Meet the Team

Ige Egal, Executive Director

Building equitable access to sport

Ige Egal   
Executive Director

Ige has been involved with TIRF since its launch in 2011. As Executive Director, Ige builds partnerships with governing bodies, rugby clubs and the education, private, and public sectors to build stronger communities. Ige was named one of Toronto’s Vital People in 2016, through the Vital Toronto Fund at the Toronto Foundation. Ige, a provincial soccer referee with more than a decade’s worth of referee experience, is also an active member on the board of directors for MLSE LaunchPad.

In an exercise of poor judgement, regrettably, Ige is a Liverpool FC fan.

Andrea Zeelie-Varga Program Manager

Reducing barriers to health

Andrea Zeelie-Varga
Manager, Programs & Development

In her role as Programs and Development Manager, Andrea provides oversight to TIRF programs and administration. Tasked with efficiently and effectively building TIRF’s capacity, Andrea is also responsible for fund development, and volunteer recruitment. Her background in health promotion, lends itself well to supporting the organization’s health and long-term sustainability. Andrea embraces a systems thinking approach to creating social change demonstrated by her impressive track record of executing both national and international awareness and education programs.

Andrea enjoys cycling, swimming in public pools, and pine nuts. When asked for her candid opinion of pine trees her response was “no comment”.

Paul Myers Rugby Development

Coaching champions

Paul Myers
Coordinator, Rugby Development

As the Rugby Development Coordinator, Paul is responsible for rugby training, player development and implementing rugby curriculum. Notorious on-and-off the pitch, Paul truly is everyone’s coach. When he’s not out in the community facilitating trainings with coaches or community partners, you can find Paul on the pitch. Paul discovered his love of the sport later in life. He coaches TIRF’s Under-16s; Ontario Central Hubs Under-18s, is a member of Rugby Ontario’s Under-18 Men’s Sevens coaching staff and has been coaching the Malvern Collegiate rugby team for nearly 20-years.

Paul’s alter-ego, DJ Clyde, is TIRF’s very own desktop DJ. DJ Clyde, not to be confused with DJ Khaled, takes Motown requests on Fridays after 2PM.

Mapping promising practices

Linda Ho
Coordinator, Program & Outreach

Linda is responsible for providing front line training and support for the community rugby program. As the Program and Outreach Coordinator, she coordinates facility bookings for programs and TIRF house leagues. Charged with connecting communities through the introduction of the sport, Linda also identifies, monitors and reports on the programs key performance indicators. In her spare time, Linda nerds out to numbers and data visualisations which you would think could make her pretty boring – but she’s surprisingly okay.

Linda has threatened to give up coffee several times now and, in the interest of everyone`s health and safety, we do not support that.

Creating winning conditions

Valentine Muigai
Coordinator, Youth Development

As the Youth Development Coordinator, Valentine, provides a broad range of support for TIRF’s Beyond Rugby program stream. Valentine supports, life skills, leadership and youth development of TIRF players through the coordination and administration of the scholarship and career connect programs. In this role, Valentine balances the needs of applicants and selection committee members, so that they can each make informed decisions. Valentine selflessly gives to help others. This is demonstrated in her personal and professional work dedicated to meeting the basic needs and fundamental rights of young people.

Valentine is the embodiment of patience, acceptance and tolerance of all things – except gluten. Valentine has zero tolerance for gluten.

Amanda Neale-Robinson Communications Officer

Amplifying impact

Amanda Neale-Robinson
Communications Officer

In her role as Communications Officer, Amanda supports TIRFs marketing and communications needs. Amanda’s portfolio of responsibility includes: capturing content for TIRF’s two newsletters The Lineout and Hot off the Pitch: Player News You Can Use; curating TIRF’s social media channels; website maintenance and designing TIRF’s marketing materials. Amanda has a real fondness for capturing and sharing stories of others in 140 characters or less.

When choosing sides on the longstanding and highly controversial topic, Amanda stands firm that it is pronounced GIF not GIF.