Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Chris Ellul Head Coach (High Performance & Gold)

Chris Ellul enters his 15th year coaching competitive swimming. This is also his eighth year with the Scarborough Swim Club, and second as Head Coach. Chris has spent his time growing and restructuring both the pre-competitive lessons program (now the Scarborough Swim Academy), as well as the Development and Age Group programs as the Head Development Coach and Swim School Coordinator over his first six years with the club. 

Prior to joining SCAR, Chris spent 14 seasons with the Oshawa Aquatic Club. His first seven years were spent as an athlete, quickly becoming a regional champion and provincial swimmer at the junior/senior championships. The final seven years were as Head Age Group and Assistant Head Coach. In that span he also directed the team’s Olympic Way swim lessons program. 

Chris has direct experience coaching swimmers at all ages and skill levels including: development, age group, para, senior, varsity, and masters. He has developed and worked with athletes at the Regional, Provincial and National levels having multiple swimmers compete in the national top-5, 10 and 20 rankings in their respective age groups, which is why properly developing savvy swimmers at a young age is so important. Chris has acted as the lead coach in multiple Central Region Fundamental Camps that offer unique learning opportunities for swimmers to learn from coaches and national team members. In March 2019, he was invited to his first Swim Ontario Youth Men's Camp as a mentor coach. 

His swimming philosophy has always been about swimming well first.  He has extensive knowledge of swimming mechanics, and knows very well that swimmers must build upon a healthy base of fundamental skills for long-term success. It is about understanding swimming posture, body awareness, and eliminating drag and resisitance. It is in the developing of accountable and reliable student-athletes, that will serve them well in both swimming and in life. Always train the way you want to race. Chris' own coaches describe him as a swimmer who always wore his heart on his sleeve.  Now as a career coach it's that same passion and motivation that drives him to help his own athletes and team grow and become the best they can be.

More on Chris:

Chris is married to his beautiful wife Pam, an elementary school teacher. They are thrilled to have also become new parents, recently welcoming their new baby girl. He attended his secondary school and college for diverse arts programs, working in animation and film, with a great passion for design He is an animal lover, and enjoys traveling and the outdoors. 

Phil Garcia Head Age Group Coach(Silver & Sr Select)

Philip has a strong background as an athlete, participating in multiple sports as a child until the age of 18. As a swim coach he started at the grassroots at the age of 15 teaching learn-to-swim lessons part time. From there he transitioned to pre-competitive groups which is when he found his love for coaching and decided to pursue coaching competitive swimmers and has been doing so for the past 6 years at TORCH. He has a proven record of developing swimmers from beginner levels toward Festivals, Provincials, Age Group Nationals and Easterns.

Philip was Head Coach at TORCH from 2014-2016, and produced multiple Central Region, Festival, Provincial, and Age Group National champions and in the second year took the team to having nearly one-third of all competitive swimmers being qualified for festivals or provincials during the short course season, as well as coaching a swimmer to two Ontario LC Age Group Records in 2016.  

As someone who has been involved in sports at high levels throughout his life, he understands that conscious effort combined with commitment is what leads to improvement in sport, school, and life. As a coach, he seeks to drive this home with the swimmers and help them embrace the journey and all that comes with it. Philip’s coaching philosophy is based on preparing swimmers for long term success by developing solid technical foundations including starts, turns, streamlines, finishes, and stroke mechanics. He offers a high energy, big picture style of coaching and is continuously looking to educate himself and improve. 

Laura Watts Age Group Coach/Swim Academy Coordinator

Laura Watts is both the Scarborough Swim Club’s Age Group Coach and Swim Academy Coordinator. She comes to us from the North York Aquatic Club, bringing with her 13 years of competitive coaching experience. In those years she has had the opportunity to coach swimmers ranging from entry level to provincial qualifiers. Although Laura enjoys the challenge each age group offers her particular interest has always been in developing the younger swimmers.

Laura's dedication to swimming began at an early age when she joined her grade-2 school swim team and continued through three years of college. She swam with NYAC’s national group for 4 of those years. 

Aquatics has spilled over into her day-time role where she is an aquatics instructor for the TDSB, encouraging classes of students with special needs.

Recently moving to Scarborough and starting a family, Laura is looking forward to starting her new role with the Scarborough Swim Club! 

Patrick Garcia Development Coach

Coming from a big family with many boys, Patrick has always been competitive, whether it be in sports, school, music, or life. This has helped Patrick in many different sports when he was younger such as in hockey, soccer, volleyball, and tennis. Patrick has been working with youth for over five years in sports camps, swim instruction, and other activities integrated with his church. Currently Patrick’s passions are piano, music, spending time with family, and of course the world of swimming.

Patrick began competitive swimming with TORCH at the age of 15, and within two years placed top-10 at the Provincial Championships, also qualifying for Eastern Canadian Championships, however, had recently retired from the sport at the end of the 2016-2017 season.  Aside from his own swimming, Patrick made himself available to teach within TORCH’s learn to swim program, later also coaching with their pre competitive program consisting of swimmers between the ages of 8 and 13. It is there he first learned of coaching, learning from coworkers and coaches along the way. He now finds himself in a new and exciting role, and is eager to learn and work alongside SCAR’s experienced coaching staff. Patrick is very much looking forward to making a positive impact with his new team come September 2017. 


Cassia Cidro Development Coach

Cassia is both a lifeguard and instructor and has experience teaching swimmers of all ages from tots through adult lessons. She also swam competitively throughout her high school years with her school swim team. It was also in high school where she was awarded Female Athlete of the Year. She has been involved in a number of other sports including rugby, volleyball, and field hockey. 

Cassia developed a passion for swimming from her coaches, which has in turn developed her love of teaching. Her instructional and own swimming experience has taught her the importance of keeping fit, but also of what it takes to keep young people motivated and having fun. She will also be drawing from her years of experience volunteering at multiple children's camps that provided her opportunities to mentor and teach within disciplined and structured programs. 

Joanna Bott Assistant Coach

Joanna began competitive swimming with Scarborough Swim Club at the age of 8 and continued swimming into her mid-teens. She learned many valuable life lessons as a SCAR swimmer and enjoyed the team spirit and enthusiasm of her fellow athletes. In 2013, Joanna revisited swimming at the Masters level for fun and fitness.

Joanna has always had a passion for working with children. She developed her leadership skills while earning her Undergraduate Degree at Wilfrid Laurier University by getting involved with student leadership programs. In 2014, Joanna graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Education Degree and is a qualified Primary, Junior and Intermediate level teacher. She has since worked for the TCDSB as an Educational Assistant, working with students of different abilities, and is currently a Long Term Occasional Teacher.

Joanna worked with Scarborough Swim Club for three seasons in the role of Development coach. During the 2015 Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games, Joanna was on deck leading a group of youth volunteers where she witness some of the world’s fasted swimming. Last season, she took time to focus on professional development in her teaching career. This season, she is looking forward to encouraging young swimmers to pursue their love of the sport through developing goals, training etiquette and racing strategies. Joanna is thrilled to be coaching with SCAR this season!

Board of Directors
Tanya Payne President
Theresa Furlonge Vice President
Kristen Flynn-George Meet Management
Ted George Meet Management
Larisa Trabulsi Treasurer
Elaine Kielo Secretary / Registrar
Peter Patrianakos Marketing & Social Media
Enid Kennedy Member at Large
Chris Ellul Head Coach
Carolyn Howard Past President
Jim Robb Bingo
Officials Chair Officials Chair