COACHING STAFF

JENNIFER KOPTIE

JENNIFER KOPTIE

Head Coach

Jen has been coaching since 1996. She began as the Head Coach of Variety Village Synchro Club in 2001, and remained Head Coach at VV until she left to form the Aretaic Synchronized Swimming Alliance in 2014. In 2015, Jen was successful in becoming the first Head Coach for the Regional Training Centre – Ontario, where she is thrilled to continue today.

In the summers, Jen remains involved with synchronized swimming through coaching, mentoring, and assisting with both Ontario Provincial Teams, as well as Canadian National Teams. In 2005 and 2006, Jen was the Manager of the Canadian Junior National Team in 2005 and 2006, before moving onto work as the Assistant Coach for the 13-15 Canadian National Team from 2013-2015. This past summer, Jen was hired as the Head Coach of the 13-15 Canadian National Team, who placed first in routine at the UANA Pan American Championships, and also worked as the Manager of the Junior Canadian National Team, who attended Junior Worlds in Russia.

Jen has been the proud recipient of many awards throughout her long and successful coaching career, including winning Coach of the Year for the 13-15 age category in 2010, as well as being inducted onto the Variety Village Wall of Fame in 2016.

When not at the pool, Jen is an elementary school teacher, a mother of two amazing children, and loves watching football with her family.

MANNY WU

MANNY WU

Lead Coach

Coach of the 2014 and 2015 Canadian National Junior Team Champions, Manny has over 20 years of synchronized swimming experience, both as a national level swimmer in China and a coach. She retired after participating at the 2004 Olympic Games as an athlete, and started coaching in Canada in 2008. Manny was the Head Coach for 2012 13-15 Ontario Provincial Team that captured a gold medal at the prestigious Christmas Prize competition in Prague, and that year she also coached the Granite Club 13-15 Team which swept the 2012 Espoir Championships in solo, duet, and team. Manny was the Assistant Coach for the 2015 Canada Winter Games Team as well as 2015 and 2016 Junior National Team. Manny has been coaching at the RTC – Ontario since it’s inauguration in 2015.

MAUDE PELCHAT

MAUDE PELCHAT

Assitant Coach

Maude started synchronized swimming at 8 years old and swam for 11 years in the province of Quebec. During her career, she was six times national champion in the team event and once in the duet event. In 2002, Maude represented Canada at the Junior World Championships and won a bronze medal in team and a silver medal in combo. She started coaching in 2006 and only three years later, she was named assistant coach of the Quebec 13-15 Provincial Team. Her experience with provincial teams led her towards the national team program where she held the assistant coach position between 2011 and 2014 and helped prepare swimmers for competitions like Comen Cup, UANA and Junior Worlds. Maude also has a degree in communications and another one in education. She is now teaching a class full of little kindergarteners while pursuing her passion for coaching at the RTC.

JULIA MCLEAN

JULIA MCLEAN

Assitant Coach

Julia MacLean is a former Canadian National Team member, who began coaching in 2009. Since retiring as an athlete, Julia has been committed to coaching, and helping to create the next generation of great Ontario athletes. Julia has been hired nearly every summer to work with various Ontario Provincial Teams, including the 2011, 2014 and 2015 11-12 Provincial Teams, as well as the 2013 Junior Provincial Team. Julia held the position of co-chair of the Synchro Canada Athlete Council for many years, and continues to compete in synchronized swimming in National and International Masters events. Julia works as an assistant coach at the Regional Training Centre of Ontario, and also coaches at the Variety Village Synchro Club. Julia has the honour of having an award named after her because of her many accomplishments. The “Julia MacLean Trophy” is awarded every year at the Lisa Alexander Figures Meet to a swimmer who displays the characteristics Julia has shown throughout her career. She was recognised in 2014 as “Coach of the Year” by Synchro Swim Ontario and hopes to someday coach our Canadian National Team.

