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Our Coaches

Alan Swanston - Head Coach, Senior & National Senior

Contact Details: swanston@rogers.com or 905 853-2298
Coaching with Newmarket Stingrays Since: 1986

Why I Became A Swimming Coach:

When I was a swimmer, the coach that I swam for asked me to coach under him. I enjoyed it and continued on.

Finest Coaching Success:
The thing that I am most proud of as the head coach is the assembling of the coaching staff. We have worked hard to have had countless individual wins at the regional, provincial and national levels. One of our top accomplishments is the more than six years of combined work we put into helping Lindsay Seemann qualify for the Canadian Olympic team to Beijing.

Biggest influence on career of swimming coaching:
Over the last three decades I have had the opportunity to talk to and observe hundreds of different coaches from many countries. As I watched them interact and teach their swimmers, I gathered the coaching tools that I use today.

Alan’s Professional Achievements

I have been granted the designation of Chartered Professional Coach? (ChPC) by the Coaches of Canada
2016-Canadian Domestic Excellence Award
2015-Canadian Domestic Excellence Award
2015- I was a Canadian Team Coach for the World Junior Championships in Singapore
2014- Canadian Domestic Excellence Award
2014 – I was Head Coach of the Canadian Team at the Youth Olympic Games in China
2014- I was on the Canadian coaching staff for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships
2014- Ontario Coach of the Year for 15-17 girls
2009-Canadian Junior Coach of the Year ( 2nd year in a row)
2008 – I was named Head Coach of the Junior World Championships Team
2008 – Canadian Junior Coach of the Year.
Ontario age group coach of the year 5 times, including:
2014- Coach of the year for 15 to 17 year old females
2008 – Coach of the year for 15 to 17 year old females
2008 – Coach of the year for 15 to 17 year old males
1999 – Coach of the year for 15 to 16 year old females
1997 – Coach of the year for 13 to 14 year old females
1996 – Coach of the year for 13 to 14 year old females
1986-Present Newmarket Stingrays Swim Club – Head coach
1984-1986 Windsor Aquatic Club – Assistant coach
1981-1984 Region of Waterloo Swim Club – Assistant coach

Alan’s Academic & Athletic Achievements

I am a graduate of the University of Waterloo, having received a B.A. (Economics) in 1984
I joined my first club at the age of 16.
My first year of swimming I won the Ontario Junior Provincial Championships.
In my third year of swimming I medalled at the Canadian Senior National Championships for the first time.
In my fourth year of swimming I medalled at the Pan American Games.
In my sixth year of swimming I was chosen to carry the Canadian flag in the closing ceremonies of the World University Games, after winning Canada's first medal (bronze 200 IM) at the Games.

Edit Varga - AG2, AG1

Contact Details: editcvarga@yahoo.ca

Edit was born in Hungary. Her passion for swimming began at the age of 4 when she joined the Kaposvar Swim Club, and began training under the guidance of Josef Csutoras and Andrea Kecskes, who launched the Olympic champion breaststroker Norbert Rozsa. She remained a successful member of the team for 12 years, as a swimmer, then stayed onboard as a coach until she graduated from the Physical Education University of Budapest as a Swim Coach. She received a Degree in Sports Management from the University of Semmelweis.  

Edit has over 14 years of experience in the competitive swimming environment. Her swimmers have earned more than 20 provincial medals, where they broke more than 100 club records, qualified for the Eastern National Championships and won gold medals at the Ontario Open Water Championships. She is an outgoing, outspoken competitor, and holds the Level 2 NCCP certification in Canada.

Edit puts a very heavy emphasis on being competitive, because if a swimmer is internally motivated to win each and every day, and they are constantly striving to be the best possible version of him/herself, then they are going to be successful in whatever they do. She believes in working hard every day and thriving on a challenge. Success is no accident! 

Mackenzie Salmon - AG3, AG4, Splashing Up

Contact Details: mackenzie50back@rogers.com

My name is Mackenzie Salmon and I am the Age Group Coach responsible for  AG 2 & 3.

I am a former nationally ranked competitive swimmer who decided to take up lifesaving sport approximately three years ago to add variety to my training and gain exposure on the international stage within sport. As a competitive swimmer I swam all strokes and distances with my specialty being back, fly and IM. I also have won medals locally, regionally, provincially, nationally, and internationally within Competitive Swimming, Open Water Swimming and Lifesaving Sport.

