President's Message/FULLSTROKE Newsletter February


February 2018


Special Message from Carolyn Howard, Club President

The season is flying by and it’s hard to believe that it is already mid-February. Things are running smoothly with the Club and the swimming results have been impressive.

The Audi Midtown Toronto Winter Classic was a success on all fronts. Thank you to all of our coaching staff and parent volunteers for putting together a fantastic meet.  Our swim meets are huge undertakings that require much preparation in advance from our Head Coach, Darren Ward, and our Meet Manager, Ian Duncan with assistance from Janine Smith and the Board of Directors. Many of our parents stepped up to assist during the meet and we are very grateful. We could not do it without our wonderful parents pitching in!  Next up is the Audi Midtown Toronto Pan Am Invitational in May. This will be our biggest meet of the season and we will need all hands on deck as we will be running 3 full days with finals, no small feat!

We are planning on running some Officiating clinics in the spring so please sign up for one of those if you have not already completed a clinic this season. I am sure everyone has noticed how many of our Officials’ positions are staffed by alumni and volunteers from outside clubs. While we are always grateful for their help, we should be staffing many of the positions from within our own membership and I encourage everyone to try out new roles going forward. I know it is daunting to move from Timekeeping into other positions but we will always pair you with someone experienced and have ‘In Training’ positions for many of the jobs so that you can be mentored in a role before tackling it on your own.

Swim-a-thon is just around the corner and is scheduled for April 7th. We are hoping to make this more of an event for the kids and are toying with some ideas but any suggestions from our membership would be welcome so feel free to reach out to us at scar.office@scarswimming.ca.

Good luck to all swimmers competing this month as the short course season draws to a close. Go SCAR Go!

Carolyn Howard

President, Scarborough Swim Club


HP Gold & Gold Coach Darren Ward

Its been a busy month in the HP Gold and Gold groups with several competitions on the calendar. SCAR hosted a very successful Audi Midtown Toronto Winter Classic.  The Gold swimmers performed very well considering it was the first long course racing of the season and the swimmers were still in some concentrated training. Regardless of having not been rested for the meet Sam Bereza qualified for the Canadian National Championships in the 400 I.M. becoming SCAR’s first home grown National qualifier in what looks to be a steady stream of swimmers to qualify for the Nationals since I became Head Coach in 2010. This is validation that our hard work and system is starting to produce young talented swimmers. Also qualifying for Senior level competitions was Asahi Okugawa, Asahi qualified for Eastern Canadian Championships in the 200 I.M. and 100 Fly.

We are currently in a long stretch of competitions that saw the Gold swimmers competing in several championships meets. The first of these meets was the Central Region “A” Champs in Etobicoke which was a long course competition that started our Winter/Spring championship season. Gold swimmers performed well and saw Hannah Caldwell qualify for her first ever Provincial Championships. Last weekend was the Central Region “B” championships where the Gold swimmers had an opportunity to better their performances from our December Team Travel meet to Windsor (where in my opinion we did not swim up to our abilities). Gold swimmers did redeem themselves and had an incredible weekend of fast swimming with Sarah Arnott leading the way with one huge swim after another. Sam Bereza also continued to impress with some very fast performances over all 4 strokes. Gold’s newest squad member, Cade Cermak became SCAR’s newest Provincial qualifier, swimming the standard exactly to the 1/100 in the 100 Fly to book his place in next month’s event.

This coming weekend will see Gold’s only 13-year-old swimmerNadege Wredenhagen competing at the Ontario Festival meet in Nepean. Nadege is swimming very well right now so look for big results this weekend from her.


  • I would like to remind everyone to reference the SCAR group Calendar for all upcoming practice sessions and schedule adjustments. I do my best to keep it up to date and accurate.
  • Soon we will be hosting our biggest meet of the season, The Audi Midtown Toronto Pan Am Invitational. This meet is a full 3 day meet with Heats and Finals sessions. I would like to see every HP Gold and Gold squad parent volunteering at this competition. Sign up will be available soon.


Bronze & Junior Select Coach Chris Ellul

It’s that busy time of year again where we find ourselves in the thick of the short course championship season. The New Year began with our first Audi Midtown Toronto Winter Classic, which produced some great results from our swimmers. It was a final chance for swimmers to qualify for their targeted championship meets. Congratulations to those who worked hard and stayed consistent with their training over the holidays, who found themselves rewarded.

Central Region “A” Champs was the first of the championship meets, taking place at the Etobicoke Olympium over the first weekend of February. Hana Okugawa of the Bronze group got herself on the podium with a great 100m Breaststroke performance, winning the silver medal. Congrats to Hana and her teammate Claire Biblow, who managed top-10 finishes at their first “A” champs.

