A group of 16 male swimmers and four coaches are on their way to the Trinidad National Aquatic Centre for an important development opportunity geared towards building Swimming Canada’s next great men’s team.
Under the leadership of National Development Coach Ken McKinnon, who will serve as Team Leader, and Senior Coach, Olympic Program Martyn Wilby, who will act as head coach, the group will spend a week in the warm weather training and growing as potential future Team Canada teammates.
Olympic champion Mark Tewksbury, now an accomplished speaker and leadership trainer, will join the group for the first three days and lead a variety of mentorship exercises.
It’s another targeted effort focused on rebuilding the men’s team, which is in a transition phase after the retirements of Olympic medallists Ryan Cochrane and Brent Hayden. Last year’s initiatives included targeted opportunities on the Mare Nostrum tour, and junior and senior relay and team-building camps.
“This is about team-building for the males of the future and how they can come together the next three years and take a real shot at moving the men’s team forward for 2020. We’ll talk about the hardiness and toughness in training that’s required to get there, as well as doing things correctly,” McKinnon said.
“We’ve got guys swimming the back end of the 200 butterfly or 400 IM better than we’ve seen and going hard at each other. The character and talent is what we’ve been hoping for. I’m really impressed with the physical potential and ability of the 16 boys we’ve invited and what we know of their training habits and tenacity.”
“This camp is very important for Swimming Canada in the development of our male program. Ken and Martyn will lead this camp and work with the athletes and their coaches about transitioning as a successful male junior swimmer into the senior team,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson.
“We are also delighted to have Mark Tewksbury attend this camp to work as a mentor with the athletes, coaches and staff. His special insights will be so valuable and we thank him for his involvement.
Tewksbury will lead a workshop activity before the first workout on Super Bowl Sunday.
“After that we’ll go swim, a sharp start with high volume, then come back and watch the Super Bowl together,” McKinnon said.
Tewksbury will spend two more days working with the group to talk about what’s required to achieve excellence in the pool. They’ll also do a team excursion together
The swimmers range in age from 14 to 17 and have been identified through Swimming Canada’s World Class On Track Times, which have been developed to better define development pathways for swimmers leading to potential Olympic podium performances. The group includes swimmers who put themselves on the radar including Cole Pratt of Calgary’s Cascade Swim Club, Finlay Knox of Foothills Stingrays in Alberta, Graysen Bernard of Toronto Swim Club/Ontario Swimming Academy, Gabe Mastromatteo of Kenora (Ont.) Swimming Sharks/Ontario Swimming Academy, and Joshua Liendo of Toronto’s North York Aquatic Club, a former Trinidad resident.
“I know a lot of the guys going and I’m looking forward to seeing how they train. It’s going to be fun,” Liendo said.
The coaches in attendance will be Don Burton of Ontario Swimming Academy, Mark Bottrill of Hyack Swim Club (New Westminster, B.C.), Wendy Johnson of Cascade, and Marta Belsh of the Fredericton Aquanauts Swim Team.
“It’s going to be a challenging camp. I’m expecting to learn from this group of younger athletes how keen and tough they are, and see who’s going to develop into the leaders of the group,” Burton said. “We need to identify and invest in this core group of athletes and give them the time to build a nucleus so they feel responsible to each other and part of the future of Canadian male swimming.
“I’m glad to see that plan really starting to come together.”
|Team Leader||Ken McKinnon|
|Team Manager||Jocelyn Jay|
|Head Coach||Martyn Wilby|
|Coach 1||Don Burton|
|Coach 2||Mark Bottrill|
|Coach 3||Marta Belsh|
|Coach 4||Wendy Johnson|
|Alex Milanovich||ESWIM||Kevin Thorburn|
|Brodie Young||HYACK||Mark Bottrill|
|Cole Pratt||CASC||Dave Johnson|
|Graysen Bernard||TSC||Don Burton|
|Finlay Knox||FSSC||Todd Melton|
|Gabe Mastromatteo||KSS||Janet Hyslop / Don Burton|
|Jacob Gallant||FAST||Marta Belsh|
|Joshua Liendo||NYAC||Murray Drudge|
|Justin Konik||ESWIM||Kevin Thorburn|
|Loic St Martin||CAMO||Claude St Jean|
|Owen Huang||MARKHAM||Robert Novak|
|Ray Yang||ESWIM||Kevin Thorburn|
|Richie Stokes||ESWIM||Kevin Thorburn|
|Russell Burton||GUELPH||Kendra Papple|
|Sebastien Somerset||CASC||Dave Johnson|
|Tyler Wall||KISU||Tina Hoeben|