More recently since beginning lifesaving sport I have had the honour to represent Canada at competitions in Australia, France, Japan, Netherlands and Germany. I have met many competitors from all across the world during these competitions and had the opportunity to travel to many different countries, which has helped to further develop me into the person that I am today. I hope to continue to improve myself in all remaining areas of life as I want to be the best person that I can be!

Important Components that have lead to my success in the sport are:

Family, Friends, Health, and Finding Balance
Learning Everyday, Not Being Afraid To Fail, and Attempting To Live In The Moment

Part of being a great coach is making sure that all the parents and swimmers in the groups that I coach are well looked after and given as many resources as can be provided. It is of utmost importance to me that you are well informed and involved in your swimmer’s development.

Please feel free to contact me if there is ever a time where you have some questions, concerns or need to talk to me about anything in regards to your child’s swimming progress. I will always do my very best to answer you and if I do not have an answer for you right away, trust that I will get back to you in a timely fashion.

Great clubs come from environments where there is an open communication style and feedback is given and received in a respectful manner. It is my goal to be as transparent as possible and keep you apprised of your athlete’s development. Sharing of perspectives and experiences is a most welcome part of my coaching philosophy. As a group that shares information and ideas, I strongly believe that we can accomplish far greater things than any individual ever could.

No two swimmers are ever the same… not even twins! So whatever your child’s style of swimming ends up being, I just want you to always remember to keep an open mind and take into account we are all human. There will be times were we make mistakes or have obstacles present themselves, but we can overcome these rough patches with a little effort and enthusiasm!

Once again, I am looking forward to learning a lot from each one of you as well over this swim season because everyone has something to offer!

I can be reached via email and once I get situated in the fall if you ever want to meet with me in person, please just let me know and we can schedule a time.

Sam Shalovsky - AG5, DEV 1, DEV 2

Contact Details: samsphone65@googlemail.com
Coaching with Stingrays Since: December 2008

Why I Became a Swimming Coach: Having returned to swimming after thirty years (when my children started competitive swimming), I quickly became aware of the fact that many swim clubs/coaches were more interested in quick results rather than the long term development of young athletes. I had been coached, all through my youth, by people like this and was sure that there must be a better way. A young coach that worked with my son put it into words perfectly, “I do not want my athletes to go through what I did”?.

Finest Coaching Success:
Every time a child gets out the pool at the end of a tough workout with the desire to return for the next practice.

Biggest influence on career of swimming coaching:
Two coaches that embrace the philosophy of long term goals over immediate success, Rhys Gormley and Christine Green (Barnet Copthall Swimming Club).

Sam’s Academic & Athletic Achievements:

Bachelor of Science (Honours) Internet Technology – Buckinghamshire Chiltern University
Junior Provincial Qualifier in Zimbabwe (‘75-‘77)
British Swimming Coach – Level 2
England Rugby Union Coach – Level 3

Colette Fitzgerald - Splash

Contact Details: colette.fitzgerald04@gmail.com

My name is Colette Fitzgerald, and I will be running the Splash Program during the 2018/2019 season. I will be responsible for providing Coaching to the Swimmers and Assistant Coaches on Tuesday and Thursdays each week. I am quite familiar with the Newmarket Stingrays Swim Club, having swam with the Club from 2004-2011. In fact, I coached many of the Splash Coaches at some point in my swim career. Most of the Splash coaches I coached myself! 

I started coaching Splash in 2006 through to 2012. I also assisted Splashing Up, Dev 1/2, and AG5 from 2010-2012. I taught backyard lessons and stroke improvement classes with Caroline Teskey from 2009-2014, after which time I took over her business and continued it for the remainder of my university career.

I graduated from both the University of Toronto and Sheridan College doing a sister program to complete my Specialist Degree in Theatre and Drama Studies in 2016 with a Minor in Historical Studies. I attribute my ability to juggle a full-time University course load, daily rehearsal schedules, and a full-time College course load entirely to the discipline and time management skills that I learned when growing up in the Stingrays family. I’m very happy to be back home at the pool and doing what I love. 

Some personal passions of mine:

Theatre, Barclays Premier League Soccer, Harry Potter, StarWars, and a good book.