KATIE HAMMOND

KATIE HAMMOND

Assitant Coach

Katie Hammond has been coaching since 2001, at a variety of clubs across Ontario. She has worked with numerous Provincial and National teams, including being the Apprentice Coach for the 13-15 National Team in 2006 and 2007. She has been an Assistant Coach and Manager at the RTC for two years now. Katie has coached several nationally medalling routines through the years. This year Katie is also coaching 13-15 athletes at Variety Village Synchro Club. In addition to coaching, Katie also works as a graphic designer.

KRISTIN MCCOY

KRISTIN MCCOY

Manager

Kristin has been involved in Synchronized Swimming since she was 7 years old, swimming out of Variety Village Synchro Club. Upon retirement from synchro, Kristin began coaching various age groups at Variety Village before finding her niche in the 8 and 10&Under category. Last year, Kristin’s 8&Under team was the top team in Ontario at the Trillium 12&Under Provincial competition. In 2016, Kristin was hired for the Manager role at the Regional Training Centre – Ontario, where she is thrilled to be a part of such a highly skilled and inspiring coaching staff. Outside of the RTC, Kristin is also a full-time Health and Physical Education teacher and continues to coach a 10&Under team at Variety Village.

AMBER HUTCHINSON

AMBER HUTCHINSON

Biomechanics Specialist & Speed Swimming Coach

Amber Hutchinson is the speed swimming coach and biomechanist at the Regional Training Centre – Ontario. Amber completed both her Bachelors (2011) and Masters of Science (2014) in Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario, specializing in swimming biomechanics. Amber has provided biomechanics and performance analysis for synchronized swimming in Ontario since January 2015. The athletes and performance demands of synchronized swimming quickly captivated her, and she began coaching at the RTC – ON during the 2015-16 season.
In addition to her role at the RTC – ON, Amber provides biomechanics support for the Ontario Swimming Academy. Amber was a national-level swimmer and is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist (NSCA).

DEBRA THOMSON

DEBRA THOMSON

Figures Specialist

Debra has been involved in Synchronized Swimming since 1984 as a swimmer, judge and coach. She has previously worked at the Provincial level with Markham Synchro as a coach and head coach, during which time Markham Synchro won the Age Group Aggregate trophy for 10 years. Following her time in Markham, Debra moved on to coaching at the National level with Durham Synchro, Optima Synchro, Variety Village, Aretaic Synchro and now with the Regional Training Centre – Ontario. Currently, Debra is a figure specialist with Variety Village (13 -15 National stream) and with the RTC – ON. This is an area that Debra is passionate about, as her goal is to assist in getting as many swimmers to National Teams as possible. Debra is also a level 2 Judge and has been involved for over 25 years at this level. In her free time, Debra enjoy working with her favourite artist who designs spectacular routine suits, bringing them to life for the swimmers and audience to enjoy. There have been many great moments through the years for Debra, from watching swimmers she has coached make it to the Canadian Olympic team, as well as seeing Variety Village’s 11 – 12 and 13 – 15 teams win at the National level.

STACY BURNS

STACY BURNS

Flexibility Specialist

Stacy Burns is a passionate coach and educator who is reputed for her positive attitude and willingness to do what it takes to help her athletes achieve their full potential. Stacy has been coaching synchro for over 15 years with many notable podium finishes. In 2012, she led her 11-12 team to a gold medal at National Championships. With a great passion for coaching flexibility and extension, Stacy now specializes in creating training plans specifically aimed at increasing flexibility. She has coached at Synchro Ontario’s Learn to Train and Train to Train sessions and consults for clubs across Ontario. Stacy seeks to continually learn new skills to bring to her athletes and has just become a Registered Yoga Teacher. In 2015, she traveled to New York City to train with professional dancers. There she obtained her Certified FLX Conditioning Specialist designation from FLX, a brand of products and training techniques designed to challenge the limits of flexibility and extension. Outside of the pool, Stacy is a teacher with the Toronto District School Board and enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and dog.

