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Coaching Staff

Emil Dimitrov

Head Coach & Platinum Coach

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Emil Dimitrov brings over 18 years of coaching experience to KAJ including experience as head coach of the Milton Marlins in Ontario, the University of  Calgary age group program and West Kelowna's Liquid Lightning.

Over the years, Emil has trained national level swimmers including David Dimitrov, Jennifer Porenta, Kristin McIlroy and Kierra Smith. Dimitrov says his coaching philosophy focuses heavily on swimming technique. "In my experience, it is proper technique, especially at the development stage, that provides the best foundation for success and reduces the risk of injury or burnout. As a result I have never had a swimmer suffer a swimmer related injury during my 17+ years of head coaching".

In 2011 Emil was awarded the BC Coaches Association Junior Coach of the Year award.

 

Thomas Robinson

Team Manager and Metal Groups Assistant

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Thomas was a competitive swimmer for 14 years with the Pacific Sea Wolves. After finishing swimming, he became a coach for the Kelowna AquaJets and has been coaching swimmers in the Junior Jet program for the past 4 years. He is now the new assistant coach for all metal groups with the Kelowna AquaJets as well as the Team Manager. He is excited to take his passion for the sport and coach everyone to become the best swimmer they can be.   

David Dimitrov

Gold Coach H2O

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David swam for 17 years. His first 9 years were in his home town of Milton, Ontario with the Milton Marlins. He continued his career in Calgary with the University of Calgary Swim Club, and then joined the UofC Dino's Varsity team for two great years.  He competed at the national and international level during the later years of his career.  Since retiring from the sport he has transitioned his passion to a coaching role, in hopes to pass on the love for and knowledge of the sport.  He has been coaching all ages and performance levels for the last 5 years, and is very excited to work with the gold group this year!

John Douglas

Gold Coach JBMac

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John was a swimmer and water polo player for Simon Fraser University from 1978 to 1983. He was one of the founding coaches of the Liquid Lightning Swim Club in 1994 and has coached with the Lightning, the Kelowna AquaJets, the Ogopogo Summer Swim Club and the Mission Marlins Summer Club. John is the coach of our gold swimmers and is also the pool manager for the Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre (JBMAC). John has excellent technical coaching skills and is adept at conveying techniques to our young swimmers. The swimmers in his group seem to thoroughly enjoy John and his effective coaching style.

 

Stefan Pripoae

Silver Coach H2O

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Stefan was a former nationally ranked swimmer who has been coaching with the Cascade Swim Club out of Calgary for the past 5 years. Having competed for 12 years previous to coaching, Stefan is very excited to bring his love of the sport and dedication to coaching to the Aqua Jets. He looks forward to inspiring athletes to achieve their true potential and find a long lasting love for the sport."

Tina Pomponio

Silver Coach JBMac

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Tina grew up in a small community much like West Kelowna, and had two awesome swim coaches during her years of swimming who inspired her to coach. Tina started swimming at the age of 6 and by age 10 had AAA (Provincial) times in butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke. Tina admits that freestyle was not her best stroke. By the time she was 13, she was swimming Junior National times in these strokes and made National times at 15.  Tina really shows her love for swimming in her coaching abilities and her enthusiasm. Our kids love her and she is an integral part of our coaching staff.

Alex Diaz

Bronze Coach JBMac

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Alex starting swimming at the age of 6 and swam for 11 years with the Liquid Lightning Swim Club. He competed at the AAA Provincial and then onto the Age Group National level. He coached LLSC last year and has also worked as a lifeguard at Johnson Bentley pool for 3 years. He is excited to share his passion and love for swimming through the coaching aspect to help kids improve their competitive swimming skills as well as to excite them to love the sport as much as he did growing up. 

Linda La La Lone

Bronze Coach H2O and KFY

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Christina Russo

Great White and Mako Coach H2O

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Christina has been a competitive swimmer for over 10 years. She has swum for both the Liquid Lightning and the Kelowna AquaJets Swim Clubs. Some of her achievements in the sport include being a Provincial Champion, Western National medalist and an Olympic Trials competitor. Along with being a swimmer, Christina has been a swim coach for the last five years. She is excited to bring her passion of the sport to the Junior Jets program and looks forward to helping the Junior Jets achieve their swimming goals.

Ian Dixon

Hammerhead H2O and Teen Fit H2O

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This is Ian's sixth year coaching with the Kelowna AquaJets. He ‎is midway through his four year business degree in Kelowna at Okanagan college. He is extremely excited to be coaching the junior jets this year and looks forward to many good memories from this season.  After spending the summer coaching and traveling he looks forward to seeing the improvement in the junior jets as the year progresses. In his free time you will find him up at Big White or hanging out with friends. Please feel free to come have a chat on pool deck if you have any questions or drop him an email and he will be happy to get back to you!

Samantta Villanueva

Tiger Coach H2O

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Samantta Villanueva has been swimming since the age of 5. She has been the Head Coach of summer swim clubs for 5 years. Samantta has coached swim clubs wherever she goes, including the Trail Stingrays, the Wolfville Tritons, the Castlegar Cocoons, the Grand Forks Piranhas, and the OK Masters. She is excited to be passing on a foundation of good technique, as well as her enthusiasm for the best sport ever, to the next generation of Aquajets swimmers!

Chantelle Douglas

Junior Jet Coach JBMac

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Chantelle was a competitive swimmer for ten years with Liquid Lightning Swim Club. As a swimmer, my best races were 50, 100 and 200 backstroke. At the age of fourteen, she made Age Group Nationals and Western times for backstroke. When her swimming career came to a close, she took the necessary courses and became a National Lifeguard. She has worked the last couple summers at Johnson Bentley pool and is looking forward to coaching and sharing her passion for the sport.

Diana Trif

Junior Jet Coach JBMac

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Despite the late age of 13, Diana started swimming with LLSC. Right away she fell in love with the sport and swan with the club for 5 years. Presently she is a lifeguard and swim instructor at JBMAC. She is really looking forward to sharing her love for swimming with all!

 

Board of Directors

Emil Dimitrov

Head Coach

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Thomas Robinson

Team Manager

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Maureen Dixon

Registrar & Admin

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Jodi Merckx

Club President

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Gary Desrosier

Past President

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Christy Kirk

Equipment Manager

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James Pengilly

Officials Coordinator

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