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Coaches >> Coach's Corner

Coach's Corner

Every month during T&F season we include a snapshot glimpse of the coaches in BC who mentor and develop our athletes. These individuals unselfishly give their time and energy every day as they help to develop BC athletes into provincial, national and international champions. (click photos to enlarge)

October 2005

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Brit Townsend

Hometown: Coquitlam, BC
Club: Simon Fraser University and Valley Royals

  • Angela Shaw - 2005 BC High School Champion, 2004 BC Juvenile Team Member and 2005 BC Junior Team Member
  • Lisa Egami - 2005 BC High School Champion, 2004 BC Juvenile Team Member, 2005 BC Junior Team Member and 2005 Canadian World Youth Team member
  • Rebecca Johnstone - 2005 NAIA 800m Champion, 2005 FISU Team Member
  • Julia Howard - 2005 NAIA 1500m Champion, 2005 FISU Team Member
  • Kristen Kolstad - 2005 Canadian Junior Team Member and 2005 TEAM BC - Canada Summer Games Team member
  • Alexadra Krasovska - 2005 TEAM BC - Canada Summer Games Team member

Brit Townsend has been involved with the Simon Fraser University track and field and cross-country programs as a coach and as an athlete for the past 20 years. Now in her sixth season as head coach of the varsity cross country and track and field programs, Townsend helped guide the Clan to the NAIA triple crown in 1998, when the women's team won the cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field championship in the same season. Prior to being named head coach with Simon Fraser, Townsend was an assistant coach with SFU. Brit has had many provincial and national team coaching appointments, highlighted by her involvement with the Canadian junior national team at the 1994 world championships.


September 2005

In Memoriam: Frank Reynolds 1939-2006

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Frank Reynolds

Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Club: NorWesters Track and Field Club

  • Chris Winter — 2004 World Junior Cross Country Championships Team Member, 2004 World Junior Championships Team Member (3000m S/C), 2005 World Junior Cross Country Championships Team Member, Canadian Youth Record Holder 2000m S/C (5:44.23)
  • Jessica Smith — 2005 Canadian National Legion Champion 1500m and 3000m
  • Chantelle Groenewoud — 2004 BC High School Cross Country Championship Medalist (3rd), 2005 BC High Championships Medalist 1500m S/C (2nd)
  • Roberto Phillips — 2005 BC High School Championship Medalist 1500m S/C (3rd)

Frank Reynolds has been the Coaching with the NorWesters Track and Field Club for 17 years. In that time he has coached on several provincial and national teams. He cites his highest honour as coaching the Canadian National Blind Athletics team at the IBSA World Championships in Quebec during 2003. As well as being the Chair of Cross Country for BC Athletics, Frank serves on the board of directors for the Coaches Association of BC.


August 2005

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Wynn Gmitroski

Hometown: Victoria, BC
Club: Pacific Athletics

  • Gary Reed – 2004 Olympian, 2005 Canadian National 800m Champion and Canadian 800m Record Holder (1:44.54)
  • Katie Vermeulen – 2004 Canadian Track and field Championships Bronze medalist (4:06.92)
  • Aimee Teteris – 2005 Canadian Track and field Championships silver medalist (2:01.90)
  • Ray Ardill – 2005 Canadian FISU Games Team member (400m & 4x400m)

Wynn Gmitroski's 18 years of coaching in athletics have taken him to two Olympics, three World Championships, and two Commonwealth Games. On returning from his duties as the Canadian team middle distance coach at the Games in Atlanta, he resumed his coaching and sport/fitness consulting in Victoria, BC. As a physiotherapist, he is the owner of the Cedar Hill Sports Therapy Clinic.

Wynn is the personal coach of Gary Reed, Katie Vermeulen, Aimee Teteris, Ray Ardill, Trevor O'Brien and former coach of Diane Cummins.

Through study and his own coaching experience, Wynn has developed highly regarded expertise in the area of periodization of training programs for high performance athletes.


July 2005

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Laurier Primeau

Hometown: Burnaby, BC
Club: Vancouver Thunderbirds

  • Corri-Ann Campbell-Fell - 2004 Canadian National Legion 400m Hurdles Champion
  • Kelsey Decamillis 2004 Canadian Junior Championships Shot Put 3rd
  • Cloe Hewitt 2004 Canadian Junior Heptathlon Champion
  • Jessica Olfert 2004 BC Junior 100mH Champion
  • Lauren Welch 2004 Canadian Junior Championships 400mH 3rd
  • Michael Clapson 2004 BC High School Pole Vault Champion
  • Reid Gustavson 2004 BC Juvenile Decathlon Champion
  • Dan Mezheritsky 2004 NACAC Games Decathlon 4th place
  • Joel Newbert - 2004 Canadian National Legion Championships 400m 3rd
Laurier is a active member of BC Juv, Jr, Sr Track and Field Committee and is a valued member executive of the BC High School Track & Field Association. He is currently the head coach of the Vancouver Thunderbirds and St Georges School track and field program. Laurier has successfully organized many events including the 2004/2005 Best in the West Spring Break tour" to Arizona & Florida. Also, he is the coordinator for the Vancouver Thunderbirds outreach program for elementary schools in Vancouver area.


