Michelle Wilson – Head Coach
Michelle joined Crusaders as Head Coach in August 2008. She was previously an assistant coach in Ottawa, Ont. and Richmond, BC and then took the head coach position with Sungod Swim Club in Delta, BC, a position she held for 21 years before moving to Dartmouth.
Michelle was a graduate of University of Western Ontario, MA Physical Education and has completed Level 4 NCCP. She was an apprentice coach with the National Youth, Commonwealth Games, and World Championship Teams in 1994; on the coaching staff for the Sydney Australia Youth Olympic Festival in January 2001; and was an assistant coach with the Team BC at the 1993 and 1997 Canada Games, and for Team NS at the 2013 Games. As a founding Director for the BC Swim Coaches Association she served on the Board for 4 years. She was a Director with the Board of the Canadian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association for 8 years, and Chair of the CSCTA Education/Certification Committee for 4 years.
Michelle seeks to challenge each Crusader through the sport of swimming to set goals personally and professionally that inspire them to a level of commitment and determination that enables them to persevere until success is achieved. She believes that success in sport is not a path of instant gratification and that rewards are found in the effort. Failures must be embraced as part of the learning as much as successes are celebrated as part of the reward. Whenever the end of their career in sport arrives, while the successes are exhilarating, it will also be the challenges shared with the team that will combine to be foremost in defining the quality of each person’s swimming experience.
Tavia Raiche-Marsden – Lead Coach Squad 2
Tavia is a former swimmer with Crusaders and returned to the team to coach for the 2013-2014 season. She is a graduate from DAL with a BS combined honors in Chemistry & Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology.
Her swimming experience has included NS Summer, year round Club and varsity team with DAL Tigers. She has extensive coaching experience as head coach of the Cole Harbour Hurricanes, the starting point for many of the members of the Crusaders. Tavia is Level 2 NCCP certified, and is starting her Level 3 process as of September 2015. She is keen to enhance her coaching with any professional development opportunities that present themselves. She is a meticulous planner, creative in finding ways to challenge her athletes, and curious – always investigating, asking questions, and searching for solutions to better performance. She believes every athlete who puts forth his/her maximum physical and mental effort deserves to achieve his/her maximum potential; that every athlete should gain fitness-for-life skills and attitudes regardless of their talent.
Emma Ryan – Assistant Coach, Lead Coach Squad 3
Emma has been coaching with Crusaders for four seasons, and swam for 12 seasons with the team. She is in her final year at DAL. Emma certified NCCP Level 1. She has a creative flare and brings this to her coaching technique, infusing the work in the pool with purpose and fun. Emma has been honing her coaching eye over the past three seasons and will now take on a greater leadership role. As a skilled stroke technician in the pool herself, she is able to translate her feel for the water into improved foundation skills of her swimmers.
Kevin Dupuis – Assistant Coach
Kevin was a top ranking national age group swimmer with over 20 years’ experience and returned to Crusaders during the 2013-2014 season. He started his swimming career with Crusaders and set several Provincial and club records which still stand today. At the 1996 Canadian Olympic Trials Kevin was a finalist and after graduating he received a full swimming scholarship from the University of Cincinnati.
While with The Cincinnati Bearcats he became a 1999 NCAA All-American in the 200 yard breaststroke. Kevin also received silver and bronze medals at the 2001 US Open in New York City.
Kevin is certified NCCP Level 1 and hopes to integrate his experience with his coaching skills and to share his passion for the sport with the young swimmers he coaches. He enjoys finding way to make challenging skills and practices both educational and fun. He takes pride in his swimmers enjoying learning while he helps them build their successful experiences and confidence. Kevin will lead the Crusader Playground this season, and assist with all other squads.
Hannah Jackson - Assistant Coach
Hannah Jackson began as a volunteer with an interest in the sport and keen to get involved. She honed her coach’s eye for a season and began to study the sport and completed her NCCP level 1 certification. Hannah gained experience with Bonze land training and worked alongside staff on deck to hear, see, and learn from others. Her self-starter initiative, careful observation, and innate abilities to work with learner children led her into a position assisting with the team. Hannah was co-lead for Silver in the 2016-2017 season and will assist as needed in the 2016-2017 season. One of Hannah’s passions is photography and she currently studies at NSCC.
Leila Bautista - Assistant Coach
Leila swam with NS Summer Swimming then joined Crusaders and rose to podium level performances at the East Coast Championships. She joined our coaching staff first as a volunteer and then on staff last season. Leila is leading Squad 4 this season and brings her strong understanding of technique to the group along with her determined care for developing better swimmers. Leila is Level 1 certified and is daily working to improve her coaching skills.
Photos by: Scott Kirkpatrick