From the first days of the Valley Royals, the philosophy of the Club has been to create a core of qualified, enthusiastic and skilled coaches whom the Club would support strongly in their coaching. Over the years, coaching has always been one of the strengths of the Valley Royals, with skilled coaches covering the spectrum of events in track & field. The Valley Royals are an inclusive track and field club, accepting athletes of all abilities.
Current Valley Royals Coaches
Ziggy Szelagowicz – Head Coach of Power/Speed & Jumps
Coach Ziggy has had a long and successful tenure as both the Valley Royal and Fraser Valley Regional Center coach for power/speed. Ziggy, who is a graduate of the Polish Institute of Coaching, has a vast background in the jumps, hurdles and sprint events. He has developed a number of internationally competative athletes that include Michael Mason who with a best height of 2.33-meters holds numerous BC records and represented Canada in the high jump at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympic Games.
Coach Ziggy holds a Level 3 Canadian Certification in Sprints, Hurdles and Jumps as well as a Level 2 American Certification. Ziggy has had 11 male High Jumpers achieve over 2.13m, and 5 female jumpers achieve over 1.83m. His athletes have attended Youth, Junior, Senior, FISU, NACIA, NCAA, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games, IAAF World Championships and Olympic Games competitions.
Harold Willers has for many years served as a throwing coach for the Valley Royals. A four time Canadian Champion (1981 to 1984) in the hammer, Willers brings a wealth of experience and coaching expertise to the event area. In the past he has coached a number of athletes who have represented Canada internationally. One of these athletes was Wes Boudreau, a former Canadian Junior Champion in the hammer who won several medals at the NCAA Championships and represented Canada at the World Junior and Pan American Junior Championships. In 2017 he coached Canadian Hammer Champions Viramjit Gondara and Rowan Hamilton, with both athletes representing Canada at the Pan American Championships in Peru. In addition to his coaching duties with the Royals, Harold assists with coaching throws for a number of schools and clubs in the Fraser Valley. Harold received the Jane & Gerry Swan Award for Canadian Development Coach of the Year for the 2017 Season.
Scott Svelander – Endurance Running Coach: Middle Distance & Cross Country
Graham Danziger, like many pole vault coaches, is a student of the event. Graham began competing in track and field at a young age and developed into a versatile athlete who did well in the sprints and jumps. During his secondary school career as a Mouat Hawk, Graham narrowed his competitions to the pole vault and became a BC High School Champion in that event. Upon high school graduation, Graham accepted an athletic scholarship from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. While at Lindenwood Graham became that school’s fourth best ever in the pole vault with a height of 4.95 meters. Graham’s best height during his competitive years as a Valley Royal was 5.05 meters. Graham loves coaching the vault and has shown the patience and expertise as a coach that has aided a number of young British Columbia vaulters.
Trevor Wight – Junior Development Track & Field Coordinator
With a competitive career spanning high school, university, and masters competitions, Trevor brings his wealth of experience as a sprinter / multi events athlete to lead the club’s junior development program. A graduate of both the University of Lethbridge and the University of Saskatchewan, Trevor won several awards namely team MVP (while at U of L) and “Athlete All-Academic Team” (while at U of S). At present, Trevor heads up Yale Secondary’s track and field team, where he teaches visual arts and physical education. Over his years coaching high school, Trevor has coached a number of outstanding athletes including provincial champions Nakai Luyken, and Ricardo Charles as well as double bronze medalist Chantel Desch. More than anything else, Trevor’s emphasis for the JD athletes is having fun, through which his athletes will develop a broad base of skills foundational to track and as well other sports.
Hannah Konrad – Assistant Coach for Power/Speed/Jumps & Endurance Running
Assistant Coach for Junior Development
Andrew Ott – Assistant Coach for Power/Speed/Jumps & Endurance Running
Abresia Foote – Assistant Coach for Junior Development
Peter Price – Assistant Coach for Junior Development
Ryan – Assistant Coach for Junior Development
Udesh Narang – Assistant Coach for Junior Development
Vikramjit Gondara – Assistant Coach for Junior Development
Alex Siemens – JD Cross Country Coach
Alex is a former Valley Royals athlete and University of Idaho graduate. In university, Siemens was a member of the 2014 Outdoor Western Athletic Conference Championship Team as well as the 2016 Big Sky Track & Field Conference Team. In high school, Siemens was a team captain at W.J. Mouat Secondary. She represented BC Athletics on both Track and Cross Country teams for three years at national championships. Siemens became the first Grade 9 Student to win the B.C. High School Cross-Country Championships.
Brit is a Level 4 coach and in addition to her duties as a Royals coach is the Head Coach of SFU’s Track and Field Program. A former international who was a finalist at both the World Championships and Olympic Games, Brit has been successful in developing a strong distance running program at SFU. She has helped improve a number of middle distance runners that include Heather deGeest, the BC Juvenile record holder at 800 metres and a finalist in 1500-metres at the World Junior Championships. At present Brit is coaching Jessica Smith who was a semi finalist in the 800-meters at the 2012 London Olympics. Other outstanding athletes that Brit mentors include heptathlon athlete Ruky Abdulai and middle distance runner Helen Crofts.
Tom Dickson is a Level 3 Certified Coach who coaches many top ranked sprinters and hurdlers. Tom conducts Level 1 clinics in sprints/hurdles and serves as a coach for numerous provincial track and field teams. In addition, Tom is an outstanding athlete and has won medals in international master competitions. Tom conducts most of his training sessions at either Burnaby Central High School or Simon Fraser University.