HEAD COACHES AND PROGRAM COORDINATORS
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, WOMEN’S COMPETITIVE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
LEVEL 4 CERTIFIED COACH, NATIONAL LEVEL 4 JUDGE
COACHING SINCE 1990
Philosophy: We’ve developed a reputation at DGS for knowing how to make our athletes shine in competition, no matter what their level. We work to each girl’s strengths and custom design their routines within the options available to us. You can usually find a way for each person to do well, if you put time and thought into it. And that’s important to us, because this is as much about feeling successful, as it is about winning!
Background: I did competitive gymnastics from the age of three until my mid-twenties, when I graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Biology. Afterwards, I taught sports programs for kids at UBC, where I continue to teach Kinesiology.
Education is a large part of my job. I run courses for young coaches and judges in various organizations and, in my role as Technical Director, I ensure that we are providing the safest and most comprehensive training possible for our gymnasts.
Encouraging young athletes to stay active for life is an ongoing process – outside of the gym, I’m a competitive Crossfit athlete and three of my former gymnasts are now participating with me!
Technical Director, Men’s Competitive Program Director
Level 4 Certified Coach, FIG Brevet Judge
Coaching since 1993
Philosophy: I’m deeply committed to the idea that gymnastics should be accessible to as many people as possible, and this includes competitive gymnastics. Everyone can learn. Everyone has a right to learn. And in the right situation, everyone can reach their potential.
That’s why I’m involved as a coach and advisor in many different programs at the club and on the Board of Directors at Gymnastics BC. I’m constantly looking at refining our “best practices” here at DGS, so that we have the best learning and teaching environment possible.
Background: I began doing competitive gymnastics when I was 12, and continued to compete at York University in Toronto, where I earned a BSc with a focus on Geography. I coached a National Men’s Champion and have travelled to international competitions as a Team Canada coach. In 1996 I was awarded the Petro Canada Olympic Torch Scholarship for coaches; only two are given out across the country each year.
The scholarship allowed me to enroll in the University of Victoria’s National Coaching Institute, where I earned my NCCP Level 4. Since then, I’ve been named BC Provincial Coach of the year twice, and I’ve earned my FIG Brevet judging credential, which qualifies me to judge at international competitions; in 2014, I had the opportunity to judge in Japan. Currently, I’m completing my Master’s Degree in Education.
Active Start Coordinator
Level 2 Certified Coach, Level 1 Trampoline Coach, US KAT Preschool Certification
Coaching since 1990
Philosophy: Our Active Start program teaches physical literacy to kids as young as 18 months. They learn fundamental movement skills like climbing, rolling and jumping. Later, they progress to fundamental sports skills such as throwing, catching and kicking. It helps them develop confidence in their bodies and gives them the tools to play all kinds of sports. I believe that when kids develop a passion for sports and exercise early in life, it helps them to stay active throughout their teen and adult years!
Background: My love for gymnastics began in high school, when I joined the school team. Later, when I was running day camps for kids at the YMCA, I realized that I loved to work with children. When I began coaching at DGS, I put these two passions together. I started a program for preschoolers that taught not just gymnastics, but the fundamentals of movement. Over the past 15 years, the Active Start program has grown – along with our understanding of the critical importance of physical literacy. The kids coming out of our program don’t just know how to move, they want to move!
Women's Competitive, Gymstars, and Coaches in Training Program Coordinator, Technical Team Member, Logistics Manager
Level 3 Certified Coach, Level 2 Trampoline Coach
Coaching since 1992
Philosophy: We coach many kids from kindergarten through to graduation, and one of the best things about my job is seeing kids progress as people, not just gymnasts. Many of our retired gymnasts still come back to see us – that’s when you know you’ve made a difference!
Background: I competed for my high school as a teenager and I loved the social aspect of being on a team. That’s why I volunteer as a chaperone for Team BC, travelling to competitions all over the country. I also organize all of the Meet details for our women’s competitive teams, from registration to travel.
One of the things that makes our Advanced and Competitive programs so successful, is that we coach as a team. We debrief as a group after training sessions, noting what the needs and successes of each gymnast are. It’s time consuming, but it’s part of our commitment to the success of every gymnast.
Operations and Safety Manager, Technical Team Member
Level 3 Certified Coach, Level 3 Trampoline Coach, FIG Brevet Judge
Coaching since 2002
Philosophy: I really enjoy it when a gymnast is learning something new and it all comes together for the first time. It’s satisfying as a coach to be able to give them that one tip that makes the difference. We have a lot of talented gymnasts at DGS, but it’s great to see the hard workers, the ones who maybe don’t have as much talent, get their moment in the spotlight.
Background: I competed as a gymnast for DGS for 12 years. I enjoyed the discipline of it, and breaking down skills into their technical components is one of my strengths as a coach. It’s a skill I bring to judging as well. I’ve judged Olympic medalists at the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, and I’ve judged twice at the Canada Games.
Whether I’m coaching the Women’s Competitive team, or acting as Manager of Operations and Safety, I’m always tracking trends, finding out how we can do better, what the best practices are in progressive coaching, and how we can apply them.
Superstars, high school, Summer and gymnaestrada Program Coordinator
Level 3 Certified Coach
Coaching since 2002
Philosophy: From my own years as a competitive gymnast, I know what the results of goal-setting and hard work feel like. I really enjoy taking gymnasts through that process and seeing the look on their faces when they achieve a goal!
Background: I was a competitive gymnast from 5 to 15 years old. After retiring from competition, I began coaching in the Developmental program at DGS, and then in the Women’s Competitive program. From there, I went on to earn a degree from the University of Victoria in Recreation and Health Education, became a certified personal trainer, and then returned to coaching at DGS.
My diverse training helps with the range of programs I coordinate and coach: from Women’s Competitive, to high-performance sport cross-training groups, to the Jr. Gymnaestrada team, acrobatics and tumbling, and Teen freestyle.
Fundamental and specialty Program Coordinator
Level 3 Certified Coach
Coaching since 1995
Philosophy: One of the great things about our Developmental program is that there are entry points for beginners at every stage. Our High School program, for example, has elite competitors, but it’s also a late entry point for kids who never had a chance to participate in gymnastics before. I feel it’s important to find the best development path for each child and then support them, whether they’re beginners or experienced competitors.
Background: I started doing gymnastics in high school – it was great cross-training for the sports I was competing in: soccer and basketball. I also started coaching in high school at North Peace Gymnastics (Fort St. John). From there, I went on to complete a Coaching diploma at Douglas College, studying Sports Science, Nutrition and Physical Development.
After Douglas College, I did a season with the Vancouver Grizzlies cheer team, before attending Simon Fraser University, where I competed with the SFU cheerleading team. My cheer career culminated with attending the ICU World Championships as a member of Team Canada in 2013. I still coach the cheer team at Simon Fraser University.
I believe that when fun is integrated into sport, kids develop a lifelong passion for it.