Coaches and Directors

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

Chris Ellul has been coaching competitive swimming for thirteen years, and the last eleven as an Assistant Head Coach.  He is currently entering his 7th season with the Scarborough Swim Club, and his 1st as the Club's newest Head Coach.  Chris had spent the last six seasons 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. 

Upon retiring from the sport as a swimmer of seven years, Chris worked as the Oshawa Aquatic Club's Varsity and Masters Coach for two seasons before becoming the Assistant Head Coach and Head Age Group Coach for the next five years that followed.  In that span he also directed the team’s Olympic Way lessons program. 

Chris has developed athletes at the Regional, Festival, Provincial levels as well as Eastern Canadian Championships, having multiple swimmers place in the national top-5, 10 and 20 rankings in their respective age groups.  He has coached swimmers that have then gone on to acquire Eastern, Junior, and National level qualifications later in their careers, which is why properly developing savvy swimmers at a young age is so important.  Chris has direct experience coaching swimmers at all ages and skill levels including: introductory, development, age group, senior, high school and varsity, masters, adult, and para.  Chris' strengths as a coach are found in his positive and enthusiastic demeanour.  His swimming philosophy has always been to 'swim well first, then swim well fast'.  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 swimming success; rather focusing solely on the short term gains.  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. 

During childhood Chris was always an extremely strong swimmer.  While he began his competitive swimming career with OSHAC at a relatively late age of 13, he quickly became a regional champion and provincial swimmer at the junior/senior championships.  In his final seasons, he managed a power ranking within Canada's top-50 three separate times in the 18 and over male category.  As an athlete, Chris was described as a swimmer who wore his heart on his sleeve.  As a career coach it's that same passion and motivation that drives him to help his athletes grow and become the best they can be.  Always, always, train the way you want to race. 

More about Chris:

Chris is married to his beautiful wife Pam, an elementary school teacher.  Chris 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.  If he's not at the beach playing volleyball, you can usually find him camping, kayaking, and canoeing. 

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
Stephanie Duncan Officials Chair
Larisa Trabulsi Treasurer
Elaine Kielo Secretary / Registrar
Enid Kennedy Member at Large
Chris Ellul Head Coach
Carolyn Howard Past President
Jim Robb Bingo