Board & staffThe Edmonton Rowing Club has some incredible volunteers, coaches, and staff. Learn about our team below!
COACHES & STAFF
Walter Martindale (He/Him)
Walter started rowing at the tender age of 26 while reading for a Master of Physical Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Walter’s first coaching position was as a volunteer with UBC, coaching novice men for a season and novice women for two seasons.
He spent a summer coaching in Winnipeg, a summer coaching in Calgary, and has taken west coast crews to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Walter also worked as the Otago Southland Regional Rowing Coach in New Zealand, where he trained other coaches at 11 clubs in the region, and as the Coach Development Manager for Rowing New Zealand.
Prior to coming to the ERC, Walter was a volunteer in at the Cambridge Rowing Club in Ontario.
Walter wants to help the ERC grow in skill and boat speed, and in the number of people enjoying our awesome sport in the greater Edmonton region.
Walter has a Masters in Physical Education, is a certified High Performance Rowing Coach, and he is a Chartered Professional Coach.
Jess Phillips (She/her)
Jess began rowing in 2011 with Wagner High School and in 2012 she joined the University of Alberta Rowing Team (UART) as a novice. Since then she has rowed competitively with a handful of other clubs including the ERC, the Victoria City Rowing Club, and the University of Victoria (UVIC). Jess has raced competitively at national and international regattas including the Royal Canadian Henley (2013/2014/2016), the Canadian University Rowing Championships (2013/2014), the Head of the Charles (2014), and the San Diego Crew Classic (2017). She also raced in the 2017 Brown Cup as 7 seat for UVIC’s varsity crew.
From 2012 Jess has been involved in various volunteer and paid roles with the ERC. Most recently, she worked on the Board of Directors as the Community Programs Director in 2019, and in 2020 she took on the role of Club Manager.
Jess loves keeping the ERC organized, and she wants to continue making the club a welcoming community for everyone regardless of their rowing goals, age, gender, sex, race, class, religion, ethnicity, ability, language, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Jess has a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, and is a certified Learn to Row Coach.
Camil teodorescu (He/Him)
Camil has been involved in the sport of rowing for 17 years. He first started coaching at Lachine Rowing Club (Lachine, QB) in 2008, and in 2016 he began coaching at the ERC.
Most recently Camil completed a Masters Degree in Coaching from the University of Alberta. If you are interested in learning about relative age effects, or how to monitor your training using heart rate and heart rate variability, Camil is the person to talk to!
In his free time Camil enjoys going for walks, hikes, and nature photography.
Camil has a Masters in Physical Education, and is a certified Performance Rowing Coach.
Sahara Duffett (she/her)
Sahara began rowing in 2013 with Jasper Place High School. Later, she went on to row with the University of Alberta Rowing Team.
Sahara has worked with the ERC since 2016 and has acted in many roles for the club. Sahara’s passion for teaching new rowers shines through in her coaching.
She is currently finishing up her Bachelors of Science in Computing Science and Mathematics at the University of Alberta and is a certified Learn to Row Coach.
maki nichols (THEY/THEM)
Maki began rowing in 2012 as a junior rower in Victoria, BC. They have been able to attend a variety of events including the Brentwood International Rowing Competition, Canadian Henley and Welland Trials. They also had the opportunity to attend the Windermere Rowing Competition as a coxswain.
Being in Victoria provided Maki experiences with a variety of top-tier coaches and athletes, as well as various coaching styles and techniques.
This is Maki’s first year at ERC, and they are excited to be a part of this new team! They look forward to meeting everyone and adding to the club in a positive way to keep it an open, welcoming, and safe space.
Maki is a certified Learn to Row Coach.
Kate Benkendorf (She/Her)
Learn to Row Coach
Kate discovered a love for rowing when she joined the St. Francis Xavier High School rowing team in 2018. She rowed with the team for two years until her graduation in 2019.
She now attends the University of Victoria and is heading into her third year working towards a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Psychology and a minor in History. Kate was planning to take up rowing again in Victoria, but the pandemic disrupted her plans. She decided to stick to the erg, and instead began developing her coaching skills in another sport she loves, hockey. Kate became a certified level 2 hockey coach, and in 2020 she was an assistant coach for the U15 CRFMHA Royals in Victoria, BC.
Kate is looking forward to sharing her passion for rowing, and continuing her commitment to making sport a welcoming place for all.
Sarah Bruha (She/ Her)
Learn to Row Coach
Sarah Bruha has been rowing at the Edmonton Rowing Club since 2015. She first rowed with the Junior team, and went on to row with the University of Alberta’s competitive squad for the next three years. In high school, Sarah worked as an assistant rowing coach where she discovered her love for coaching.
Outside of rowing, Sarah is going into her 4th year of Kinesiology at the University of Alberta. The knowledge Sarah has gained from her degree combined with her love of exercise and the outdoors, fuels her passion as a coach and an ambassador for the club.
Sarah is a certified Learn to Row Coach.
Bentley is a very friendly 3 year old Border Collie and our resident boathouse doggo.
One of his favourite things to do is visit the ERC, where he gets to watch the humans row from the coach boat!
Make sure to give Bentley lots of pets and throw his toy when you see him around the ERC. If you sneak him a treat, he promises he won’t tell his mom Jess 😉
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mei Wah Fong
Full Time Programs Director
Director at Large
Grant & Fund Development