Cascades mourn the loss of rugby sevens manager Di Guistini

Todd Di Guistini (back row, left) served as manager of the Cascades women’s rugby sevens team and traveled with the team to a tournament in Edmonton last weekend. (Don Voaklander photo)

The University of the Fraser Valley athletic department extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Todd Di Guistini, who passed away after being involved in an automobile accident on Monday.

Di Guistini was a keen supporter of UFV’s new women’s rugby sevens program – he served as team manager and traveled with the Cascades to Edmonton for the inaugural Canada West Women’s Rugby Sevens Series event last weekend.

A fixture in the Abbotsford rugby community for decades as a player and volunteer, Di Guistini was president of the Abbotsford Rugby Football Club from 2010 to 2013 and established The Originals, the over-40 men’s side.

A UFV graduate (Bachelor of Business Administration, 2009), Di Guistini was the vice-president of Clayburn Refractories Ltd.

Jen Ross, head coach of the Cascades women’s rugby sevens team, noted that Di Guistini’s tireless advocacy for youth sport went beyond rugby – he also coached football in the community. When she approached him last summer about getting involved with launching UFV’s new rugby sevens program, Di Guistini was on board immediately and was instrumental in the planning process and in seeking to engage alumni.

Ross is exploring the possibility of naming a Cascades rugby sevens scholarship after Di Guistini.

“Todd was a great friend, and this is a huge loss,” Ross said. “He was the kind of person who would ask you how you were doing, and genuinely listen and care what your answer was. He was a solid guy who had time for people – he was loyal to his friends, and a huge family man.

“We’re going to keep playing in his name.”

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The University of the Fraser Valley is situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Stó:lō peoples. The Stó:lō have an intrinsic relationship with what they refer to as S’olh Temexw (Our Sacred Land); therefore, we express our gratitude and respect for the honour of living and working in this territory.

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