Coaching Staff and Board of Directors

Emma Hesterman - HEAD COACH

Email: [email protected]

Alberta Development Coach of the year (2011-2012) - Awarded by Swim Alberta

Emma started her 1st year of coaching when her daughter Emilia commenced swimming at the age of 7 in the club.  (Emilia has now completed our club program (7-18 years)  and is about to start her 5th year at the University of Lethbridge swim varsity team as a national level swimmer - Usport Finalist)

2021-2022 marks Emma's 16th Season with the Club.  Emma has worked her way up through the club from a Junior Coach in 2007 to Head Coach as of the 2021-2022 season.   Emma worked closely with previous Head Coach Todd Melton to help build the club into the strength it has today.  

Emma has seen many of her swimmers throughout the past 15 seasons progress through the various groups from competing at the Fundamental Circuit level, Festival, Provincial, Championship, Western Nationals, Junior National, Senior National and International level.  

Emma was selected by Swim Alberta to coach the Zone 2 team for the Alberta Summer Games in 2012 and 2014.

Emma is a former competitive swimmer in the UK of 11 years who travelled all over Great Britain and in Europe.  British National age group champion in Multi-Sport (Run, Swim, Pistol shoot) and competed at British Nationals in both cross-country and track (1500m) and continues to always make sport a lifelong commitment for health and wellness.

Emma has been involved with Okotoks Masters Swim Club as swimmer, club president and head coach for the past 15 years.

Emma has a great passion for swimming and her goal for her swimmers is to always have fun while working hard to develop excellence in stroke technique for all 4 strokes & the Individual Medley and a powerful underwater advantage.  There is also a strong emphasis on strength training, flexibility, physical literacy, nutrition, goal setting & mental skill training.  

For the 2021-2022 Season, Emma will be coaching the Performance group aswell as overseeing the entire program.


Email: [email protected]

Abby’s love for competitive swimming began at the age of 8 when she joined the local swim club with her twin sister, Emma Hesterman and it wasn’t long before swimming became a huge part of their life. Abby has many fond memories of travelling all over the UK and to Europe for competitions while forming friendships that have lasted a lifetime. In her teens, Abby was a national age group swimmer and went on to swim for the varsity team at Loughborough University (UK). Abby was also a successful multi-sport athlete and won both the British Triathlon (swim/run/shoot) and Biathlon (swim/run) Championships and competed for Great Britain in Biathlon. After graduating university, Abby’s love for swimming continued and she swims with Masters to this day.

Abby holds a bachelor’s degree with honours in Human Biological Sciences and a postgraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She worked in clinical paediatrics in the UK, but her love for sport led her to specialize in sports nutrition and she has spent the past 15 years helping athletes fuel correctly for optimum performance. She is the author of the book Eat Right, Swim Faster  and is the Sports Nutrition Instructor for the International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA).

Abby is the proud mother of Finlay Knox who represented Canada at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Budapest where he brought home silver and bronze. Finlay began swimming with Okotoks Mavericks Swimming at the age of 7 and trained with the club for 11 years before moving to the national training centre in Toronto.

Abby will be returning for her 6th season with Okotoks Mavericks Swimming. Her focus is excellence in stroke technique, and she strives to bring out the very best in her athletes by encouraging good work ethic, fun, and great team spirit.

For the 2021-2022 season, Abby will be coaching the Senior Mavs and Mavericks groups. She will also provide regular nutrition sessions for the top groups and prepare the nutrition plans for all team travel meets and training camps.


Robyns’ love of the pool and competitive swimming started at age 9, when she joined her local club in her hometown of Kelowna, BC. She continued swimming into high school, until she had to focus on a different sport that took her on a path to playing at the collegiate level during her studies at Camosun College in Victoria, BC.

Robyn returned to the pool and started competing as a masters swimmer, and continues that journey to this day. She loves any sport to do with water, most notably, off tune karaoke wakesurfing during the Kelowna summer months. She is the mom of two young girls, both of whom are in the club.

She is an organized natural leader, who is eager to learn, and sharpen her skills in the coaching world.  A crucial component for Robyn, is that the kids have fun, while developing a love for the sport of swimming. She believes this is an essential and basic building block for their future development. She is excited to celebrate and guide the young swimmers towards their potential improvements and successes in the upcoming season.

For the 2021-2022 season, Robyn will be coaching the Jaws & Junior Mavs groups.


