Coaches

TAVIA VAN DAMME - CO-OWNER/PROGRAM DIRECTOR/HEAD COACH

My love affair with CrossFit began in 2010 when I first walked through the doors of CrossFit Pickering.  As a personal trainer, Phys. Ed. Teacher, and football player, I felt that I had a good level of physical fitness. As I laid in a pool of sweat after my first workout, I quickly realized that there was a whole other dimension of fitness that I had never realized existed! After only a couple weeks of CrossFit, I started to notice significant changes in my body, athleticism, and mental performance.  I was getting faster, leaner and stronger doing less traditional weight training and spending less time in the gym!                                         As a certified personal trainer (CSEP), I believe that I have established a good foundation of physical fitness, and nutrition.  My Specialised Honors degree in Kinesiology and Health Science (BSc.), provides me with a strong foundational knowledge base in human anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics.  My Bachelor of Education (Bed.) in Health and Physical Education equips me with the tools to be able to present my knowledge to my athletes in an educative and creative manner.  My Canadian National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) certifications in Olympic weight lifting , volleyball,  and basketball  provides me with a theoretical and technical skill set to best prepare my athletes to execute sport specific movements with high proficiency and accuracy. It was not until I enrolled in my CrossFit Level 1 Trainers course, did I learn how to best utilize all of the elements in my portfolio.  Through CrossFit’s philosophies on how to achieve optimal health and fitness, I was finally given the tools to assist my students, athletes, and clients in achieving their personal, fitness, and wellness goals.

  • Specialized Honors Bachelor of Science (BSc), Kinesiology and Health Science – York University
  • Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) – Secondary/Intermediate Health and Physical Education. – York University
  • CrossFit Level 1 Course
  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
  • CrossFit Coaches Prep Course
  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Mobility Course
  • CrossFit Gymnastics Course
  • NCCP Olympic Weightlifting Coach -  In Training
  • Attitude Nation Weightlifting Certification Level 1
  • Catalyst Weightlifting Level 1 Coach Certification
  • NCCP Level 2 Basketball and Volleyball
  • Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CESP) – Certified Personal Trainer
  • CPR Level 'C' First Aid/CPR


SUE ANN VAN DAMME - CO-OWNER/BUSINESS MANAGER/COACH

I spent 13 years working in the investment industry.  Starting out as an Investment Analyst with Mercer Investment Consulting and most recently spent 7 years as a Futures Trader with Mapleridge Capital Corporation. I have always been heavily involved in sports, having played varsity hockey at UofT and being awarded OUA first team all-star and CIAU All-Canadian and in the ‘AAA’ (NWHL) league after university. I have always found working out boring and had difficulty getting motivated to do it. CrossFit has changed all that. The CrossFit methodology is so unique and brilliant in the results that are achieved not only for elite athletes but for people of all levels of fitness.

  • Bachelor of Science (BSc), Mathematics & Economics – University of Toronto
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • NCCP Olympic Weightlifting Coach -  In Training

GRAEME FIELDING - COACH

My affinity for fitness began at an early age. I performed a nightly routine with cement filled dumbbells while I was still in elementary school. When in high school, my dad gave me Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding as a birthday present and it became my bible. From there, I began my tireless journey as a competitive bodybuilder which lasted the better part of the next decade.
Eventually I did tire though. I became tired of the monotony of the commercial gym and single body-part workouts, of the hostile gym patrons glaring at each other from underneath toques and hoodies. I recognized that after 10+ years of attending (and working for) these self-proclaimed elite fitness centres that I was losing my motivation to train, and after retiring from the competitive bodybuilding circuit I no longer enjoyed attending the facility that was supposed to provide my outlet and escape from life's normal pressures. My therapy was no longer providing a therapeutic benefit.
This led me to the doorstep of a local CrossFit box. All it took was one workout and my desire to become an elite athlete was instantly renewed. The difference between all of my previous fitness endeavors and CrossFit was that I knew that the training of any energy system, neurological pathway or joint mobilization that was previously neglected or avoided no longer had any place to hide. CrossFit addresses and exposes your weaknesses until they become your strengths, affording you the opportunity to learn skills you never thought you were capable of, from Olympic weightlifting to gymnastic movements and everything else in between, all under the watchful eye of a skilled coach and beautiful community of like-minded athletes.
As a coach, I am as inspired leading athletes of all skill levels and walks of life as I am training alongside them myself. I eagerly await each new day and the challenge that Canuck will bring and am excited to meet those challenges head on, and to help others do the same.

