Our coaching staff is dedicated to providing a safe sport environment and encouraging our athletes to discover a life long commitment to being active in sport. All staff are members of the Canadian Swim Coaches Association and commit themselves to its values and code of conduct. Code of Conduct
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 is 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 and 2017 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.
Lauren Ching – Co-Lead Coach Gold
Lauren hails from New Zealand and has been coaching since 2013. She has assisted with age group programs, was Head Coach at Canada Games Centre where she helped to build the fledgling program that is now part of the competitive swimming landscape in NS. In the 2021-2022 season she will co-lead the Gold squad, assist with Blue Novatech, and provide administrative support to the team.
Leila Bautista - Lead Coach Blue Novatech, and Co-Lead Coach Gold
Leila swam with NS Summer Swimming then joined Crusaders and rose to the level of podium performance at NS Provincial Championships. She is currently a 4th year student at Dal in the Kinesiology program. Leila joined the Crusaders coaching staff in the 2015-16 season after first volunteering for a year. She is certified NCCP Level 1 and trained for Level 2, which she plans to complete this season. She continues to strengthen her understanding of biomechanics and human performance through her academic studies. Leila is the Lead Coach for Blue Novatech squad and she will co-lead the Gold squad. She brings her strong understanding of technique and her compassion and determined care for developing young swimmers to our foundation program.
Samantha Campbell - Lead Coach Blue Age Group squad
Samantha is beginning her second year of coaching with Crusaders. Her keen interest is in coaching fundamental level swimmers and she previously coached with LAC for four seasons, and one in Ottawa with NKB. She will be working closely with Leila and Lauren helping to guide Blue Age Group swimmers in their transition from the fundamentals in Blue Novatech to training to train in Gold squad to guide the Blue Novatech squad.
Ying Barter - Christina Riley - Carly Myrer Lead Coaches Crusader Playground
Ying, Christina, and Carly previously swam with Crusaders and joined the Crusader Playground coaching crew in the 2020-2021 season. They embraced the fast pace and creative coaching that is the signature of the Playground program. This season they will take a leadership role guiding the activities and inspiring the many young swimmers toward a life long engagement in swimming,
Oliver Dawood - Sadie Morris - Jaeger Dwyer Assistant Coaches Crusader Playground
Oliver, Sadie, and Jaeger are joining the Crusader Playground coaching crew for their first season. They are each still actively pursuing their own swimming goals while also giving back to their sport and encouraging the future generation.