CANADIAN SPORT INSTITUTE OF ONTARIO SUPPORT STAFF

JAMES CUNNINGHAM

JAMES CUNNINGHAM

High Performance Athlete Development Advisor

James brings a diverse experience to CSIO as an advisor, coach, athlete and BPHE graduate (of the University of Toronto) to his work in athlete and program development. Prior to joining CSIO, James spent 5 years working with Cross Country Canada as High Performance Development Coordinator, providing support to coaches, athletes and programs with a focus on long-term system development. James has an extensive background supporting athletes and coaches at international sporting events. Most recently, he acted a part of the Mission Team for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, as well as assisting VANOC during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

KYLIE GIBSON

KYLIE GIBSON

Lead Physiotherapist

Kylie is actively engaged in national and international therapy coverage. Her experience in sport therapy involves a Masters of Science in Physiotherapy, as well as ten years as Clinical Director for Trent Health in Motion Sport Medicine Clinic. She enjoys working with Provincial and National Teams in a variety of sports at CSIO. Her patients include athletes from figure skating and freestyle skiing to trampoline and synchronized swimming.

DR. DAVID BENTLEY

DR. DAVID BENTLEY

Sport Physiologist

David has been involved in sports science and coaching for 20 years in Australia and Europe. David worked with the English sports system and completed a PhD in 2003 at the University of Bath, high performance centre, surrounding triathlon and physiological assessment of endurance athletes. Since that time, he has gathered a broad range of experiences in sports coaching, training and performance analysis in athletes ranging from Olympians to aspiring junior athletes in swimming, triathlon and other endurance sports. His coaching outcomes in triathlon have led to success at world championship level. David has a strong academic and applied sport science background having developed specialist experiences in areas resistance training for endurance performance; simulated and actual altitude training periodization; ergogenic aids including antioxidant and sodium bicarbonate supplementation/ pre-cooling in hot conditions. David has been the assistant editor of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport since 2007.

MELISSA KAZAN

MELISSA KAZAN

Sport Nutritionist

Melissa is a Registered Dietitian who holds both a Bachelor Degree and Masters in Applied Nutrition from McGill University. Being an avid runner and swimmer, Melissa became interested in sport nutrition and has completed her Sport Nutrition Diploma with the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Her Masters focused on reviewing the nutrient considerations for female endurance athletes, where she explored the evidence for sex-differences in exercise physiology and substrate metabolism in response to endurance exercise, and identified research gaps in the current sport nutrition guidelines for women involved in endurance sports.

Before joining the CSIO, Melissa was the clinical dietitian at Axio sport medicine clinic based in Montreal. Throughout her practice Melissa has used her sport nutrition knowledge to help athletes improve their performance and achieve a balanced nutrition. In addition, Melissa has assisted individuals in managing their weight and improving their eating habits. Melissa has also been involved in counselling junior curling and speed skating teams competing at the regional level, where she focused on meal planning and eating around trainings and competition. In her free time Melissa enjoys distance running and swimming as well as experimenting in the kitchen, cooking healthy recipes.

GREG LEWANDOWSKI

GREG LEWANDOWSKI

Strength and Conditioning

Greg completed his Bachelors Degree with Distinction in Athletic Therapy at Lincoln Memorial University. After playing soccer semi-professionally in Europe, he pursued a Masters in Biology of Human Performance at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. During this time, Greg worked as a sports scientist intern with MVV Maastricht, where he studied the rate of perceived exertion and heart rate monitoring in high performance athletes.

After graduating with his Masters, Greg moved to England, where he worked with some of UK’s top strength and conditioning professionals at Durham University. During his time in the UK, Greg also worked closely with the professional club Hartlepool United, where he was involved with 1st team and Academy physical preparation programs. After moving back to Canada, Greg took on a position at the University of Toronto as a strength and conditioning coach and an instructor at the Department of Kinesiology. Presently, he is a strength and conditioning coordinator at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

DR. STEVEN DILKAS

DR. STEVEN DILKAS

Sport Medicine Physician

Dr. Dilkas practices sports medicine at the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario and is a staff physician at an Amputee and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Program at a Toronto Clinic.  He is also a Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dilkas is the physician for the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Team and the Canadian Senior Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team, and is also an international classifier for Wheelchair Rugby and a provincial classifier for Para-Athletics. During the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan Am Games, Dr. Dilkas was Lead Physician at Aquatics for the Pan Am Games and Lead Sport Medicine Physician at the Athletes’ Village Polyclinic for the Parapan Am Games.