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The Breakers Swim Team is made possible through the dedication of our volunteer coaching staff. Our swimmers benefit immensely from the enthusiasm and guidance of these amazing individuals who devote their time to ensuring the growth and development of these young athletes. Our coaches

are the backbone of Breakers, and help drive this little club with a big heart.

The People Who Make Us Amazing

Jeff Budau

Head Coach

Jeff began swimming at a young age with the Sault Ste. Marie Aquatic Club. As a student at the University of Waterloo, he swam varsity, and also trained with the Nepean Kanata Barracudas for several work terms in Ottawa.  He has extensive coaching experience, including working with athletes from Sault Ste. Marie and also as a full-time coach for the East York Swim Club after graduating from university. Jeff was a valued Breakers coach for seven years starting in the fall of 2000. The club was extremely fortunate to have him return in 2018 to work with our Gold swimmers. Jeff is highly accomplished, and has coached provincial champions, as well as being on deck at both Eastern and Senior Nationals. Jeff feels privileged to work with motivated, hard-working swimmers of any age. He is a coach who strives to bring out the best in every one of his athletes, and inspires them each time they hit the water with his leadership and unwavering optimism.  

Jeff Horseman

Gold/Masters Coach

 Jeff is a lifelong Breaker. He started swimming for the club at age six , and continued for thirteen years until he left for post-secondary. Jeff specialized in 100 and 200 Breast, holding club records and competing at both OFSSA and Provincials. Jeff has been a Breakers coach for seven years and also currently holds the position of club president. Jeff takes his inspiration as a coach from the dedication, determination, and passion of his swimmers. He loves being there for them when they achieve their goals, break club records, or when they qualify for big competitions. He feels their disappointments, and ensures that he talks with them and makes them laugh during those times when they need an encouraging voice. To Jeff, being a coach is being a part of the growth and development of his swimmers. Being able to help mold young athletes for their futures through his mentorship and leadership is what excites him most about being a Breakers coach. 

Janice Nicholls

Silver Lead Coach

Janice came to swimming in her 20s as a Masters swimmer looking to improve her triathlon times. She began coaching for Breakers in 2005 when her children were novice swimmers. When her family moved away from Port Elgin in 2007, she coached youth triathletes and helped coach a recreational swim team. In the fall of 2020, newly retired from education, Janice returned to Breakers, coaching the White Group for a year, and then the Junior Blue group the next year. Janice loves seeing swimmers improve and realize their potential. Janice thinks coaching is the most rewarding and fun job ever!

 

Terry Smith

Bronze Lead Coach

Terry started swimming by the age of four, and went on to become fully certified in lifesaving courses, and to compete regionally for the Kapuskasing Swim Team. Although skilled in all areas, her favourite events were the 100m breaststroke and 800m backstroke. Terry enjoys watching swimmers reach their personal goals as well as improving on a stroke they have been working hard on. Their eagerness to learn is what inspires her to be the best coach she can be.

Karen Gill

Mini-Breakers Lead Coach

Karen started swimming at age six, and fell in love with it after her son was born and she took adult lesson and the Red Cross programs. She began teaching swimming lesson at Centennial Pool in 1984. It was early in 1985 when she was expecting her second child that she was asked to help with Breakers Swim Team. She started coaching the Blue level. Over her 25 years with the team, she coached the Blue level for 23 years, and did 2 years with the Gold practices only.  From 1992-1996, Karen was Head Coach.  In 2011, she left Breakers to help with the Lifesaving Club, but returned in 2017 to coach the White level and help rebuild Breakers enrolment. In recent years, Karen has been focused on bringing many new young swimmers to the team as the Mini-Breakers coach.

 

Chris Hatcher

Chris began swimming in 2000 with OSAC, and continued his training with them until 2012 before heading off to post-secondary. His specialty events were 100m and 200m backstroke, as well as 200m and 400m individual medley. He still holds many individual OSAC club and relay records. Chris returned to swimming in 2016-2017 as an OSAC Master, winning five individual gold medals at the 2017 Canadian Masters Championships. Chris’ love of the swimming brought him back to the pool in 2019 as a Breakers coach so that he could help the next generation of swimmers enjoy and succeed at the sport. Chris is rewarded by the progress he sees happening, both with the swimmers and with the team as a whole.

Amanda Irwin

Amanda has loved swimming all her life, and has spent a good portion of her childhood in the pool. She joined the Breakers Swim Team in 1995, and swam with them until 1999. Though the college that Amanda attended did not have a varsity team, she still swam with friends at the local YMCA early in the morning before classes started. As a parent of two sons, Amanda found herself spending many nights at the pool supporting their love of swimming. She has always wanted to give back to the community where she grew up, so when she was approached about coaching, it was a natural fit. Amanda brings a positive approach and infectious enthusiasm to the pool deck each time she works with our young athletes, and enjoys watching them get stronger and seeing the hard work they are doing during every practice.

Sarah Richardson

Sarah’s passion for swimming started as a youth when she competed with the Breakers Swim Team from the time she was twelve to eighteen. She was also a member of her high school swim team, was a lifeguard, and swimming instructor. In her adult life, Sarah continues to swim regularly, and is a certified Level 1 instructor. For Sarah, swimming is more than a sport. She believes it builds determination and confidence that extends beyond the pool deck and into the swimmers’ everyday lives. Sarah credits her excellent Breakers coaches for teaching her how to be the best swimmer and teammate she could be. Her desire is to continue this legacy by giving back to the next generation of Breakers swimmers through her coaching and mentoring.  She is rewarded each time she sees the kids’ faces light up with confidence when they accomplish something they did not think they could do.

 

Greg Stark

Greg is a long time swimmer, training with Breakers from the age of nine to fifteen. He continued to swim for his high school team until he was 19 years old, where his favourite event was 100m breaststroke. Greg began coaching after his son and daughter joined the team. Like many of our coaches, Greg gives back to the team through his hard work and dedication to his swimmers. He enjoys watching his athletes have a great time while they make individual improvements each time they hit the water.