The following weekend saw SCAR competing at the Central Region “B” Champs, this time at the Markham Pan Am Pool. Over the four day meet, we had Claire B, William, Sarah, Lauren and Hana, all finish with top-10 finishes and scoring points for the club. Hana again managed to get herself on the podium with a terrific 50m Freestyle, winning the gold medal.

As we continue our preparation for the upcoming meets, both the Bronze and Junior Select groups will continue hearing a consistent message that is constantly preached; “everything with a purpose.” Swimmers never find themselves swimming without a focus in mind. Something we are always working at is accountability and tracking our progress throughout each training session. Whether it’s holding goal splits, efficiency through stroke counting, rehearsing racing starts, turns, and underwaters, or establishing a rhythmic and coordinated six-beat kick, there are many ways swimmers can self-track at all times. Tasks aren’t always easy, and nor should they be. Challenge yourself to be better, so you can become better!

Currently, our ICS swimmers are already half way through their winter session and are certainly looking forward to their next mini-meet this March. This past January, SCAR opened its I Can Swim lessons at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Pool. With the addition of our new location and our always growing swim school, I am looking forward to seeing more swimmers take part in our in-house competitions that ever before.

See you at the pool! – Coach Chris 


Silver & Senior Select Coach Phil Garcia

I’d like to start things off by saying Happy New Year to all SCAR members, coaches, parents, and staff! I hope everyone had a good holiday and is ready to go for the upcoming training! I’m excited to see what the New Year holds for the Senior Select and Silver swimmers, as they have been working hard since the beginning of the season and are ready to swim fast.

We started off the New Year hosting our own Audi meet at TPASC, and despite some illness being spread around, the meet was overall successful with many swimmers competing in and doing well in distance events. It was our first long course meet of the season for the 13 and over swimmers and there were many best times posted despite coming off of a holiday training schedule. In the 12 and under sessions there were some strong swims as well, with swimmers qualifying for new events at Festivals and AA.

As we move into short course championship season, there will be more focus on specific events that the swimmers are competing in, with the goal of going best times and achieving higher standards. I’m excited to see everyone compete hard and have fun, and swim to new levels of performance that they haven’t previously been at. Training will continue to progress and get harder, and consistent attendance and effort will allow them to adapt and become stronger.  

Good luck to all swimmers as they compete in February and March and don’t forget to swim hard and have fun!

Coach Phil


11-12A Development Coach Patrick Garcia

This past month has been a great month filled with more ups than downs and we have had a lot of fun with our practice and our meets that we have attended. We have been working very hard recently in practice working on piecing together our technique with a little more distance and speed as well as practicing the small things, such as turns, dives, etc., to help up even more for our upcoming meets. I would first like to talk about the meet we hosted last month.


Scarborough Audi Midtown Classic: This meet was a blast and we got to see some amazing swims all around from every swimmer that attended.

Best times:

  • Cameron Ashby: 6 new best times
  • Kyler Bellamy: 5 Best times
  • Joshua Cai: With 3 Best Times
  • Eric Kennedy: 3 best times
  • Ben Keown: 3 Best times
  • Hirushi Madanayake: 4 Best times
  • Sarah Sakac: 1 best time
  • Andrew Ma: 2 best times.

Great work swimmers!  Our upcoming meets are looking to be great ones. We have done all the hard work are ready to race!

Go Scarborough!!



11-12B Development Coach Joanna Bott

The Audi Midtown Toronto Winter Classic was our first meet of 2018. Scarborough Swim Club did a wonderful job hosting a successful weekend. A special thank you to all parents and volunteers who dedicated their time to such a well-run and organized swim meet.

The Development 11&12 B group swam extremely well and I was thrilled to see improvements in both technique and in the number of best times. A number of swimmers in our group had best times in all of their races. The swimmers who are consistently putting forth their best efforts in practice are seeing their hard work pay off. Congratulations!

During this last few weeks, we have paid special attention to reviewing criteria necessary to make an efficient swimmer in all four strokes, starts and turns. We have also focused on stroke efficiency by counting our strokes during stroke specific sets. Our goal is always to be going the furthest distance for every stroke taken.

Our next swim meet will be the GTA Skins @ Markham Pan Am. I hope to see swimmers focussing on improvements and not only swimming fast but swimming well. Let’s go SCAR!


10-11 A&B Development Coach Krystin Steinke

Happy new year! January has been a very busy time for the 10 and under development groups. We have been training hard getting ready for our championship season and our first long course meet of the season and, for some of us, the first long course meet ever!

I have been very happy with the direction our training has been moving after this holiday season. Many of the athletes have been training at a much higher intensity, crushing pace times and swimming more miles. We have been putting an emphasis on pushing ourselves in practice and training the way we want to race.

I am excited to see what this group achieves in their respective meets. Good luck to all swimmers competing in Markham as well as a special shout out to Addison George, Anisha, Aravinthan Jonah Quesnal, and Emma Chung who will be representing the 10 and unders at Central Region C Champs!

Here we come long course season!