Coaches & Directors

The swimmer coaches work under the guidance of the Head Coach. All of these coaches currently swim competitively for, or have swam for, the Water Dragons. This gives them the ability to relate to the developing swimmer while they foster the club spirit and the sense of accomplishment for the swimmer. They also keep the “fun” of learning to swim in the sessions they coach. The swimmer coaches are members of the Canadian Coaching and Swimmers Teaching Association (CCSTA)

Head Coach:  Amanda Etherington

​High Performance & Senior

Our Head Coach Amanda has spent most of her life in a pool, either as a swimmer or an instructor. After a brief stint coaching with CPWD in 2013, Amanda went to Perth and volunteer coached while being mentored by Coach Rod Agar of the Perth Stingrays. In 2014, she returned to CPWD as assistant coach, then in 2015 became the Head Coach at CPWD.  A Level 2 Certified Coach with 20 years+ background in recreation, fitness and aquatics, Amanda has coached both Provincial level & Age Group National level swimmers. She was the proud recipient of CSCTA's Domestic Excellence Award in 2016, formerly the "Coach of the Year" award. 

Coach: Melanie Ayotte

​High Performance

Melanie Ayotte (Gillespie) has been around the pool deck since 1991 when all four daughters started swimming with the Perth Stingrays. Her girls have competed nationally and internationally, with two receiving full swimming scholarships at Arizona State and UNLV.  Melanie has been coaching competitive swimming since 1994. She coached at Carleton Place (1994-1996), Perth Stingrays (1996-2002, 2005-2009 as Head Coach) and the Nepean Kanata Barracudas (2002-2005, 2009-2013 as Head Age Group coach), working with swimmers from novice to international level.  Melanie loves to coach Age Group swimmers 13 and under.  She was awarded the CSCTA Coach of the Year in 2012 for 12 & Under Male Swimmers.  After a three year absence, Melanie has returned to the swimming pool to work with the swimmers at CPWD under the direction of Head Coach, Amanda Etherington.  

Coach: Laurel Price 

Age Group Blue & Junior

Laurel Price joined the Carleton Place Water Dragons in September 2017.  She swam competitively with the Perth Stingrays throughout her years at high school and has worked with children teaching swimming lessons for 10 years, teaching advanced swim classes for 7 years and has coached at a small non-competitive swim club. Laurel's favourite stroke is butterfly! Additionally, Laurel attended Brook University graduating with a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies. She is very excited to be part of our club because she can share her love of swimming with others and work side by side with our coaching team.

Coach: Angela Krizanac

​Age Group Black & Age Group Blue

I can only remember ever being comfortable in the water, thanks to my parents, who taught my siblings and I the fundamentals of swimming at a young age. In 1998 I, wanting to join my then best friend, started attending swimming lessons at the newly built indoor pool — the only one in town. She soon quit swimming. I really enjoyed the lessons so I continued. A year later I learned that a swim club was recently established and it was recommended that I join. What fallowed were 9 challenging, yet wonderful years of continuous hard work and fun. I was part of a small and successful aquatic family. We trained an average of 25 hours a week, competing regularly and traveling frequently. I had the opportunity to perform nationally and internationally. Favourite strokes from the start have been freestyle and breaststroke. Always admired a beautifully executed butterfly (working on it). With age I’m learning to appreciate each stroke, and love to incorporate all into my personal swim workout. In my early twenties I stepped away from swimming for a few years, focusing solely on schoolwork. After moving back and forth between Europe and Canada, I began more actively swimming in 2015 when the family settled in Georgetown, ON. There I gained certifications for First Aid and instructing, and shortly after for coaching. I have been instructing swimming, and coaching lifesaving sport ever since, and am dedicating a greater amount of my time to coaching and working towards becoming a full–time swimming coach. I love working with individuals of all ages who allow swimming, at whatever capacity, to be a part of their healthy fitness routine. I have an immense appreciation for the sport and its powerful grace. The years I devoted to being a competitive swimmer have had a great impact on who I have become, and are the foundation of who I continuously strive to be — a healthy, active and dedicated individual. It would be a great privilege for me to provide such a remarkable opportunity to another. I look forward to seeing you at the poolside.

Coach: Amanda Burchert

​Pre Competitive

Amanda Burchert comes to the CPWD for the 2018/19 season with vast knowledge and experience in swimming and physical training. Starting at a young age, Amanda began her swimming career in the Maryland, USA summer swim program. Upon returning to Canada in the Mid-90’s she swam with the Nepean Kanata Barracudas until graduating high school in 2004. Amanda attended Laurentian University where she continued her swimming career while also pursuing her love of sport and human movement. Upon graduating with a Bachelor with Honours in Physical and Health Education (Cum Laude), Amanda joined the Newmarket Stingrays Swim Team as a development and age group coach for two seasons. Upon returning to the Ottawa area, she continued to follow her passion for sport, movement and performance with continued education, swim and triathlon coaching and personal sport endeavours (Ironman Triathlon). Currently Amanda is a Fitness, Sport and Recreation Coordinator with the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Service.

She is looking forward to working with Head Coach, Amanda and the CPWD coaching team to continue to provide the opportunity for swimmers to achieve their goals, learn and realize their highest level of performance and have fun.




Coaching Staff