Category: News

Liam Casey joins the Toronto Saracens

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Liam Casey as an Ambassador, Advisor and Registered Playing Member. With his wealth of experience and profound passion for the sport, Casey is poised to make significant contributions across various facets of our club’s operations and development.

In this role, Liam will focus on developing rugby skills across all age groups within the club and actively recruiting new players. He’ll also engage with the community, including local schools, universities, and youth development clubs, contributing to coaching efforts, particularly with junior players. Moreover, Liam will build positive relationships with external stakeholders, such as City Rugby, TIRF, and local educational institutions, to enrich our club’s outreach and impact.

We anticipate several key outcomes from Liam’s appointment. He’ll participate in training sessions, represent the Saracens on the pitch, and provide valuable insights to the Board on rugby matters. Additionally, Liam will foster a culture of safety, acceptance, and social cohesion across all teams.

Please join us in welcoming Liam Casey to our rugby family, as we embark on an exciting journey together.

Ian Custadillo joins the Saracens as Director of Recruitment

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Ian Custadillo as the Director of Recruitment for the Toronto Saracens Rugby Club. 

With a proven track record of building successful rugby programs, Custadillo brings a wealth of experience and passion to our team. His journey at Toronto Metropolitan University, where he co-founded the university’s first-ever rugby squad, demonstrates his dedication and commitment to the sport.

 

During orientation week, Custadillo connected with a fellow student over their shared love for rugby. This encounter sparked a passion to establish a rugby presence at TMU, leading him to approach the athletic director’s office with a bold proposal to start a rugby team. Undeterred by the initial challenges, Custadillo rallied support from coaches and players alike to bring their vision to fruition. Through perseverance and determination, they successfully recruited a diverse group of players from around the globe, highlighting Custadillo’s ability to foster inclusivity and unity within the team. His leadership extended beyond the field, as he prioritized building a strong team culture based on camaraderie and mutual respect. This dedication paid off with the team’s on-field success, including a historic win over a seasoned opponent, cementing their place in TMU’s rugby history.

Custadillo’s legacy at TMU is defined by his unwavering commitment to the sport and his ability to inspire others to pursue their passion for rugby. His experience in founding and nurturing a fledgling rugby program demonstrates his expertise in player recruitment, team building, and community engagement—all of which will be invaluable assets to the Toronto Saracens Rugby Club as he assumes his role as Director of Recruitment.

In his role, Custadillo will spearhead our recruitment efforts, identifying and recruiting top-tier rugby players to join the Toronto Saracens. He will work closely with our coaching staff to coordinate practices and games, ensuring optimal performance on the field. Additionally, Custadillo will play a pivotal role in establishing and nurturing relationships with universities across Toronto, as well as collaborating with the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation (TIRF) to expand our network within the rugby community. We are confident that Custadillo’s leadership and vision will propel our club to new heights, and we look forward to the exciting journey ahead under his guidance.

Coach Sheldon Persad joins the Toronto Saracens

Sheldon Persad, BPE, MSc, CSCS, CPTN-CPT (with Merit), SWC, HPC, CSCP

Sheldon has been involved with rugby as a player, coach, administrator and avid fan for 40 years. He has coached at the high school level, at universities, at the club level, and was part of the coaching staff (as assistant coach) for the Toronto franchise (the Toronto Xtreme) during the early days of the initial Canadian league. Sheldon is also a Toronto Saracens alumni player, and previous board member.

As a co-owner of Personal Best Health & Performance Inc (PB) Sheldon’s clientele has extended to four continents. Sheldon is an NCCP certified coach in several different sports and also a certified Stress and Wellness Consultant (Canadian Institute of Stress & Hans Selye Foundation). 2024 is Sheldon’s 38th year as a sport coach, and he is one of few Certified High Performance Sport Scientist Leaders in Canada.  As a Sport Scientist, his experience includes working with athletes who have competed at world championships, the Commonwealth Games, the Pan-American games, and the Olympics (summer and winter) from close to two dozen different national team programs.

He is a co-founder of the Certified Professional Trainers Network (CPTN), the inaugural President of the Canadian Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCA), an author, and award winning international conference presenter. He has twice hosted his own radio show segment, has taught high performance coaches at two different colleges and through the National Certification Program (NCCP). Additionally, over the past 24 years Sheldon has worked with the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (formerly the Canadian Sport Centre) in the capacities of Lead S&C, Lead Sport Science, Manager Performance Services, Director Sport Science and Sport Medicine, Director Performance Services, is currently a Senior Advisor and a highly sought mentor for practitioners in our country.

Alumni Clay Dight celebrates his 100th birthday!

Happy 100th Birthday to Saracen rugby alum, Clay Dight, who celebrated his centennial on April 9, 2023! The Saracen Alumni community showed up in force to celebrate with Clay, with Bobby Johnston traveling all the way from the UK and Elwyn Davies coming from the US to join in the festivities. How many 100 year olds could hunker down in the front row for a photo. Congratulations Clay, from all of the Saracens Alumni!