Synchro Canada announces 2017 National Team Coaches

Synchro Canada is proud to announce the six talented coaches who will work with Canada’s next generations of synchronized swimmers in the upcoming National Team summer camps and competitions. Each one brings excellent credentials and a proven track record of working with young athletes. The camps will take place in Montreal and Toronto, preparing for competitions in New York and Portugal.

2017 Senior Next Gen Team

The Senior NextGen team, led by Head Coach Jennifer Koptie and Assistant Coach Kasia Kulesza, will get together for a month-long camp in Montreal on May 19 – June 20 and then take part in the US Open in New York on June 20-25.

2017 Junior National Athlete Pool

The 2017 Junior National Athlete Pool will take part in a Choreography Camp in Toronto, ON, which will be led by Head Coach Manny Wu and Assistant Coach Nathalie Lagrange. Jennifer Koptie will also lend a hand with the duets.

2017 13-15 National Team

The 13-15 National Team, who will attend the 2017 Med Cup in Portugal on July 29 – August 6, will be led by Head Coach Jennifer Tregale. She will be assisted by Elena Podolsky for the training camp in Toronto on July 3-28 , with Nathalie Lagrange joining the team at the competition in Portugal.

Since the camps are being held at the same time and in the same location, Nathalie Lagrange and Elena Podolsky will work with both the Junior National Athlete Pool and the 13-15 National Team during the summer.

Coach biographies

JENNIFER KOPTIE, Scarborough, Ontario

A Physical Education Teacher at Ionview Public School in the Toronto area, Jennifer Koptie is an NCCP Level 3 qualified synchronized Swimming coach. She has been the Head Coach of Synchro Canada’s RTC-Ontario team since September 2015, and has held a wide variety of coaching positions since 2005. Jennifer was the Head Coach of Canada’s National 13-15 team in 2016. She has also served as a Mentor Coach, coming alongside younger coaches to assist in their development, and has been an expert presenter at TAPP sessions offered by Synchro Ontario. Jenn has combined her educational background in Special Education with her passion for synchronized swimming, implementing a program for swimmers with cognitive disabilities and working with other countries to support their programs for swimmers with special needs.

KASIA KULESZA, Québec City, Québec

A member of Canada’s National Team for nine years, and a 1996 Olympic silver medalist, Kasia Kulesza now brings her knowledge of the sport as a high performance athlete into her well-established coaching career. The High Performance Director and Junior Head Coach at the Québec Excellence Synchro Club, she began coaching while still competing, and has been a full-time elite coach since 2000. Kasia was an assistant coach with Canada’s Junior National team at the Junior World Championships in 2016. She has trained and prepared athletes for many international competitions, as well as creating the choreography for her athletes. Kasia is tri-lingual, speaking English, French and Polish, and incorporates her ballet training and musical interpretation skills into her passion for coaching athletes. She also serves as an assistant coach with the National Junior Team program.

NATHALIE LAGRANGE, Montréal, Québec

With more than 20 years of experience, Nathalie Lagrange achieved the highest level of NCCP coaching certification in Canada, Level 5, in 2016. She has an extensive coaching background and is currently a coach at Montréal Synchro. She has been a Head and Assistant Coach with Synchro Canada’s National 13-15 Team, and Head Coach of Synchro Québec’s Junior Team. She has also assisted developing coaches as a mentor coach and given workshops and presentations in her specialities of choreography and compulsory figures. Nathalie emphasizes teamwork and technique with the athletes she coaches, as well as a team approach amongst coaches working together for the best results.

ELENA PODOLSKY, Kitchener, Ontario

Originally from Moscow, Russia, Elena Podolsky started her career there, coaching her team to the Junior European Championship in 1988. She is currently working towards her NCCP Level 4 certification, and is also a certified Level I Synchronized Swimming Judge. The Head Coach at the Olympium Synchronized Swimming Club in Etobicoke Ontario for many years, she has worked with all levels of teams in Canada and is a technical expert for the Train-to-Train and Learn-to-Train stages of the Long-Term Athlete Development program. An award winning coach, Elena has conducted clinics for coaches on principles and practical methods of synchro and flexibility programs and has worked with many international athletes throughout her career. Elena is currently a coach with the Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swimming Club.

JENNIFER TREGALE, Calgary, Alberta

Recognized early in her coaching career as the Junior Canadian Coach of the Year, Jenn Tregale has continued to develop athletes to the highest level in Canada. As the Head Coach of the Calgary Aquabelles Synchronized Swimming Club since 2004, she has designed a comprehensive, competitive program to offer opportunities for all of the swimmers in the club. Many of her athletes have gone on to become members of Canada’s National Team. Jenn has been the Head Coach of Synchro Canada’s Junior National Team, preparing swimmers for the UANA Pan American Championships and the Junior World Championships. She consistently seeks out new challenges in her career, while also taking time to celebrate the accomplishments of the athletes she works with.

MANNY WU, Ajax, Ontario

Growing up in China, Manny Wu represented her country on the National Team at several world championships and the 2004 Olympic Summer Games. She began her coaching career at the Sichuan Synchronized Swimming Club in China, and then came to Canada in 2008. She is currently the Head Coach at the Chaco Synchronized Swimming Club in Toronto. Once in Canada, she began her NCCP qualification, achieving level 4 in 2017. She has been an Assistant Coach with the Canadian Junior National Team and RTC-Ontario since 2015. Many of the athletes Manny has worked with have advanced to the 13-15 National Team, Team Ontario provincial teams and the Junior National Team.

2017-09-18T15:26:19+00:00 April 14th, 2017|