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Mobility Course
  • Attitude Nation Weightlifting Certification Level 1
  • George Brown College - Fitness and Lifestyle Management
  • Standard First Aid CPR/HCP

ZACH REYES - COACH

My passion for fitness started way before CrossFit. Growing up around older siblings and cousins that were mainly male brought my competitive nature out at a very young age, boys will be boys. In grade school I participated in every sport available as I was able to adapt to any conditions as an individual or team. Basketball was my go-to sport though as everyone in the family played and so playing in organized leagues, especially being Filipino was HUGE! Through high school I continued to take my talents through multiple sports but found that I was just as talented in volleyball as I was a basketball player. A new passion had sparked. Three out of the four years I was named team captain for the volleyball team at Pope John Paul II C.S.S and that’s where my relationship with Tavia began. My passion for volleyball continued to grow and overtake my days playing basketball. Being a volleyball player and assisting Tavia coach the girls’ volleyball team kept me out of trouble and occupied as a teenager. I also picked up a class that was offered at our school, weight lifting. That’s where I was introduced to working with weights and targeting each muscle through different exercises. I even took co-op at the local GoodLife to shadow personal trainers for a couple months. I would spend my lunch breaks, spares, and any free time trying to better my performance as an athlete in the weight room. At the same time Tavia from time to time would also tell me to try CrossFit, “you’d be good at this!” Let’s just say Tavia was my second mother, and as a teenage son I would brush it off because I thought I found the secret recipe to becoming a better athlete. In college I attended Centennial College and was in the Police Foundation program which being psychologically and physically strong would eliminate the weak fast. I continued hitting the weight room while at the same time playing in multiple men’s volleyball leagues. I was ending my tenure at Centennial College and found that I was plateauing in my numbers (max bench press, bicep curls, 1.5 mile run, etc.) but with perfect timing Tavia and Sue Ann had opened CrossFit Canuck. After a workout one November 2012 I remember coming to pay a visit to Canuck, from what I saw I was already hooked. I did my first class the following day and boy, was I DESTROYED! But there’s something about CrossFit that keeps you coming back for more, and that’s what happened…bring on the challenge. Movements, lifts, and numbers I’m putting up today I would never imagine myself doing from day one and it only continues to improve every day. What I also picked up from CrossFit, especially being a part of such a special community with the Canuck’s wasn’t just the weights, it was the AWESOMENESS everyone brings day in, and day out. It just rubs off into your everyday life and you just feel better as an individual. It’s just so humbling to see everyday people just put their head down and workout! No matter how much weight, no matter how many reps, no matter the brutality of the workout, everyone gives their all every time! It brings “FUN” back to fitness. As a coach, athlete, and individual, that’s all I want from a person, is to just leave their heart out there because it doesn’t matter how many workouts you do, it’s about how HARD YOU HIT’EM! Just remember, “Consistency is the key to success.”

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Attitude Nation Weightlifting Certification Level 1
  • Catalyst Athletics Weightlifting Level 1 Certification (In Progress)
  • Centennial College - Police Foundation
  • First Aid & CPR certified

SARAH BASSELS - COACH

Sport entered my life at the age of 2 when I began skating. I loved the beauty of skating, and advanced very quickly to the point where I completed my CANSkate coaching certification. I was especially drawn to the power and strength of the sport, finding my niche with a provincial and nationally competitive precision team. I thrived in team sport (playing basketball as well), competition itself, the drive to be faster and stronger, and satisfaction in supporting others to excel.
Growing up in a hospitality family, food was also a huge component in my world. This was a benefit as I learned how certain foods worked best for fueling me pre and post-competition and maintain a healthy lifestyle balance during off season.
In 2011, my passion for food took over. I was at my heaviest I had ever been, unhappy with myself that I lost my discipline and drive. That wasn't me, it was time for a change. I was invited to try an "8 minute WOD". No problem. It crushed me...bad. I never wanted that feeling again of where sit-ups, push-ups and squats made it difficult to walk for days! I found a local Box and recall watching this small, but remarkably strong woman pulling a 300+ deadlift - her name was Tavia. Seriously, how was this possible? She's half my size and lifting double my bodyweight and could someone please tell me what do I need to do to lift like that?! The fire had returned; I had fallen head over kettlebells for CrossFit. I chugged the whole kool-aid jug kids! I decided to learn more about how my body moves, how proper technique makes weight move efficiently, how solid programming can make you a well-balanced athlete, how a lacrosse ball and roller can be your body's best friend, and how my food knowledge complements this sport. Over a year later, I put my knowledge to the test and achieved my CrossFit L1 Certification, and I continue to learn each and every day I practice this sport.
As a coach, I want provide you with support and feedback to help you on your own unique CrossFit journey. I want to push you to not be scared to lift heavier or squat lower and to still be as graceful as a gymnast. With each and every WOD you do, you will be better. This is what the Community is about - supporting each other to overcome weaknesses and celebrate successes. We live it, love it, and do it together!
By the way...I still get that crushed feeling which has me saying "same time tomorrow?"

