John Gattens

I have known Roberto Sciascia since 2007 when he was contracted by Richmond Soccer to be the technical director and improve the Richmond Boys Metro Select program. He is always very professional and was both organized and a great resource for both the players and coaches alike. Over those years I have been involved with Roberto as the volunteer head coach of the U-16, U17 and U18 boys and have been with him in over 800 training sessions and 200 games. I would suggest that I have seen many situations where many coaches would yell at a referee and Roberto would take the position that the referee is not going to change his mind so why get upset? Roberto is also a qualified Aikido instructor and used some of his knowledge to demonstrate to the boys how to fall and get closer to opponents in many of his training sessions by using the force or energy to the player’s advantage. Over the years Roberto has always demanded the best out of his players and his coaches on and off the field. He instilled a sense of discipline in the training sessions and also implemented the monthly reporting system that each coach would have to keep along with Roberto the progression of each player over the season. This was part compulsory in program so we could evaluate the progress of each player from the attendance to the mental, physical and technical development of the player. We have even passed along the year long results to interested coaches at various colleges and universities that were interested in graduating Richmond Metro players. The results have been there with Richmond metro teams winning many league , cup and provincial championships and always are talked about by other metro clubs as how competitive the smallest district is in the Metro Select league. Roberto also initiated the tradition that is part of Richmond soccer today, that players shake the hands of the coaches before and after each practice at all age groups to show respect for the players and the coaches. As coach of the U-18’s we would often go to the U13’s after one of our sessions and shake each players hand to wish them luck by on the week end or a cup game..

This was made as part of the Richmond culture and the togetherness was often infectious. It gave all players as sense that we all belonged to the same club no matter if you were 12 years of age or 18 years of age. Roberto is always the professional and loyal to Richmond Soccer and would always go out of his way to see how he could improve the metro program and the players involved with it. If a player wanted to continue with soccer after their youth career was over Roberto made sure to give assistance to those players as long as they did the work.

As to Roberto’s character being from Europe he is very blunt and direct to the point and does not candy coat his words. He tells it as he sees it and sometimes feelings are a bit ruffled. He truly is respected by his peers and the players and the coaches that he has mentored over the years. Although Roberto was a paid employee he was never perceived from the beginning that he would have to attend an event or game that was outside his contractual agreement.

He attended all team functions in all the age groups and often went to help in tournaments in the US to help players get noticed by US Colleges. He would often on his own time go to see other games of opposing teams to get the feel of how was would strategized the game plan when we played them. He still comes to watch the men’s games with players that he coached in the past because still he cares
about those players. Taking off my coach’s hat and speaking strictly as a parent, Roberto has always helped the boys recover from injuries and gave specific advice on how to rehab from personal experience. One example is when he came up to see my son Rory when he broke his leg playing for UBC and got compartment syndrome and advised him of how to rehab the injury. To sum up the character of Roberto Sciascia is to say that is caring and honest individual that would tell you when you were wrong and praise you when you were right. He has always been there for Richmond Soccer in many capacities as a coach, mentor, and sounding board for the players and the coaches.