Coaches' Corner

Messages from our OAK coaches.

Coach Kyle
Senior Head Coach
High Performance

Coach John
Assistant Head Coach
Junior National, DevoA

Coach Ryan
Senior National

Coach Reid
Senior Performance, DevoC

Coach Melanie
Junior Performance, DevoB, Acorns

Coach Kristin
Junior Age Group, Senior Age Group, OAK Entry

September 3, 2020 Message

Hello OAK Parents and Swimmers,

We wanted to follow up on last night’s Zoom meeting to ensure everyone is aware of the changes for the first half of and possibly the full 2020-2021 swim season.

These changes obviously are the result of COVID-19 restrictions set forth by both the Town of Oakville and our governing body, Swim Ontario. The town has plans to open 4 pools (Iroquois, OTCC, Glen Abbey, QEP) while our other 3 major pools (Macmaster, Appleby, White Oaks) will remain closed until the new year. These closures along with reduced rental hours at each facility, has caused us to look at a new game plan for our swimmers and our club moving forward.

We have restructured the Performance groups (with some new names) to maximize pool time but also to address peer groups and performance needs. Each group has a similar feel and look as it did in previous years, but we feel that by removing one group in the performance program we have freed up some much needed space at the pool facilities. The changes will also simplify the way swimmers move up through the groups in a progressive manner. Given the many issues over the past 6 months, we understand this is not a perfect solution, and we may possibly return to the old group structure once things return to normal. We believe this new group structure gives all the swimmers a great opportunity to continue to build on their summer training.

The Development groups will remain the same (with a modified schedule) for the next four months and will also continue to be a feeder system for our performance stream.

We will unfortunately have to delay the start of our OAK Entry and Acorn programs. With many restrictions continuing into the fall there is not enough pool time to accommodate the many needs of these programs. We will look for a fresh start come January 2021. We apologize for the delay in this decision, but we feel it is in the best interests of swimmers, parents and coaches and does not compromise the safety of all stakeholders.

We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. We continue to be cautiously optimistic as we move into the new year and hopefully toward a return for all our programs. The coaching staff will continue to work hard to stay on top of any new trends that evolve with COVID-19 restrictions and continue our positive relationship with the Town of Oakville to ensure we can return to all our facilities as soon as possible.

This diagram depicts the new Performance group structure, but if you have any questions, concerns or feedback feel free to reach out.

We wish everyone a safe return to work, school and training!

See you on deck!

OAK Coaches


September 1, 2020 Message

Greetings OAK Membership,

The coaching staff wanted to take an opportunity to wish Meghan McDonnell all the best as she has decided to move on from the Oakville Aquatic Club.

Over the past two years Meghan has worked hard with the TAG2 swimmers producing some exceptional results. Meghan’s dedication and her deep commitment to her coaching duties will be missed by her swimmers and fellow coaches.

We want to thank Meghan and to offer her our best wishes in her future career pursuits. We are confident that she will be highly successful and will continue to make significant contributions.

Thank you Meghan and we wish you all the best!

Take care,
OAK Coaches


August 12, 2020 Message

Greetings OAK membership,

Hope this message finds you well.

We wanted to bring you up to speed on a staff update as it pertains to the rest of the summer 2020 training block as well as the upcoming 2020-2021 swim season.

Carter Yeudall will be stepping down in his role as AG1 coach as of August 16. We wanted to take this opportunity to wish Carter all the best in the next steps of his coaching career. He has established himself in his time with OAK as one of the best up and coming young coaches in the province. Both the swimmers and coaching staff appreciate Carter’s enthusiasm, integrity and unconditional support both at training and meets and look forward to seeing him on deck in the near future.

For the remaining summer block of training both Ryan and Kristin will help lead the AG1 group and ensure a smooth transition into next season. The staff are looking at many options on how to best proceed with the AG1 group and continue to develop some of the best prospects in our age group program.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out.

All the best!

Kyle, John, Ryan, Meghan, Melanie, Reid and Kristin


July 30, 2020 Message

Greetings Oakville Membership!

Hope this message finds you in good spirits!

The coaching staff wanted to take this opportunity as we move closer to the start of the 2020-2021 season to announce some exciting additions to the coaching team.

We are delighted to announce that Ryan Gurney will be taking over the position as TAG 1 Coach. Ryan spent last season leading our OP and AG2 groups and will provide some great experience and leadership for that group. Ryan has spent many hours on the pool deck specifically in a senior age group role with his past clubs including Island Swimming, Kenora, Collingwood and Owen Sound (the last three being Head Coach). He brings a multitude of skills and expertise to the position. The staff have enjoyed his calm, thoughtful and detailed approach to both the on-deck development of his swimmers but also his management in the OP position this past season.

We would also like to announce the hiring of Kristin Buchanan as our new OP coordinator/AG2 Coach. Kristin comes to us from Belleville where she was the Assistant Head Coach along with their Learn to Swim Coordinator. She has a tremendous skill set as she not only holds her NCCP Level 2 certification but also is a certified personal trainer specializing in both nutrition and children’s fitness. She swam competitively for 13 years representing North Bay, Ernestown and McMaster University. Kristin’s background and experience will be a welcome addition to both the OP coordinator position along with the lead coach for AG2.

Please help us congratulate both Ryan and Kristin on their new roles with OAK for September 2020!

We are delighted to introduce the staff for the 2020-2021 swim season.
Kyle Welsh – Senior
Ryan Gurney – TAG 1
Meghan McDonnell – TAG 2
John Calnan – TAG 3/Development A
Reid Scarrow – Gold/Development C
Melanie Mackay – Silver/Development B
Carter Yeudall – AG1
Kristin Buchanan – AG2/OP Coordinator
Amie Peddle – Development A

We appreciate everyone’s support and patience the past four months helping us get back safely into our pools and a return to training. We realize everyone is anxious and excited about group placements for the upcoming season. The daily developments and changes with COVID-19 have forced the staff to take a calm and detailed approach to prepare for the upcoming season. We are not totally sure at this point if the Town of Oakville will be opening all the pools up in September which is the main reason for the delay in getting placements out. Both Jason, Juana and the coaching staff have been working hard to stay in contact with both the Town and Swim Ontario to see what the pool and training dynamics may look like for September. We want to make sure we have as much information as possible before we finalize both names and numbers for each group.

Everyone on the OAK staff including office, coaches and board members realize this has been a long and tedious journey so very much appreciate everyone’s support and encouragement.

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out.

See you on deck!
Kyle and John