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Hire a Coach

Please note that registration practices and paid practices include a steersperson but do not include a coach. If you wish to book a coach for practices you are responsible to contact them directly on a one-to-one basis. Coaching fees are at that coaches discretion and they must be paid directly. There is no affiliation between the Barrie Public Library nor the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival however we are happy to provide a list of available coaches as shown below.

Alex Wilson |

Alex has paddled competitively since our Festival started, and he traveled to Florida to participate in the GWN Training Camp in both 2006 and 2007. Alex has taken the Dragon Boat Canada Level I Coaching Course and looks forward to sharing his skills as a coach.

Katie Grudzinski |

Katie started paddling in 2009. She has spent the last 3 years paddling with the Dragon Boat Barrie competitive team Paddlestrong. Katie is passionate about dragon boating and enjoys sharing her passion with others. Katie has completed her Dragon Boat Level l Coaching Course and in 2013 coached one of her teams to Rookie Team of the year!

Jeff Aldridge | 705-220-3023 |

Jeff began his dragon boat journey as a steersman in 2012 and instantly fell in love with the community. He began paddling, then coaching and embracing everything dragon boating had to offer – exercise, camaraderie, competition, and nature. He has participated in various regattas in North America. Jeff is certified with Dragon Boat Canada’s Level 1 (Community) and Level 2 (Competitive) coaching courses. He graduated from Georgian College with a Fitness and Health Promotion Diploma and has experience working as a fitness instructor at the YMCA. He also works with adults with developmental disabilities by helping them stay active in their communities and live a healthy lifestyle. He loves the guitar, traveling, achieving goals, facing fears and inspiring others to become their optimal selves. He looks forward to seeing you on the water this summer, paddles up – you may just learn something about yourself…while getting wet!

Derek Gordon |

    • Level II trained coach by Dragon Boat Canada
    • Coached charity teams for 6 years, competitive for two.
    • Paddler for 14 years now.
    • Co-ran the most successful fund raising team to date for BDBF so penchant for helping charity teams

Faye Baisley l

Faye has been paddling for 17+ years and has been coaching for 7+years and is Dragon Boat Canada Level 1 certified.   She currently is the Director of Coaching and Training for the Georgina Dragon Boat Club.  Faye has coached many different levels and groups from youth to beginners and competitive paddlers. Faye has been very fortunate to have been mentored by a former National Coach of Canada as well as two other amazing international level coaches and would look forward to sharing what she has learned with you.

Stephanie Smith |

Stephanie has been paddling on various teams for over 10 years starting with the Community Team Simcoe Sizzlers and has been a member of Dragon Boat Barrie for 6+ years and paddles on both Paddle Strong and Power Strokes in addition to participating every year on the women’s team – That’s What She Said!.  In 2016 she completed her coach certificate and is Dragon Boat Canada Level 1 certified. Over the past 4 years Stephanie has expanded her paddling experiences to include coaching community teams and has been asked to be substitute coach on many occasions. Stephanie looks forward to sharing her coaching and paddling skills.

Kathleen Doherty | 705-794-9031 |

Kathleen has been an avid paddler in a wide variety of paddling craft and levels for over 25 years. She is a certified Dragon Boat Canada Level 1 (community) and Level 2 (competitive team) paddling coach. Kathleen has competed both at the local community level as well as international competitions around the world. She was selected and paddled as a member of Team Canada’s Senior A National Dragon Boat Team for 4 years as a member of both the women’s and mixed crews, both crews capturing gold at the events held in China, Hungary and Welland, Ontario. Kathleen also races outrigger canoes and has competed twice in Hawaii as well as completing a crossing from Kona to Maui in 2018, a highlight of her paddling adventures.

Kathleen is a certified personal trainer and is passionate about sharing wellness and her love of paddling and the community spirit it generates. She is one of the coaches for the Barrie’s Ribbons of Hope, a group of amazing women, all breast cancer survivors (or “THRIVERS” as they like to be known) that race around the province as well as internationally every 5 years, at their own world championships. She loves sharing the sport of dragon boat paddling and looks forward to igniting the energy of fun and new exciting challenge to the festival and community crews…paddles up!!