Coaching Staff

The Aqualenes provides top level, fully certified NCCP artistic swimming coaches to provide athletes with the safest, most rewarding artistic swimming experience.

 

 Laurie Wachs is the head coach of the SAQ and has over thirty-five years coaching experience. She has coached many athletes to medal performances at both provincial and national levels and placed numerous Saskatchewan athletes onto National Teams. In November of 2000, the Coaching Association of Canada selected Laurie Wachs as the recipient of the 3M Coaching Canada Award in the Development Sport – Female category. In November 2004, she was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame as a “Sport Builder”. In 2009 Laurie was awarded Sask Sport’s Female Coach Dedication Award, and in 2010, Laurie received Canada Artistic Swimming’s Distinguished Member Award, recognizing a member of Canada Artistic Swimming who has made an exceptional contribution to the “art as well as the sport” of artistic swimming.

 

 

 

 


Coaches

 

 

Brittany ~ My name is Brittany Leaper, this year I am coaching the National Stream program as well as mentoring the 10&Under Team. I swam for nine years before retiring and becoming a coach, this will now be my twelfth year coaching. I have coached almost every age group in the club from aquagiggles to 16-18. I was the coach of the 2015 Canada Winter Games Team and I have also been an apprentice coach for the Canadian 13-15 and Junior National Teams. I am fully certified in coaching level 3 - competition development. Consecutively in 2017 and 2018 I have placed an athlete on a Canadian National Team. Memorable moments from last season was having so many new athletes in national stream and creating an amazing family like community with the Juniors and 13-15s. I love our sport because of the friendships it has given me, artistic swimming is my family away from home. I love the creative outlet that the sport allows me to have from solving problems to creating routines. I feel blessed to be able to come to the pool each and every day and do something I truly love. I am looking forward to a fun and successful season!


 

Cate ~ My name is Cate Janzen and this is my 7th year swimming with the Saskatoon Aqualenes. It is also my first year coaching and I am super excited  to start teaching kids to love the sport and the club as much as I do! I am currently in Grade 10 and live outside of Saskatoon in a small town. I enjoy coming to the pool and seeing my teammates and spending time with friends. I also enjoy reading and hanging out on my farm with my 2 dogs!


Eliot ~  My name is Eliot Paul and this is my second year coaching with SAQ. I am coaching the recreation team on Saturdays and subbing for other coaches when needed. This is my tenth year swimming and my third year with the Aqualenes. I swam both recreation and competitive in Edmonton with the Orcas and Auroras before moving to Saskatoon in May of 2017. I currently attend grade 12 at Centennial Collegiate and am enjoying my time there. I really enjoy photography and you might see me at the pool with my camera. I am excited to pass my knowledge onto the younger swimmers and hope they enjoy synchro as much as I have these last ten years. 

 

Heather ~  My name is Heather Crooks and this is my third year coaching with the Saskatoon Aqualenes.  This year I will be running our recreation program, helping with the limited competitive team and coaching a duet! Outside of synchro, I like to spend time with my husband and 2 kids - Easton, 6 and Dallas, 4 who love to come to the pool and watch.  I am looking forward to another successful and fun year with the Aqualenes! 


 

Jenna ~ My name is Jenna and this is my third year coaching with the Saskatoon Aqualenes. This year I’m coaching the 13-15 team as well as the 16-18 duet. I swam for 10 years with SAQ before I started coaching with the club. I’m looking forward to the new routines in the club this year to see what everyone can do. Outside of synchro I am in my first year of Kinesiology at the U of S. 


 

Kassidy ~ This is my 3rd year coaching with the Aqualenes. I am a  Competition Development Certified coach. After a successful season last year for many of my athletes I am more determined than ever to see through another fun packed and rewarding season. My coaching goals include helping athletes find a love for the sport and success in their season. I’m currently working on my bachelor of commerce with the Edwards School of Business and am in my 3rdyear.  As an athlete, I swam at the provincial level for several years in Lloydminster. At 15 I moved to swim national stream with the Saskatoon Aqualenes. I swam with the club for 2 wonderful years. Following that, I went to the BC Aquasonics for my final year of junior. After a very rewarding and challenging career, I settled onto retirement and coaching. My swimming experience helps guide me greatly with my transition into coaching. My goal in coaching is to share my life lessons with the athletes and to create and foster the same love, passion, and drive I carry for the sport within them as well. I can’t wait for another incredible season! See you at the pool!


 

Meagan ~ My name is Meagan Burbridge and I have been a coach for the Saskatoon Aqualenes since 2011. This year I will be coaching the national stream swimmers and 11-12 team. I was a swimmer for the club for 9 years before I started coaching. I competed in national stream for several years and was also able to compete in the 2011 Canada Winter Games. I graduated with my BSc Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan in 2015. In 2017 I moved the Leeds, United Kingdom to complete my MSc Physiotherapy at Leeds Beckett University. I completed my masters in January 2019 and moved back to Saskatoon. Since then I have been waiting to have my degree credentialed and to write the Canadian Physiotherapy Competency Exam. I wrote the first portion of my competency exam this month and am waiting for my results before I can start working as a physiotherapist! Outside of work and the pool I enjoy travelling with my fiancé Garrett. We are also busy planning our wedding which will take place next year!  Lastly, I am excited to say that I will also be getting back in the pool this year to swim Masters with Katie Willie!


 

Shaelynn ~ My name is Shaelynn Thiessen and I have been a member of the Saskatoon Aqualenes for sixteen years. I swam with the Aqualenes for nine years as an athlete and this will be my eighth year as a coach. This year I am coaching in our National Stream Program working with our Junior athletes as well as our 13-15 team and I am super excited for what this season has to offer! In 2018 I became Competition Development Certified and last season was my first year working solely in our National Stream Program. I learned so much last year from our amazing coaching staff and I am excited to put my knowledge to work this year and improve even more. The pool is my home away from home and our club is truly a little family. Coaching never feels like work when I have so many amazing ladies to be around! When I am not coaching, I work as a Recreation Technician for the City of Saskatoon and enjoy spending time with my friends and family. I love this sport and am so lucky I get to give back every day when I coach.


Sophia ~ I am 15 years old but will be 16 December 13.  I am in grade 10 at St Joe’s.  I have always loved being in the water but did not want to be a speed swimmer.  I started synchro after I took a Learn To Synchro class when I was 7 years old.  I liked synchro so much I joined the 10 & under team that fall.  I did competitive synchro at a Provincial Stream level for 8 years.   I decided to quit swimming this year and coach instead so I could focus on school and school activities.  When I am done high school I plan to go to university to become an Occupational Therapist.

 


Sydney ~ My name is Sydney Melvin and I am coaching the limited competition team! I am currently completing my Bachelor of Education at the University of Saskatchewan focusing on early and middle years education. I am in my final term of studies and plan on graduating this December! I was a competitive synchronized swimmer for about seven years and started coaching with the Saskatoon Aqualenes in 2015. I have coached recreational teams in the past and have substituted for other coaches. I am looking forward to this new swim year!


Theodosa ~ my name is Theodosa den Brok. I am currently a first year university student at Edwards School of Business studying commerce. Before becoming a level 1 certified coach, I swam for 8 years. Some of my major accomplishments with artistic swimming were competing on the Sask Winter Games team in 2014, swimming on team Sask for 2 years and participating in the national team trials in 2017. This is my third year coaching with the Aqualenes and second year coaching the 10&under team. I love being able to pass on my passion for this sport to young swimmers. It brings me joy to see swimmers fall in love with synchro just like I did. I can’t wait to see what this year brings and how these swimmers grow as I grow with them as a coach!