Born and raised on the North Shore, Annick grew up as a water baby, maybe even wishing she was a mermaid - if only she could just stay in the ocean long enough. By age 8 she sadly realized her fishtail would never grow, so upon watching Marianne Limpert win silver at the '96 Olympics, she decided THAT was her calling instead - thus a new, and only just slightly more realistic, dream was born. She settled into competitive swimming by joining the West Van Otters just a few months shy of her 10th birthday and in just 2 short years she was already training among the top swimmers in her club! After a short stint of swimming in France at 15 years old, Annick came back home to progress at Western National Champs with SFA and eventually to compete Internationally with the SFU Varsity team which took her all over Canada, the States & Mexico. Travel has always been one of my favourite things to do apart from swimming, so with Varsity I had the opportunity to do more of both and it was certainly unforgettable!
Regrettably before making it to Trials, Annick was semi-forced to retire from swimming competitively in 2008 due to chronic shoulder injuries. She decided to move into coaching children and youth in North Vancouver so she could still maintain one fin in the pool, while helping educate swimmers on proper shoulder injury prevention techniques. She then moved to Whistler in 2010, becoming the Head Coach of The Whistler Seawolves, where she also reinstated the local masters group - though these adults refused to swim anything other than freestyle, making Annick's emphasis on IM training a little difficult to enforce.
Annick's coaching philosophy was developed around injury prevention as well as maintaining a "nobody is too old to play in the water" mentality. No matter the age or level of her swimmers, Annick encouraged a healthy amount of "breaks" for the kids the get creative with their workouts, including games, assisting the coaches or even using their ski, soccer or mountain bike cross training drills in the water just to mix it up and have fun! To this day, even when coaching adults, she employs a similar method to ensure all swimmers stay connected to their inner child (or mermaid).
Coaching with the kids in Whistler presented Annick with several unique opportunities such as working with the National Ski team's Fitness and Nutrition coaches at the Whistler National Training Center. She brought in her higher performance group and their parents, in order to teach them about life-sport-nutrition balances without causing harm to the teens' growth plates and long term physical health. Furthering her coaching education, Annick was invited to assist at a training camp for the BC Youth Provincial Team prospects. "It was a great experience that allowed me to observe some of BC's most knowledgeable and most accomplished coaches." From this training camp, Annick took home many new tools that would help her swimmers progress to the next level, including leading her top teens to AAA Provincial Champs where one of the boys set club records and made the podium, while the other was selected for the BC Summer Games - something the Whistler Swimming community had never observed until then.
Coaching at this level made Annick start to really miss competing, so in 2016/17 she trained with the Vernon Masters club to get back into the pool for her own enjoyment and fitness. She attended Masters Provincials at Watermania that year where she reconnected with Marianne Alvarez, putting EBSC on her radar. Annick returned to Vancouver in 2017 to finish off her studies at SFU, pursuing Linguistics & Education. While there, she started coaching private lessons to adults of all abilities, and took on coaching the Masters team as well. Working with adults was much easier because they could understand all my silly analogies and laugh at my lame jokes.
Bringing travel and swimming back together, Annick recently ventured to Croatia with her mom to take part in an Open Water Swimming Tour. Island hopping along the coast near Sibenik, photographing all the stray cats and swimming through rainstorms under the rainbows! It was a true mermaid's dream!
Annick is hoping to train and prepare for another similar opportunity around Indonesia over the coming year. So when the weather warms back up, you'll probably be seeing her in the lakes and ocean more often than in the pool. I've got to make sure I can outswim the dragons when the tour takes us to Komodo Island :) If any of the EBSC members want to join in on the adventure, feel free to ask Annick about it!
Now working full time as the Retail Manager at the North Van shop for Team Aquatic Supplies, Annick takes every opportunity she can to educate her customers whether they're looking for gear tips, stroke improvement, injury rehab ideas or general fitness progressions. As much fun as that is though, she would rather coach the awesome members of EBSC, and since being on deck makes it very hard to resist the pool, don't be surprised if you see Annick hopping in once in a while to demonstrate a drill, specific technique or simply letting her inner-child out to play.
Bryan Iliscupidez is enjoying his fourth season as a coach for English Bay. At the age of 10, he began noncompetitive swimming at the Red Deer Catalina Swim club in Alberta. Following that first year, Bryan earned a spot from Regionals to Provincials by the end of the full season. The only issue was with breaststroke being his predominant stroke, having been faster than his freestyle times.
Bryan completed his final year as a club swimmer at age 17, making a provincial team to swim at the North American Challenge Cup in LA, and wrapped up his competitive history at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Trials.
He competed a single year with the University of Alberta Golden Bears, which ended up becoming very mentally gruesome, having lost the affinity for his reasons to swim. While taking time off from swimming, he transferred to, and graduated from, Red Deer College with a Business Marketing degree in 2012, but still coaching for the Catalina swim club. This reinvigorated his love for the sport, experiencing the joy from his athletes from a day to day basis.
Bryan is looking forward to meeting and learning about every swimmer in EBSC, so please bare with him as he continues to relearn names he's been given several times.
Emily Adamczyk was born and raised in Pasadena, California. She started her competitive swimming career at age 9 and swam for Rose Bowl Aquatics in her hometown. During summer breaks, Emily would coach younger swimmers on her club to help them improve stroke technique and get exciting about racing! Her favourite stroke is breaststroke, which brought her to compete at the national level, including the USA Olympic Trials in 2008 and 2012.
As an undergraduate student, Emily swam on varsity for the University of California, San Diego where she majored in Biology. Throughout university, she competed at the Division II NCAA’s where she took home the national title in the 200 yard breaststroke in 2012. Since then, Emily has taught swimming and coached privately.
Emily is currently at PhD student at the University of British Columbia where she studies marine biology. She has been a member of English Bay since 2015 and absolutely loves being part of this team! She is excited to coach this season and can’t wait to meet the Masters 101 participants!
Brett is in his second season with English Bay, but is no stranger to the pool. Growing up in Winnipeg he swam competitively throughout his youth with the St. James Seals Swim Club and Manta Swim Club. After high school he swam a season with the University of Manitoba Bisons, where he honed his skills in his signature events – 200 butterfly and distance freestyle.
With a number of national-level meets under his belt – and tuition bills to pay – Brett decided to hang up his goggles and start coaching. He returned to the St. James Seals to work with youth transitioning from pre-competitive to competitive swimming. Brett loved seeing his young swimmers gain confidence and pride in their abilities, saying that it’s the most fulfilling job he’s ever had. He later started coaching with the Assiniboine Masters, quickly realizing that adults don’t listen as well as kids, but they do throw better socials.
After more than a decade out of the pool, Brett was delighted to return to swimming when he moved to Vancouver in early 2020 and discovered EBSC. Being new to the city, Brett is grateful for the friendship and community the team offers. He’s since taken up open water swimming and is also an avid cyclist, runner, hiker and skier.
As Swim Meet Coordinator, Brett looks forward fostering a fun and supportive environment where swimmers of all abilities feel welcome to compete. Look for him on deck announcing upcoming meets and feel free to ask him any meet related questions you might have!