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Mobility Course
  • CrossFit Endurance Course
  • Attitude Nation Weightlifting Certification Level 1
  • Catalyst Weightlifting Level 1 Coach Certification (In Progress)
  • CANSkate Coaches Certificate
  • University of Guelph - Bachelor of Commerce, Hotel & Food Administration


  

BERNIE CRAWFORD - COACH

Where to begin? This journey started by accident after hitting the never ending plateau at the gym. Stuck in the same place, but working out 4-5 days a week. By a lucky chance a coworker told me that some of her friends were starting a CrossFit gym and I should try it. What the heck is CrossFit? Well I found out in a hurry thanks to Tavia and a 1 hour intro session. It took 5 days to be able to move without feeling the ache of having worked hard. I was in decent shape and 1 hour did this? How can I do this all the time? That was November 2012 and I haven’t looked back. It helped me break through the plateau, losing 65lbs and 25% body fat. CrossFit is something that anyone can do. You will be pushed harder than if you work out by yourself or follow some program from the internet. You will be challenged. What do you mean I will get a rope climb by my birthday? Tavia broke it down to smaller goals which helped me achieve the end goal. CrossFit translates to everything you do in everyday life. I got faster and stronger on the bike. I learned how to run a half marathon. My body figured out how to keep going, even when it got tough and I was tired. I will push you to work as hard as you can, because that was what was done for me. Give it your all and everyone (especially me) will be happy.

  • Ryerson University - Bachelor of Commerce, Information Technology Management
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Catalyst Weightlifting Level 1 Coach Certification (In Progress)
  • Standard First Aid (AED)
  • CPR Level C

 

ANDREW HUGHES - COACH

Growing up, sports were part of my life at every turn. Starting with skating at the age of three, I would eventually play hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer, rugby, swim, figure skate, and compete in track and field. Despite the variety of athletic endeavors, I always came back to my true passion - running. I competed and trained at a wide range of distances all the way up to marathon, and at various levels, including provincially.

After an accident, which severed an artery and a nerve in my right leg, I was told I was unlikely to regain full use of my foot. i was fitted with a brace to help lift my foot and told I would likely never walk without it again. As a life-long runner, this was devastating news. over the months that followed I did everything I could to help my recovery. Trying everything from traditional strength training to spinning/cycling, I ultimately ended up at CrossFit Canuck. Through the support of our coaches and others, my recovery progressed faster than the doctors ever expected or thought possible.

With a strong desire to run again, I began researching running technique and discovered Dr. Romanov and the Pose Method. Within months I was running again and able to return to the distances I had been running previously. My experience and everything I learned along the way has ignited a passion for what fitness/wellness means, and the vital role it plays in our lives.

Since then I have continued expanding my horizons and have found a passion for helping others accomplish their goals and overcoming obstacles.

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Endurance Trainer
  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Gymnastics Course
  • Pose Running Technique Specialist
  • Catalyst Weightlifting Level 1 Coach Certification
  • First Aid CPR (AED) Level 'C'
  • Toronto Fire Services Career Preparation Course

 

SUZANA MAJCEN - COACH

My love for an athletic-based lifestyle started early on. Growing up in a small community in Slovenia, I soon exceed in annual cross country races held at the local school. I then went on to compete both regionally and nationally, but did not take it that seriously. Around the age of ten, I fell in love with volleyball just by watching Japanese cartoons! Once I was old enough, I tried out for the local volleyball club team. Since then, I have played volleyball throughout my life with a few minor breaks due to pregnancy, moving out of country, an ACL injury, and recently due to a postoperative issue that is still limiting my movements.

I immigrated to Toronto in 1991 where I studied engineering at the University of Toronto. I played on the U of T varsity for years, and had an amazing experience. During my university years, I also started playing beach volleyball and spent most of my summer weekends on Ontario beaches competing in tournaments. This was when I was introduced to weight training, as the level of competition required strength and endurance. The program had a big focus on injury prevention as well. Once university was finished, I continued playing beach and indoor volleyball, which gave me the first taste of teaching young athletes new skills and the joy that comes with it when you are able to assist in an athlete's growth and development.

