Full Stroke Newsletter: New Beginnings!

Chris Ellul

Welcome to the 2021-2022 Season!

It’s a wonderful feeling to be writing to you all in what is our first newsletter of the 2021-2022 swim season, and with the team of course back in the pool and looking forward to a gradual return to normalcy.  As we continue to move forward, we can expect to receive more new information regarding safety protocols and guidelines, from facilities to competitions, and so forth.  Just as SCAR has navigated what was a year and a half of in-person and at-home training throughout the pandemic, we will continue to navigate through the rest of our season, adapting as needed in order to put our swimmers first.

Thank you to our swimmers, families, staff, Board of Directors and volunteers, for sticking with us since March of 2020.  We accomplished so much, helping our swimmers to remain connected and engaged with their swimming during what has been strange and difficult times.  We’re here in 2021-2022 because of all of you.  Swimmers were able to lean on their teammates and coaches like never before; and in doing so, allowed us to return stronger and more focused than ever before.  From our social media platforms, daily workouts, team building and mental health exercises, to our partnership with Head-to-Head as well as Canadian Olympian guest speakers, we were able to provide our swimmers many training and learning opportunities.   
I would also like to thank all the swimmers and parents that took the time to reach out to our coaches about what SCAR provided them and how much it truly helped during an unprecedented time.  Your feedback and kind words mean more than you know!

We are happy to announce that our Scarborough Swim Academy (SSA) Program has returned alongside our competitive program for the beginning of our season.  We are just as thrilled to announce that Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate has also now come online, meaning our SSA programs will be running at both TPASC and Laurier.  The Club will be looking to return to additional SCAR facilities when able as well.

As swimmers continue to work through their early season reacquisition period in their training schedule, we’re happy to have recently announced our SCAR October Time Trial for Saturday, October 30.  Please join us for this early morning meet session for a fun racing opportunity!  While it’s very early in the year and swimmers will not be in mid-season form, it does not mean we can’t get up for some fast and fun swimming!

Our 2nd Annual Halloween Food Drive will also be taking place over the same Oct 30-31 weekend, with donation drop-off available from 8:00am through 4:00pm each day.  This year SCAR will be joined by many other sport organizations that also call the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre home.

High-Performance & Gold

It’s a great feeling to back in the pool with events on the schedule for our senior swimmers.  The time and effort we dedicated over the last year and half to improving many parts of ourselves in and out of the water has put us in a great position for a terrific season.  As we stated last year, swimmers will have to have their early season expectations in-check.  This early part of the year is critical in achieving improved fitness, as well as the self-discipline to focus on all the important stroke and skill details.  It’s important we establish a good base now that we can continue to build upon throughout the year.

Remember swimmers: It’s all about the process.  Focus on the process – what it looks like and how it feels.  Your time will be a direct result at what you’re doing each day.

I’m happy to see so many returning swimmers, along with a few new faces too.  We have a really good group this year and I’m looking forward to what we can accomplish.  Remember that you are a direct result of what you put in every single day.  If you can improve somewhere and in some way each day, you’ll continue on the right track.

Swimmer of the Month

High-Performance & Gold:  Justin B.
I’d like to congratulate my first Swimmer-of-the-Month, in Justin.  Justin has made an immediate impact on HP-Gold after graduating from our Silver group last season.  It is quite clear that he is here to learn and maximize every opportunity he has to improve himself and his swimming.  Justin is extremely driven and is not afraid of any challenge put in front of him.   He continues to be a tremendous example for his teammates of the correct attitude to have. Congratulations Justin.

See you all at the pool!

Chris Ellul
Head Coach, Director of Swimming
Scarborough Swim Club
[email protected]


Hello Silver and Senior Select Groups,

What a start to the season that we have had so far! It feels amazing to be back in the pool and being able to focus on the in-water part of our sport after so many months away. Even as we started the season off mostly working on the technical aspects of our strokes, I can already see everyone becoming stronger and more confident in the water. I am really looking forward to seeing what this group can do this season!

Since the beginning of the season our main focus has been building up some of our fitness back through aerobic sets, focusing on the technical and tactical parts of our swimming. Through doing a lot of scull, and underwater work, this will set us up really well for the rest of the season as we develop a good feel for the water and good habits. On top of working on our feel, we have been able to do quite a bit of video work with the swimmers; having me film a swimmer and talk with them through what we are seeing is such a beneficial way for the swimmers to see what they need to improve upon.

