Competitive Sprint Program
Sean has been involved with paddling sports since 1999, when he learned to canoe and kayak in preparation for a seven-day trip in Northern British Columbia – the Bowron Lake chain. While initially just competing locally in flat-water canoeing, over the next four years he slowly worked his way up to competing provincially, and nationally for the first time in 2003 (Canadian National Championships). Between 2003 and 2010, he competed at the Nationals every year, acquiring many medals and National Championships over that time. He is also a Team BC Alumni for the 2003 Western Canada Games (many medals), 2005 Canada Summer Games (bronze medal) and 2009 Canada Summer Games (bronze medal). Between the years of 2004 and 2009, he was named to the Junior National Development Team, spending many months out of the year training with the National Team in Florida and California. In 2007 he made the Junior National Team and competed at the Pan American Championships in Mexico City, winning a silver medal and two bronzes. In addition to his paddling endeavors in Canada, his status of dual citizenship with Japan allowed him to race abroad for many years. He was invited by the Japanese Canoe Federation to take part in their National Team Trials every year, allowing him and his mother to travel to Japan and paddle on several different bodies of water. In 2008, he was offered a position on the Japanese National Team after winning three out of the three events at the team trials, whereby he respectfully declined to pursue paddling in Canada. A highlight of his success in Japan was meeting the Japanese Prime Minister, Yasuo Fukuda.
Since stepping away from full-time competitive training, he has received his Bachelors Degree in Applied Science of Chemical and Biological Engineering. He is currently taking his Master’s degree, once again in the field of chemical engineering. Paddling is still a huge part of his life through all his coaching endeavors. He is fully certified level 2 in the National Coaching Certificate Program, and has his level 3 Theory component. He has many years of coaching experience in flat-water canoeing, kayaking, surfskiing, outrigger and PaddleALL. He has been the provincial team assistant coach for the 2011 Western Canada Games, this will be his third year coaching the FCRCC Women’s Distance Program, his second year with Vancouver Ocean Sports, and he runs a private coaching program with a long time friend and former US National Team kayaker, Dion Maxwell, called Rain City Paddle Sports.
Recently, he accomplished one of his proudest paddling feats. In the summer of 2013, he organized and undertook a huge paddling project that saw him and his two good friends (one of them being Liam Fisher) paddle from downtown Victoria to Vancouver in just under 17 hours, non-stop. Each one of us paddled the whole 135-km journey, and in doing so raised over $17,000 for a Foundation that is very near and dear to his heart: the Tyler Lewis Clean Energy Research Foundation (www.tylerlewis.ca).
Youth Program Coaches
Say ‘Hi’ to our Youth Flatwater coaches! Our coaches are CanoeKids certified, ELCC trained, and in the process of completing their NCCP certification. They will be our head coaches for our Youth Programs.
Laurence Chin (NCCP Level 3)
Laurence’s first experience with water sports was high school rowing in 1998 – he rowed at the Hanlan Boat Club in Toronto, Ontario for 4 years at a competitive level in the men’s lightweight 8 and double scull. After a few years, he got back on the water and joined the university dragon boat team in 2007, which practiced out of Balmy Beach Canoe Club. During this time, he had the opportunity to practice with the junior men’s war canoe team – a difficult, but gratifying experience that kick started his passion for flatwater canoe and kayak. In 2008, he competed in dragonboat at the Club Crew World Championships in Malaysia. Laurence moved to Vancouver in 2010 and became a member of FCRCC where he continued to pursue his love for being on the water with sprint canoe. This year, he is thrilled to be a part of the Youth Flatwater coaching team, and he is especially looking forward to sharing his passion for water sports with new and young paddlers. He currently trains with the adult competitive sprint team.
Daphne Austin (NCCP Level 2)
Daphne grew up in Seattle, WA doing a variety of sports before she found flatwater at the Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club in 2006. She instantly fell in love and started training and competing in sprint kayak, racing in regional, national and international regattas. After four amazing years of national training camps and competition she decided to stop competing and focus on other aspects of her life. This opened up the opportunity for her to share her love of the sport with others through coaching, which she has enjoyed since. This year she has officially switched sides of the border and is now coaching in Vancouver at False Creek. She is extremely excited to coach here as the past two years casually paddling with FCRCC has been amazing, introducing her to new forms of paddling such as surfski and dragon boat. She can’t wait till summer is here and can get everyone out on the water having a fun time paddling!
Diane Tam (NCCP Level 3)
Diane’s first exposure to sprint canoe was only a few years ago; having visited the club a few times, she had the opportunity to try out C1, where she immediately became drawn to the challenges it brought and motivated to learn the highly technical skills of the sport. Diane is no stranger to training and competition; at the at age of 8, she was a competitive swimmer, training intensely for several years before deciding to pursue other sports. Throughout high school, she competed provincially in badminton. And finally, in university, she got introduced to dragonboat, where she experienced competitions of various degrees, including CCWC in Malaysia. Now, she is completely devoted to growing the sport of sprint canoe and kayak in Vancouver. She looks forward to getting more young paddlers into the sport, and introducing them to the fun and exciting opportunities it offers. She also continually strives to develop more young female athletes, especially canoeists, now that after years of equality struggles, Women’s Canoe is finally on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics program. She is excited to be a part of developing what may be our future Olympians, and more importantly, the growth of a well-established flatwater community.