Bears Partners

We are here to support your needs.  If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related issues, please contact one of the coaches.

For all questions related to administration such as dues, safety or policy issues please contact

Coaching Staff

Chris Nelson

Interim Head Coach-NCCP lvl 3


Chris has been coaching for 13 years, a true mark of dedication to a sport in which he previously competed – and medalled at national championship-level meets – for 16 years. Chris joined the Edmonton Keyano coaching staff to start the 2012-13 season and now, as the interim head coach, he still loves the excitement of achieving a goal after a long and difficult investment.  And Chris has had plenty to be excited about over his career: his swimmers have competed at World Championships, belonged to National junior and senior teams and won at every level. Further, a large number of his swimmers have moved on to coach and many have moved into/through University.  

With a passion for the sport and a commitment to bringing out the best in his swimmers, this year he plans to take his whole group to Westerns and bring a new team to Canadian Trials, all while having fun, training hard, and swimming fast.  

Chris was born and raised in the Edmonton swimming community. His grandfather, Les Nelson, was a key builder of the Jasper Place Swim Club that would eventually join the South Side Swim Club to create the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club in 1978. When Chris finished his swimming career in 2003, he graduated with a BSc in Developmental Psychology from the University of Alberta, and a specialized Business Management diploma from the University of Pittsburgh.

Chris and his wife, Michelle, have two sons, Parker, 7, and Oskar, 3. They love going on road trips together to the mountains, exploring the many parks and trails in Edmonton and eating lots and lots of sushi! He has seen no movie more times than Spaceballs and loves discovering new places; through swimming, he has travelled around the world, but Barcelona and Buenos Aires are two of his favorites. 

Alex Wallingford

Junior Championship Coach-NCCP lvl 3


Alex has an impressive background which includes an education from University of Michigan where he earned BSc.Ed. with a teaching certificate from state of Michigan ChPc as well as his designation with Coaches of Canada where he is NCCP Level 3 fully certified and NLS certified.

As the former Toronto Swim Club Head Coach he led his team to Division 1 team champions 2011, Eastern Canadian team Champions 2011. He also had athletes in Top 3 at each Provincial Championships 2011-2013 and 2013>

He was also the OAK Head Age group coach and Head Coach for 14 years where he coached swimmers to 15 national and provincial records and were 5 time>

Alex has placed swimmers>

He has also had the opportunity  to participate as Coach selection to: 2010 and 2012 Junior Pan Pacific championships, 2009 Canadian NACC Team, 2009>, 2010 Australian Youth tour team,  4 times (2007-08, 2010-11)>

Finally, Alex has been recognized as>


Desmond Lam

Head Age Group Coach- NCCP lvl2


Provincial Coach

Desmond is back for his 7th season with Keyano. He started his coaching career for the Vancouver Vikings Summer Club for the 6 summers before moving on with Keyano. He was formerly an assitant Coach for the Kinsmen groups and was the Head Satellite Coach before becoming Head Age Group Coach.  Desmond has developed some of Keyano's top age group swimmers through the Provincial group. He will also be working with and supervising all the Sattelite coaches and programs. 

Ryan Duggan

Ass't Coach-NCCP lvl 1


Matthew Whiteside

Gold Coach Confederation -NCCP lvl 1


Aden Keim

Bronze Coach Confederation


After swimming four years with Keyano, Aden discovered a love of coaching, and is excited to begin his third year, this time as a Silver coach! He wants to create a fun and competitive environment for his group, and loves seeing kids improve and gain confidence, both in and out of the pool.

Off the pool deck, Aden loves playing basketball and going to Eskimos football games. He’s in grade twelve and is hoping to go into business next year. He enjoys a good burger and the movie Cars, because he loves driving fast! 


Margie Ritchie

Bronze RGC-NCCP lvl 1


This is Margie's 7th season as a coach with the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club. She came to swim coaching through the sport of triathlon, having been World Age Group Triathlon champion 4 times (2009 - 2014) and World Duathlon Champion (2009). 

She spent the first half of her life in New Zealand, splashing around in the seas, lakes, rivers and pools, including diving competitively. She has a degree in medicine, and a fellowship in Medical Microbiology.   She started competitive swimming more recently in an effort to improve her triathlon swim times, and has decided to round out her swim education by training/racing in all the strokes.  She began swim teaching in 2011 and more recently coaching entry-level competitive swimmers.  She loves working with children and seeing them succeed, develop new skills and gain confidence. She's really thrilled to be returning to the RGC to coach Bronze swimmers.
Margie is married to native Edmontonian Bruce, and has 3 adult sons:  Nic, Robert and Scott.