As we are heading into a different phase of our swimming, we will notice that some of the metres are going to build up as now is our chance, with good habits, to build up our fitness. Through more focused metres in practice, gaining that physical ability, along with maintaining focus on the technical components, will help us again be able to continue to build toward the later parts of the season.

Coming up we have a time trial with our club where swimmers will be able to race a few events to see where they are at! Although we haven't had the opportunity to race in quite a while, this will be a great experience for the swimmers to feel that competitive edge again and for the swimmers to be able to practice going fast off the blocks! This is something that I know we are all excited for and I can't wait to see what everyone can bring to the table.

Swimmers of the month

Silver:  Brandon B.
Brandon has really taken a step forward so far this season. He has been very consistent at being at practice and at working his hardest at practice. He is a great listener and is soaking up every piece of information like a sponge right now and I think we will be seeing some big things from him this season because of that!  Great work Brandon!

Senior Select:  Hirushi M.
Hirushi has also been so consistent when it comes to practice and trying to learn as much as possible. Hirushi will frequently ask good questions to ensure that she is making the most of every practice. She has really decided to put in a good effort at every part of the practice and the growth I've seen so far is amazing! Congratulations Hirushi!

All the best and enjoy the long weekend,

Patrick Garcia
Head Age Group Coach
Scarborough Swim Club
[email protected]


Bronze and Junior Select,

What a first month it has been! I think everyone is more than excited to be back at the pool, getting some exercise and seeing their friends. That being said we had to dust off our goggles and caps a little bit and review our standards including a lot of focus on our streamlines, walls and kicks. These skills are very important to polish as they are the base of all our strokes.

Moving into October we will build upon our body position and kick with attention on our arms. With the majority of September spent on 25’s, 50’s and the odd 100 we will also increase our distance while maintaining our form.  I am excited to see this group of swimmers excel this year! 

Swimmers Of The Month

Bronze:  Octavia/Beatrice O.
These two seem to come as a pair. New to SCAR they have come in with the most positive attitude and determination to improve. Both girls were quick to pick up the lingo and keep up with our quick pace.

Junior Select:  Mayoori G.
After each practice Mayoori has come up and asked what it is she can improve on. She has taken each piece of feedback and transformed all four of her strokes in just a short 4 weeks.

See you soon!

Laura Watts
Age Group Coach
Scarborough Swim Club
[email protected]


Hello Development Swimmers and Families,

This past month has truly showcased the incredible resilience of our swimmers. Despite this being the first time back in the pool in several months for many, it’s as if we never missed a beat! It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know everyone over the last month, and I look forward to continuing to get to know each swimmer throughout the rest of the season. 
So far, I have been thoroughly impressed with the Development group both on deck and in virtual dryland. All swimmers, both new and returning, have demonstrated a very high level of discipline, adaptability, and responsibility. This is has resulted in our training sessions running smoothly and efficiently, allowing us to get the most out of every workout. Keep up the great work everyone!

With it being early in the season, our training sessions have had a very technical focus. The early season is crucial for learning and reacquiring the skills and drills that will set the foundation for improved stroke technique and faster swimming. Most of our drills have focused on head and body position, as well as kicking and streamlining, as we work towards reducing drag and utilizing the strongest muscle groups in the body. We will continue to repeat these drills with a high level of focus, while increasing intensity in certain areas such as kick. 
In our virtual sessions, we have mainly focused on practicing and re-familiarizing ourselves with the Team Activation routine. This has given many of our returning swimmers a chance to shine as they had the opportunity to lead the group through the activation as demonstrators for our new swimmers. Thank you to all who volunteered to mentor and demonstrate on deck and virtually over the last month, your efforts and leadership certainly did not go unnoticed!

Swimmer of the Month

Development 11&Under:  Isabella R.
Isabella has excellent attendance and always comes to practice focused and ready to listen. She takes every workout seriously and is always on top of what we are doing, while also being very receptive to listening to and implementing feedback. Keep up the hard work, Isabella!

Development 12-13:  Wesley T.
truly leads by example both on the pool deck and in virtual dryland. He is very focused and driven throughout every workout and is always listening to feedback. His technique for all of the strokes has already improved immensely as a result of his hard work and attention. Congratulations Wesley!

I encourage everyone to keep up their hard work and focus at every single workout as we continue to set ourselves up for a very successful swim season. I hope you all have a great long weekend, and I will see everyone back at the pool on Tuesday!

All the best,

Christina Ramsay
Development Coach
Scarborough Swim Club
[email protected]