Once I entered the workforce, it became challenging to stay active and fit, especially with long commutes and sedentary office work. I made some lifestyle changes and I was able to get back into action! I did spinning, joined a gym at my office, and also tried a variety of sports including soccer, ultimate Frisbee, rock-climbing, and more. I thought I was doing well in maintaining my fitness...until I was introduced to CrossFit in 2012. I was lucky, my friends opened CrossFit Canuck. I joined the first month to support them, after that I signed up for an additional month, but I just wanted more, so I jumped in head first and have been a member ever since!

I believe CrossFit is what I have been looking for all my life. I've always believed fitness is the most important thing in our lives, as it helps you lead the best life possible. When you are fit, you are the best you can be both mentally and physically, you can achieve anything you set your mind to! It doesn't matter what stage you are in your life, what your fitness level is, how much you weigh, you can always start CrossFit and improve yourself. There is no limit to the benefits you can achieve from CrossFit - it strengthens your mind, body, and soul. You also gain much more than that. You join to be a better you and you also gain new friends and a positive community that will change your life forever. I believe we all learn from each other. I learn from my coaches, as I train, and from the athletes I coach. I am happy to have the chance to use all the knowledge and skills I've collected over the years and share them with the Canuck family!

  • Bachelor of Applied Science - Engineering Science, University of Toronto
  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Attitude Nation Weightlifting Level 1 Certification
  • CPR Heartsaver Level 'C'
  • NCCP Level 1 Volleyball
  • Catalyst Weightlifting Level 1 Certification (In Progress)

MEGAN CROUCHER - COACH 

I played every sport throughout my schooling. Initially, it was to get out of as many classes as possible, but then it became a way of life. I played Rep baseball for a few years before Volleyball became my main focus. For about five years after graduation, I continued to play Volleyball competitively a couple of times a week, but without the appropriate coaching and training, it was difficult to maintain the quality of playing that I had become accustomed to. When good, competitive Volleyball games started to become few and far between, I felt myself slipping into a physical rut. So I did what people do...I got an annual membership at a local gym. The only problem was that I had no idea what I was doing. I became extremely frustrated with my routine, I didn't feel comfortable trying most things within the facility and I hated how isolated I felt. A friend of mine invited me to watch a CrossFit competition and I loved what I saw! The atmosphere was like nothing you would find at a typical gym. There was so much team spirit, motivation, and drive from other members.It's been over three years and my only regret is not discovering it earlier.

"First you feel like dying, then you feel reborn" - sums up my bod with CrossFit. Try it once, you'll understand.

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Attitude Nation Weightlifting Certification Level 1
  • First Aid & CPR Certified
  • Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm) Tourism Management - Guelph/Humber
  • Leisure & Corporate Tourism Diploma - Seneca College
  • Proficiency in Mandarin Certificate - George Brown College
  • Arts & Design Certificate - Centennial College 

ROB CILIA - POWERLIFTING COACH 

I had always been an athletic person, playing almost every sport I could from elementary through to high school. Unfortunately, when college became a priority in my life, movement did not. I gained a significant amount of weight through my first two years of college and was extremely unhappy with my physique. I began visiting online message forums looking for exercise advice, when in 2007 there was mention of CrossFit. I Googled around and that then led me to the main site. I liked the idea of having programming done for me so I began folling the main site WOD's a couple of times a week, paired with basic weightlifting and cardio work. In 2008, I became more interested CrossFit and luckily found a local box, as there were only 3 in the entire GTA from Mississauga to Durham region. After some time, my passion for CrossFit led me to being hired at my box and then completing my L1. I met another coach at my box and we both began to share an interest in weightlifting of all sorts. We decided to start strength only classes at the box and it became quite popular among the members. The other coach decided that he was going to move back to British Columbia and then the strength classes became less and less popular. Myself and a client were the only ones who were regularly attending and we both began powerlifting only. It was then that I proposed the idea of starting a powerlifting club run out of my box, to which we saw great success. What began as two people wanting to compete in powerlifting became an extremely successful team that had over 10 people competing. During this time, I immersed myself in the powerlifting culture and have studied and programmed and tested so many different methods and techniques on all my lifters. For over four years I have been training both CrossFit athletes and powerlifters and look forward to many more!

Rob has proudly coached a National Champion, a two-time Provincial Champion, 4 Provincially qualified athletes, and 3 Regionally qualified athletes. He has also coached an athlete to 4+ National Records and 7+ Provincial Records, 2 Best Team Awards, 2014 Top 25 Nationally Ranked Lifter, 2015 Top 25 Nationally Ranked Master Lifter, 2016 Top 25 Nationally Ranked Master Lifter.

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • First Aid/AED Certified
  • Current Ontario Powerlifting Assoc. Equipment Administrator
  • Ontario Powerlifting Assoc. Meet Director 2015, 2016, 2017