Coaches

2019 is an exciting year as we expand our programming and coaching roles. Our youth leaders and coaches are very important to our club!  We have featured our 2019 team of coaches who will be working together to build our 2019 Nelson Paddling Club Community. Our 2019 Coaching Team includes; Carson Van Horne, Zoe Taylor, Anna Milde, Tessa Timmermans, Lauren Heckley, Heather Potkins, Matt Nuttal and Jason Rusu.

Carson Van Horne

I’m looking forward to coaching this summer to share my knowledge of the sport, get more kids involved and working with a great team of coaches. I like working with kids and seeing them succeed in new sports and meeting their goals."

Carson has been paddling with the Nelson Paddling club for four years, he primarily paddles sprint kayak but also has an interest in sprint canoeing. He has competed at the BC Summer Games twice as well as well as competing at the BC Pacific cup in Maple Ridge. Carson has completed the Canoe Kids Instructors course in June 2018 and has volunteered with the Nelson Paddling Clubs 2018 Summer Camps. He is currently on the LVR mountain biking team and enjoys skiing. This Summer Carson will be coaching at the Nelson Paddling Clubs Summer Camps.

Zoe Taylor

"I hope to bring among other things, a good work ethic and a positive personality to the club."

Zoe Taylor has been paddling with the club for three years now. Last summer she got certified as a junior coach and did some volunteer work in the club. This year she is so excited to get to work for the club and id looking forward to the coming season. Zoe also cross country skis and does some running. This Year Zoe will be assistant coaching the Adult Learn to Paddle Group, the developement Regatta Ready group and summer camps.

Tessa Timmermans

“I am excited to help athletes foster a love for this sport and outdoor activity.”

Tessa joined the club as an athlete in 2014. She has been to three BC games, as an athlete in 2014 and 2016, and once as a head coach in 2018. She has also attended many other regattas as both an athlete and a coach. Tessa Has been coaching since 2016. This year Tessa will be occasionally helping out with the regatta ready programs, and she will be running summer camps and some private lessons. Her certifications include Canoe Kids Certified, Level 1 advanced entry level competitive coach trained, certified small boats coach. She is currently attending the University of Alberta and studying engineering.

Anna Milde

I am excited to work as a team to better your paddling skills and of course, to have fun!

Paddling has been a part of Anna's lifestyle for many years, as well as coaching, and being part of the community. Before she could walk, she was taken out by her family on many canoe trips and by the time she was twelve she was athlete with Nelson kayak and canoe team. In 2017 she became certified nationally with level one community coaching and has been coaching recreational and competitive athletes for several years.

Lauren Heckley

"The thing that always makes me most excited about working in sport with youth, is having an opportunity to create a team that everyone is proud to be a part of. I love taking time to develop team functioning, foster friendships, and have so much fun!"

Lauren's certifications include an undergraduate degree in Sport Psychology (with Honours), and her sport specific certifications include an Entry-Level Competitive Coach with Canoe Kayak BC, as well as T2T (in training) with Cross-Country BC.

She has been working as a coach for the last 4 years (4 in cross-country skiing, and 4 in canoe kayak). She absolutely love this work! It keeps her active, playful, and always humbled by how amazing the kids in our community are!

She was hired on with the original Nelson Kayak and Canoe Club, as the head coach, with zero experience in the sport. This was very daunting! But with her education, and experience as a high-performance biathlete, She was able to bring unique aspects to the role of head coach. She quickly fell in love with canoeing, and shortly after kayaking as well. She would say she is an intermediate in both sports! She has a unique perspective when it comes to teaching the sport, as she literally just learnt how to herself!!

Fun Fact #1: She was a high-performance biathlete growing up and got to experience some very cool things! She was able to compete in Europe, almost represent Canada at Youth and Junior Worlds (she was the alternate), and medal nationally a number of times.

Fun Fact #2: She is currently doing a masters degree in Counselling Psychology, through Athabasca University. She will be doing her practicum at the Women’s Centre in Nelson, and she is so excited to be able to help the women of our community as much as she can. 

This year Lauren will be working with the Regatta Ready Groups as well as the Adult Learn to Paddle Group.

Jason Rusu

Jason Rusu learned to paddle and race sprint kayak in Saskatoon Saskatchewn and is the first athlete from that province to be named to the Canadian team. Jason competed for Canada at the 1992 Summer Olympics in K-2 500m and 1000m in Barcelona Spain. He also completed in K-2 and K-4 at several world cup and world championships from 1990 - 2003. His best international result was 9th in the K-4 500m event at the World Championships in Gainesville, Georgia.

Jason is an NNCP Level 3 Certified Competitive Coach and has coached at the following Sprint Canoe and Kayak clubs:

  • Saskatoon Racing Canoe Club - 1988-1989
  • Burnaby Canoe And Kayak Club - 1994/95
  • False Creek Racing Canoe Club -1996/97
  • Regional Coach - Canoe Racing BC - 1996/97
  • Calgary Canoe Club - 1997 - 2000/2003-2004

This year Jason will be coaching the Master skill development Program and a high intensity performance training group.

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Heather Potkins

"My passion for coaching lies in working with youth to help them dicover their own potential, and in helping them build their strength and self confidence through sport."

Heather began coaching in the summer of 2016, she has been paddling with the Nelson Paddling Club as an athlete in the Nelson Paddling Club's Sprint program for the last five years. Heather has competed on the Provincial team since 2017 and has raced Nationally at the 2017 Canada Summer Games and the 2017 and 2018 Nationals. Her best result is 6th in the C1 1000m 2018 Nationals. This year Heather is the Head Coach for the Nelson Paddling Club. She will be running the Regatta Ready Program, the community paddle night, Summer Camps and private lessons. Heather is Canoe Kids Certified, Level 1 advanced entry level competative coach trained, working with disabled athlete certified and is currently studying Earth Science and Biology at the University of Ottawa. She is currently training with the Rideau Canoe Club during the school year with the long term goal of becoming an outdoor education teacher.