Our Coaches

Meredith Thompson-Edwards "Mere"  orilliachannelcats@gmail.com

Meredith Thompson-Edwards "Mere" orilliachannelcats@gmail.com

Head Coach-coaches Gold, Silver and Channel Kittens

Head Coach Meredith Thompson-Edwards has lived in Orillia her entire life and is now raising a family of her own. She has been coaching with the club since 1995 and competed in the sport for over ten years, during which time she qualified for many highly competitive meets such as Ontario Cup, Eastern Cup and Nationals.

Her position as an assistant allowed her to coach all age groups within the club. "Working with different age groups has enabled me to familiarize myself with the whole team, which is a huge benefit when planning group activities and encouraging group cohesiveness." Meredith feels knowing all of the swimmers will help to develop a more personable atmosphere which aids in creating a positive fun environment for all involved. She currently coaches the Channel Kittens (entry level swimmers) Silver and Gold training groups.

Meredith has worked along side her mother Elaine her entire coaching career, and admits it has been a very positive experience. "We both encourage the swimmers to be hard working, dedicated and supportive of teammates. Qualities that come natural for me because they were instilled at home my entire life."
In Meredith’s opinion, competitive swimming enables children to improve social, organizational and swimming skills. It creates opportunities to boost confidence and improve cardiovascular fitness level. These are all qualities that swimmers can continue to utilize into adulthood. "My goal as Head Coach is to continue to provide a positive, fun and challenging environment that my swimmers can learn from and use in all areas of their life."

Meredith attended Georgian College in Orillia and obtained diplomas in the Developmental Services Worker program and the post-graduate Therapeutic Recreation program. She is a certified Age Group Swim Coach, and has completed Level 3 Theory, Developing Athletic Abilities, Coaching and Leading Effectively, Psychology of Performance and Managing Conflict modules through the National Coaching and Certification Program, working towards obtaining Senior Coach status. Meredith is also a member of the "Orillia Old Poops Swim Club" and trains 6 times per week in and out of the pool. She held the Canadian Record in Women’s age 35-39 200 m breaststroke and competed at Masters Long Course World Championships in August 2014 placing 6th in 200 backstroke, 50 butterfly, 8th in 100 butterfly and 11th in 200 Individual Medley.

 Elaine Thompson email Head Coach for contact number

Elaine Thompson email Head Coach for contact number

Assistant Coach-coaches Sr Novice and Channel Kittens

Assistant Coach Elaine Thompson was born and raised in Orillia and has been affiliated with the Orillia Y.M.C.A. since the age of 8. It was at the ‘Y’ that she developed her love of swimming. After completing the levels of the swim program she began teaching swimming at 12 years of age. When she was old enough she completed all the life saving courses and did some life guarding as well. She left the ‘Y’ after high school to continue her studies and get married. In 1974 she returned to the ‘Y’ when her children became involved in the programs. It was here that Elaine became very interested in Synchronized Swimming as well as a program for children between the ages of 6 months and 7 years. She was involved in the Under 8s swim portion of the program for several years as well as a Synchro coach for 18 years. In 1982 when her youngest daughter, Meredith became a member of the Orillia Channel Cats swim club Elaine was asked if she would be interested in helping coach some of the younger swimmers on the team. At first she thought it would be too much as she was still heavily involved with the Synchro Club. But as fate would have it she decided to give it her best shot and has been with us over 30 years.

Elaine feels that children who participate on swim clubs develop a very good level of overall physical fitness and co-ordination, which facilitates them becoming accomplished all-round athletes. She feels that swimming is one of the best sports to condition the body‘s cardiovascular and muscular systems. Competitive swimming is a very disciplined sport that emphasizes goal setting and time management which carries over into the swimmers’ academic and social life as well as developing a child’s self esteem and self-worth. Elaine is looking forward to yet another season with The Orillia Channel Cats swim team. She is a certified Age Group Swim Coach.

Tatum Haslem mermaidpinup12@gmail.com

Tatum Haslem mermaidpinup12@gmail.com

Assistant Coach-coaches Jr Novice and Bronze

Novice Coach Tatum Haslem swam for the Oakville Aquatic Club for 8 years and then went on to become a Nat. Level canoer for Burloak Canoe Club. She received her first gold Medal at Nat. at age 14. After she was finished with canoeing she started to swim again, but this time around became a lake swimmer. Tatum was the first person to do a double crossing of Lake Couchiching and then went on to be the only person to do a four time crossing and a 35km swim which took her 11 hours and 40 minutes. . Tatum coached gymnastics for 18 years and is so happy to be coaching the sport that’s closest to her heart...swimming. Tatum is currently a Lifeguard and Instructor for the Orillia YMCA. Tatum has completed her Swimming Fundamentals Coaching Course and is looking to work towards obtaining Swimming Age Group Coach Certification.

Meghan Buruss-Tibbett  meghantibbett12@hotmail.com

Meghan Buruss-Tibbett meghantibbett12@hotmail.com

Novice Coach-coaches Jr Novice and Sr Novice

Meghan has lived in Orillia her entire life and always grew up loving the water. She joined the Orillia Channel Cats when she was about 9 year old and swam competitively until her final year of high school. Meghan’s favourite stroke was butterfly and long distance freestyle. She graduated from Sociology at Lakehead University in Orillia after 4 years and is currently employed with the City of Orillia as their Aquatic Coordinator. She is currently enrolled in the Recreation and Leisure program at Canadore College. Meghan has been a lifeguard and swim instructor since she was 16 years of age. "Swimming and lifeguarding have shaped who I am today as a coach and person and has taught me many valuable life skills". Meghan also adds: "Growing up as a Channel Cat, and now being a coach proves that once a Channel Cat, always a Channel Cat". Meghan has completed the Fundamentals Swim Coaching course through the NCCP.