Coaches and Directors

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

Chris Ellul enters his 16th year coaching competitive swimming. This is also his 9th year with the Scarborough Swim Club, and 3rd 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 fourteen 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 place in the national top-5, 10 and 20 rankings in their respective age groups. Chris has led multiple Central Region Fundamental Camps, taken part in many Provincial invitational camps, as well as a Swim Ontario Youth Men's camp as a mentor coach.

His swimming philosophy has always been to prioritize the development of strong fundamentals for long-term success. It is about the process that leads to results. He has extensive knowledge of swimming mechanics, and the benefits of swimming posture, proprioception, and the elimination of drag and resisitance. The Key is in the developing of independant student-athletes, that will serve swimmers well in both swimming and in life. Chris preaches to his swimmers: Accountability, Reliability, and Coachability.

Chris' own coach described 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 swimmers become the best they can be.

More on Chris:

Chris is married to his beautiful wife Pam, an elementary school teacher. They're also new parents to their young daughter.
Chris attended post-secondary school for a diverse art program, working in animation and film-studies, with a great passion for design and cinematography. He is ananimal 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. 

Patrick Garcia Age Group Coach (Bronze & Jr Select)

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. 


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! 

Iwona de Xavier Development Coach

Iwona has over a decade of aquatic experience and is a Level 2 NCCP Age Group trained coach. She previously coached for the Whitchurch Stouffville Swim Club and her most recent position was as the Community Program Supervisor Aquatics East for the Cornell Pool at the City of Markham.

Iwona started swimming in Uganda, East Africa, where she completed certifications with the Royal Lifesaving Society.  After immigrating to Canada, she continued competitive swimming in London, Ontario.  Iwona swims competitively for the Masters Lifesaving Club of Markham and has competed at the Provincial and National levels.

Iwona is a certified Swim Instructor, Lifeguard, Instructor Trainer, SFA Examiner and NLS Examiner. Her passion for the sport of swimming is reflected in her teaching and mentoring young swimmers to achieve their goals.  She is a strong believer that organization and structure will motivate young swimmers to reach their potential and has keen insight into the long-term athletic development process.

Iwona has also assisted in coaching her son and daughter (twins) who were both competitive swimmers through high school. Her son is currently a national-level NCAA Division 1 varsity swimmer.

Iwona is looking forward to coach, mentor and develop competitive swimmers to accomplish their goals at the Scarborough Swim Club.

Board of Directors
Tanya Payne President
Chris Ellul Head Coach, Director of Swimming
Kristen Flynn-George Meet Management
Ted George Meet Management
Larisa Trabulsi Treasurer
Peter Patrianakos Marketing & Social Media
Anna McKennon-Chung Fundraising & Sponsorship
Elaine Kielo Registrar
Nina Jani Secretary
Julie Middleton Officials Co-Chair
Linda Nolan Officials Co-Chair
Carolyn Howard Past President
Jim Robb Gaming (bingo)