June 2005

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Derek Evely

Hometown: Kamloops, BC
Club: Kamloops Track & Field Club
Athletes: Dylan Armstrong, Alia Dalin & Mitch Waters

Born and raised in Burnaby, BC, Derek competed and later coached for Burnaby Central under the great Ken Taylor. As an athlete his specialty was the decathlon and throughout the period 1984–1992 he trained and coached under Master Coach Andy Higgins at the High Performance Training Center at the University of Toronto, where he also earned his Bachelors Degree in Physical and Health Education.

In 1995 Derek was hired by the Kamloops Track and Field Club to become its new Head Coach under the Regional Sport Centre Program, which is now the PacificSport Interior Centre. Since then he has had the great honour of working with such athletes as Shane Niemi, Dylan Armstrong, and Gary Reed, as well as a host of other fine athletes and volunteers. Derek has been named to various Provincial and National Teams, including the 1998 Commonwealth Games Team, and the 2001 and 2003 World Championship Teams.


May 2005

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Ron Bunting

Hometown: Surrey, BC
Club: Valley Royals Track & Field Club
Athletes: Adam Pankratz, Sean Laforest, Liz Gleadle, Kevin Mouldey, Jenna Nyarady, Sangit Phulka, Jenny Quilty, Tim Vedder, Gareth Wells, Imrose Baga, Michele Stuart, Quinn Campbell, Navi Baga, Danica Herbert, Nick Schmid, Thomas Gastor & Caitlyn Braun

As principal at Alex Hope Elementary School in Langley, Ron has coached in BC for the past 20-years and in the past has founded and coached the Sunshine Coast Athletics Club, was the first president of the Kelowna Track club and was a senior throws coach with the Richmond Kajaks. Ron is a highly qualified NCCP throws coach who has developed numerous BC throwers to national prominence. In addition to his coaching duties with the Royals, Ron also assumes the duties of throwing coach for the Fraser Valley Regional Centre.


April 2005

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Tony Dickson

Hometown: Comox, BC
Club: Comox Valley Cougars
Athletes: Michael Mason, Mandy Upuu, Katie Gallagher, Aaron Malone, Kelly Forbes and John Kaardal

A family man at heart, Tony is a valued member of BC Juv, Jr, Sr Track and Field Committee and is multi events and jumps coach for the Comox Valley Cougars. Tony is also the head coach of True Gold Athletics—a new BC Athletics Regional Sports Program which is structured to be an outreach program supporting Zone 6 athletics. Currently, he is teaching secondary school in Comox and is attending the NCI in Victoria to complete his level four coaching certification.


March 2005

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Ron Parker

Hometown: Victoria, BC
Club: Pacific Athletics
Athletes: Andrea Holmes, Andrew Spiro, Tyler Beaton, Mark Chenery, Anastasia Pearse, Shannon Turner, Katie Hewitt, Katherine Murphy, Jonas Brix

Ron Parker has been coaching athletics since 1962. He is NCCP Level 4 certified and currently working with the Pacific Athletics Club in Victoria, BC.

Ron's coaching philosophy involves keeping his instructions to a minimum, offering specific sequential advice and then carefully observing the athlete. His advice to new coaches is to "Love the sport first. It is a lot of work, largely unpaid and a huge commitment of time."

It is time well spent for Ron. One of his highlights came last year when he was the horizontal jumps and combined events coach for the Canadian Under 23 Team at the NACAC (North America, Central America & Caribbean Regional Championships). He considers it a great accomplishment every time one of his athletes sets a record or achieves a personal goal!

Ron is the Head Coach for Team BC Athletics for the 2005 Canada Summer Games. He will be overseeing approximately 50 athletics athletes and coaches. Ron will also be coaching specific events in the Jumps categories. Ron's future in coaching includes helping to expand the Pacific Athletics Club to include all ages from junior development to elite participants in all events. He would also love to see some his athletes pursue Athletics events to the elite level.

Ron is also one of BC's most renowned artists. Since he began painting wildlife scenes, he has had many successful one-man shows across Canada. In 1993 he was commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mint to create a collector's set of four coins, and in 1994, he was the featured artist for the Vancouver International Wildlife Art Show. His latest paintings are contemporary landscapes of British Columbia scenes and are in great demand.


February 2005

Click to enlarge (David Dolsen photo)

Don Steen

Hometown: Burnaby, BC
Club: West Coast Pacers

  • Courtney Knight—2004 Athens Paralympic Games Discus Bronze Medalist
  • Dustin Walsh—2004 Athens Paralympic Games 400m—5th
  • Curtis Moss—2004 BC High School, Canadian National Legion & Canadian Junior Javelin Champion

Don continues to be a driving force for track and field, especially in regards to athletics for blind and visually impaired athletes. He continues to function as both the provincial and national coach for blind and visually impaired athletes. Don's selection to the 2004 Athens Paralympic Team coaching staff marked his fourth Paralympic Games coaching staff position (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004). He is also a recent Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence award recipient for the second year in a row (2003 and 2004).

At the community level, Don volunteered his time and expertise a minimum of 5 days per week during the high school track and field season to coach Burnaby Central's track and field team, which finished second at the BC High School Provincial Championships.

Over the 2004 season, Don functioned as head (and only) coach for the West Coast Pacers track and field club. Though the club has a small membership (predominantly midget and juvenile), Don continues to positively influence youth in the sport of athletics.

In the area of committees, Don is a member of the Athletics Canada Paralympic Committee, Canadian Blind Sports National Athletics Commission, BC Blind Sports Provincial Athletics Commission, and Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame Committee.



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