Monthly Newsletter – MayTIRF is back and better than ever!

Our 2024 Summer programming has started, it has been a great start to the summer!

For those who are new to TIRF, the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation is a rugby-centered community development organization committed to using rugby as a tool for social good. Since our founding in 2011, we have been dedicated to building community through rugby in 31 of Toronto’s underserved, low-income, and priority neighbourhoods. Working in partnership with Rugby Canada, Rugby Ontario, nine Toronto rugby clubs, school boards, and community service providers, TIRF reduces the financial, geographical, and cultural barriers that prevent children and youth from participating in the sport.

We are excited to announce that our Summer 2024 programming is off to a fantastic start. Our new team of excellent workers is already making a significant impact, delivering the essential work of TIRF with dedication and enthusiasm. These new team members bring a wealth of experience and passion, further strengthening our mission to empower youth through rugby.


Our onboarding process this year was a comprehensive and enriching experience held at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) from April 29th to May 8th. During this period, our new team members participated in a series of workshops designed to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver our rugby programming effectively. They learned about outreach strategies to secure bookings, developed their professional skills, and focused on building strong team dynamics and closeness. This onboarding process not only prepared our new hires to excel in their roles but also fostered a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose that will drive our success throughout the summer and beyond.

Our Dream Team

This year, we have developed our Summer Dream Team to serve four specific regions across Toronto, strategically chosen because they are most in need of our work. These regions have been identified based on their underserved, low-income, and priority status, aligning with our mission to reduce barriers and provide greater access to rugby for youth. Our dedicated team members are working tirelessly in these areas, bringing our impactful programs to the communities that will benefit the most. By focusing our efforts where they are needed most, we aim to make a significant, positive difference in the lives of the children and youth we serve.

Core Team 

  • Spencer Robinson: DEI Head Coach of Youth Rugby & Belonging
  • Daniella Popal: Project Manager 
  • Abdel Elmaadawi: Programs Coordinator

Membership & Admin Assistant 

  • Membership & Admin Assistant: Katarina Peric 

Dixon Park Team 

  • Captain/Coach: Cornelius Osei-Owusu
  • Facilitator: Riley Garcia 
  • Facilitator: Deborah Osei-Owusu


  • Captain/Coach: Kelly Nguyen
  • Facilitator: Ryan Baccanin 
  • Facilitator: Yash Medapititya  

Steels L’amoreaux/Wobrun 

  • Captain/Coach: Sam Marler 
  • Facilitator: Charlie Miller
  • Facilitator: Jackey Kuang

Flemingdon Park 

  • Captain: Nisha Ravishankar 
  • Coach: Sultan Butt
  • Facilitator: Jaydon Morris 

In School Programming 

In May, we made significant strides with our in-school programming across our four targeted regions in Toronto. We secured an impressive 39 bookings, encompassing both high school and elementary school sessions, Beyond 3:30 programming, collaborations with MLSE, and our elementary flag rugby tournaments. This comprehensive approach allowed us to reach and engage 3,886 students, providing them with valuable rugby experiences and lessons. This achievement is a testament to our commitment to our mission and values, as we continue to break down barriers and promote the benefits of rugby to youth in underserved communities. We are thrilled with this progress and are dedicated to expanding our reach even further in the coming months.

Rugby In The Square

Rugby In The Square is an exciting co-ed, non-contact flag rugby tournament held at Nathan Phillips Square. This event is a unique opportunity for Toronto’s top employers to experience the spirit of rugby’s competitiveness and camaraderie firsthand. Beyond the action on the pitch, this event is vital for bringing together TIRF’s valued sponsors and partners, allowing them to engage with the sport and see its impact on the community. Rugby In The Square is also a premier networking event, providing a platform for participants to connect, collaborate, and strengthen relationships in a vibrant and active setting. Each team, comprising up to 10 players, is guaranteed a minimum of three games and can enjoy various activities organized by the Toronto Inner-City Rugby Foundation, Rugby Ontario, and other partners. Registration includes team jerseys, player swag bags, and refreshments, culminating in a post-event social that fosters further interaction and community building. Join us at this central Toronto location for a day of fun, networking, and community engagement through rugby. This year EQ Bank won!!, knocking off Eventi from winning for the 4th time in a row!

Employee of the Month 

It’s hard to believe this is Jackey’s first year with TIRF! Jackey is hardworking, and selfless, and always brings a positive attitude. Thank you for always putting your best foot forward and delivering top-notch performance in the field. We can’t wait to watch you grow even more over the next few months!

What’s Coming Next

  1. One more month to go of In-School Programming
  2. Camp Bookings are now OPEN!!! on 

— Sam Marler