Email: [email protected]

Sophie was a competitive swimmer for 10 years with Okotoks Mavericks Swimming. She volunteered with all the younger groups for many years while swimming at the club. She  loves being active and swimming is one of her favourite things to do in her free time.
Sophie is presently enrolled at St Mary's University in her 3rd year to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher and working with children.   
Sophie is really passionate to be returning to the club once again in the role of coach.
For the 2021-2022 season, Sophie will be co-coaching the Rookies, Waves, Breakers, Rogues & Tsunami groups.

Ireland Lawson - ASSISTANT COACH

Email: [email protected]

Ireland was a competitive swimmer for 10 years with Okotoks Mavericks Swimming. Ireland is presently enrolled at the University of Calgary in her 3rd year of studying Kinesiology with a focus on exercise physiology. 

Ireland continues to use her swimming and trains and competes for Triathlons.    Ireland loves to do anything outdoors and is an avid hiker & kayaker and is always in search of the next adventure.  She has a great passion for travel and has recently had the opportunity to spend six months sailing through the Caribbean getting her professional scuba diving certifications.

Ireland has a huge passion for water and teaching and we are delighted she will be joining our Mavs team of coaches.

For the 2021-2022 season, Ireland will be co-coaching the Rookies, Waves, Breakers & Rogues groups.

Steven Kotowich  President

The President is accountable for effective club governance and MAVS Board and membership adherence to the club's bylaws.  The President chairs the Board of Directors meetings and casts a vote on board member motions only in the event of a tie. The President has overall responsibility to ensure that MAVS has the personnel and processes in place to deliver a highly effective competitive swimming program to the community.

This is an elected position with a two-year term as per Club Bylaws.

Kevin Hunter  Vice President

The Vice-President is accountable for effective Club governance and MAVS Board and Membership adherence to the Club's By-laws. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President chairs the Board of Directors meetings and casts a vote on Board Member motions only in the event of a tie.

This is an elected position with a two-year term as per Club Bylaws.

Roxanne Hicklin -  Treasurer

The Treasurer is accountable for the administration of the financial affairs of the club. The Treasurer is an executive member of the MAVS Board of Directors and is responsible to produce accurate financial statements in accordance with General Accepted Accounting Principles.

This is an elected position with a two-year term as per the Club Bylaws.

Kristi Kohn Secretary/Membership

The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that accurate and sufficient documentation of all club business exists to meet legal requirements, and to enable authorized persons to determine when, how, and by whom the board's business was conducted. The Secretary is the official record keeper for the club.

The Membership Director is accountable for the planning and execution of membership registration which includes the registering of coaches and swimmers with Swim Alberta and other applicable governing bodies. The Membership Director also acts as the main club contact for Swim Alberta on all issues related to swimmer and club registration.

This is an elected position with a two year term as per the club bylaws.

Lindsay Johnston -   Meet Manager

The Meet Manager is accountable for the clubs home hosted meets as competitive opportunites for the club's swimmers and to achieve fundraising goals. The Meet Manager is accountable for planning and coordinating home meets, including listing meet dates, sanctions and posting results from Swim Canada.  The meet Manager also ensures our meets have qualified Senior Officials and promotes the training of club officials in association with the Officials Director.

This is an elected postion with a two-year term as per the Club Bylaws.

Kevin Harrison -  Officials Director
Email: officials@okotoksmavericks.com

The Officiating Director is accountable for planning and coordinating officiating positions for hosted swim meets. The Officiating Director coordinates and promotes the training of Club officials and is accountable for tracking and recording member officiating efforts.

This is an elected position with a two-year term as per the Club Bylaws.

Adrien Sikora -  Equipment Director

The Equipment Manager is accountable for our vendor relationships and is responsible for the procurement and distribution of team equipment. In particular this role is the key contact for team uniforms, other team apparel, training equipment, awards and medals.

This is an elected position with a two-year term as per the Club Bylaws.


Amber Arnold -  Fundraising Director

The Fundraising Director works in consultation with the Board of Directors who sets the annual fundraising strategy and financial goals for the club and is accountable for the organization and execution of club fundraisers.  

This is an elected position with a two-year term as per the Club Bylaws.

Joanne Ginzer - Aquatic Advocate

The Aquatic Advocate is responsible for government and public relations for the club.

This is an elected position with a two-year term as per the Club Bylaws.

Jon Holt Past President

The Past-President provides advice and leadership to the current Board of Directors based on the knowledge and experience they gained during their time as a Board Member.