Coaches

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.

 

Scott Svelander – Endurance Running Coach, Head Coach of Cross Country 

Scott Svelander is a level 3 NCCP certified coach in distance running. He has completed a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Simon Fraser University and completed the course requirements for a master’s degree in coaching studies from the University of Victoria. Scott was a long time men’s distance coach for Simon Fraser University where he was fortunate to work with and learn from Canadian Master Coach Gerry Swan and SFU head coach Brit Townsend. Scott has also coached developing athletes at North Surrey Secondary School and Valley Royals. Athletes that Scott has worked with have represented British Columbia and Canada up to and including World Championships and Olympic Games. Scott has coached many Provincial teams at Canadian Championships, Western Canada Games, and Canada Games. He has also coached for Canada internationally.

 

Sean Laforest —Throws Coach  

Trained by Valley Royals award-winning Coach Harold Willers, Sean Laforest is an accomplished thrower and coach. Sean is the Vice Principal at MEI Middle School where he serves as throws coach to the MEI Middle and Secondary School track & field teams. 

 

 

Graham Danziger—Pole Vault

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 - Head ShotTrevor 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.

 

Harneet Uppal – Assistant Coach for JD Cross Country

Currently in her third year at the University of the Fraser Valley, Harneet Uppal is in the Kinesiology Program and focusing on studying Exercise Science.  She was a middle/long distance runner with the Royals throughout her high school career and was also briefly a part of the Douglas College running team.

 

Parmvir Waring – Assistant Coach for JD Cross Country

Parmvir is in his second year at the University of the Fraser Valley, in the Bachelor of Science program, majoring in Biology. He trained with the Valley Royals long/middle distance group for 3 years. He has raced in a total of 8 Provincial Championships for Track and Cross Country.

 

Andrew Ott

– Assistant Coach for JD Cross Country

– Assistant Coach for Power/Speed/Jumps

 

Aneesha Narang

– Assistant Coach for JD Cross Country

 

 

Hannah Konrad

– Assistant Coach for Power/Speed/Jumps 

– Assistant Coach for Junior Development

 

 Abresia Foote

– Assistant Coach for Junior Development

 

 

Peter Price

– Assistant Coach for Junior Development 

 

 

 Ryan Togeretz

– Assistant Coach for Junior Development 

 

 

Udesh Narang

– Assistant Coach for Junior Development   

 

 

 Vikramjit Gondara

– Assistant Coach for Junior Development

 

 

Brit Townsend—Middle Distance Coach Burnaby 

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 — Power/Speed Coach Burnaby 

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.

Updated August, 2018