — Technical Adviser
Mark is the current Director of Rugby the Mississauga Blues RFC. He brings a wealth of experience both as a player and as a coach to our academy. His playing days began our east with the esteemed Swilers RFC. Upon moving to the Toronto area, Mark began his Ontario career with U of T while completing his degree in education and then later playing club rugby for the Toronto Saracens.
Mark brings more than 25 yrs of coaching experience to our sessions and is one of the few people responsible for establishing the highly successful Mississauga Blues. More recently, Mark has added coaching the Ontario U16 Jr Blues to his resume and returned to the provincial program to assist with the U18s.
Learning Facilitator for Rugby Canada
IRB 7′s Level One
Trained NCCP Coach- Intro to Competition
Certified NCCP Level 3- Technical completed
Andrew Ferguson — Technical Adviser and Junior Coach
Third year Psychology student at McMaster University. Scrumhalf for the Marauders, winning the 2010 OUA championship and Individual Rookie of the year awards. Rugby Ontario representative since 2007 including the Ontario Blues Sr Men`s from 2010-Present. Gold and a silver medal at Nationals and gold medal in the 2009 Canada Summer Games. Represented Canada U-20 at the 2011 Junior World Trophy in Tbilisi, Georgia. Coached with URC since 2011, providing assistance in summer camps and winter academy sessions.
“My goal as a coach is to provide a competitive and rewarding environment, that challenges individuals to expand their rugby skills, both mentally and physically.“
Steve Piatek — Junior Assistant Coach
Coaching Experience: Current Niagara Regional 7s Head Coach; Brantford Harlequins U18s; St. John’s College (Brantford)
Playing Experience: Canada Selects, Canada Age Grade, Ontario Blues, Niagara Thunder
Club: Brantford Harlequins
Coaching Specialty: passing & kicking
Proudest Coaching Moment: Coaching a team to be undefeated two consecutive years
Proudest Playing Moment: Hitting the winning kick versus USA A in extra time
Tyler Ardron — Guest Coach
Ty is a frequent guest coach with Upright Rugby…. we are fortunate to have such a talented and successful national team player be a part of our program. Ty has been playing rugby consistently since 2006 and fortunate enough to play representative rugby for Ontario each summer since he began playing.
Tyler has also represented Canada at the age grade level, starting with U-17 where he was named ”Best Canadian Forward”, and followed by Canada U-20 in 2009, where he was named team captain.
Since 2011, Tyler has been sharing time between both 15s and 7s. In Canada summer of 2011, Ty was selected to represent Canada at the Pan-Am Games where they won the first-ever Pan-Am rugby gold medal.
Most recently, Tyler signed a professional contract with the professional Welsh rugby club, the Ospreys. We certainly wish him well on his professional endeavours!