Bryner Robinson

Royal Glenora- Silver


At 19, Bryner has been swimming for more than half his life; now, with a year of coaching under his belt, he’s looking forward to coaching the Silver and Bronze groups at Glenora! As a coach, he loves both seeing the swimmers’ progression throughout the season and creating an environment where the swimmers are ready to practice and learn every day! One of Bryner’s favorite things about coaching is seeing “every kid on the pool deck smile.”

Bryner loves going to all of Edmonton’s summer festivals, and his favorite movie is Spider-Man Homecoming, because “he’s the best superhero, no questions asked.”

Vanessa Pinel

Bronze coach, Confederation Pool


One of the aspects of coaching Vanessa says she enjoys the most is “the ability to help people better themselves.” Now, after swimming for 10 years – belonging to the Western Championship team for at least three of those – she’s looking forward to seeing her swimmers progress in her first year as a Bronze coach. Her goals for the season are for her entire group to master good body position and breathing control!

Currently, she is majoring in Psychology at the University of Alberta, and her favorite show is Sherlock. 

Jed Ng

Bronze coach, Confederation Pool


Two of Jed’s goals for his first year of coaching is to help kids learn to love swimming, and to help them learn to love swimming fast. Jed’s very familiar with the both of those goals himself – in his six years of swimming with Keyano, he’s qualified for both Westerns and Age Group Nationals! Jed says one of the best parts about coaching is “being able to see kids achieve their goals,” and he’s hoping to make that happen for his swimmers this season.

Jed is the oldest in his family and is currently enrolled in General Sciences at the University of Alberta. He loves to eat Japanese food, Alberta steak, and seafood! 

Levi Keim

Bronze coach, Confederation Pool


This is Levi’s first year of coaching for the Bears, after swimming for five years and placing at Provincials! At only fifteen, he hopes to be challenged and grow as a coach. He wants to help his swimmers understand and develop the fundamentals but he also “enjoys seeing kids have fun and improve!”  

As a high school student, he enjoys sports and staying active – his favorite thing to do in Edmonton is going to sports events! His favorite meal is garlic bread and Caesar salad and he loves the movie UP!

Emma Carry

Bronze coach, Terwillegar Pool/ Meadows


After swimming competitively for seven years, 16-year-old Emma is excited to start her first year of coaching with the Bears! She has some impressive goals for her first season, including best times for her swimmers in two different events! Mostly, though, she’s looking forward to working with her kids in order to help them improve.

Emma is the oldest of three brothers and really enjoys hanging out with friends, reading and watching T.V. (her favorite show is Friends!) She’s been to both France and Italy, and pizza is her favorite food, “because it’s delicious!” 

Clark Hardy

Bronze coach, Terwillegar Pool


Destin Chan

Silver Coach, Kinsmen


After getting a taste of coaching over the summer, Destin’s coming back to Keyano as a Silver coach for the Bears! He’s got plenty of swimming experience behind him – he’s medaled at both Westerns and Canadian Junior Championships! He wants to create a competitive and fun atmosphere this season and enjoys watching swimmers have fun in a sport where he’s competed for nearly 10 years!

Destin is in grade 12, loves going to Oilers games and eating pasta with chicken, because “it’s an awesome swimmers meal!” 

Kiersten Zimmermann

Silver/Bronze at Meadows/Terwillegar


Kiersten is no stranger to hard work; she once swam from Alcatraz to the shore of San Fransisco to raise money for Kids Help Phone. Now, she hopes to pass on that drive and determination to her swimmers in her fifth year of coaching for the Bears. Kiersten loves seeing her swimmers progress throughout the season; from improving technique and endurance, to best times, she says “small victories are just as important as the big ones.”

Whether in or out of the pool, Kiersten strives to impact and motivate people in a positive way; after losing close to 100 lbs, she’s now a personal trainer and is going to NAIT to get her personal training diploma! Kiersten loves to travel; she has been all over America and Mexico, and this summer she will be travelling all over Europe!  

Natalia Howat

Bronze coach at Glenora


In her eight years of competitive swimming, Natalia has attended World Trials, won multiple medals, including gold, at Age Group Nationals, and held two provincial records, both individually and as part of a relay. Now, she’s ready to pass on what she’s learned to new up-and-comers in her first year of coaching Bronze at Glenora!  One of her goals is to help swimmers improve over the season. The other? “To help them love swimming as much as I do.”  

Her competitive nature isn’t just for swimming; she’s the oldest of two, an honours student in grade 11, and a track city champion!

Directors & Administration

Eugene Chomey



Rodd Thorkelson

Vice President


Jill Edwards



Tim Vander Leek

Past President


Clare Hickson

Director at Large


Larry Liang

Director at Large


Jane Forest



Troy Long

Director at Large


Isha Katyal

Director at Large


Claudia Davies

Director at Large