After two three-week preparation camps in Canada, and one ten-day camp in Cegled, Hungary, Canada’s junior artistic swimming team is ready to take on the world at the 2018 FINA Artistic Swimming Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary from July 18 – 22, 2018.

More than half of this team started training and preparing for the event in the summer of 2017 at a month-long national choreography camp that took place at the Toronto Pan American Sports Centre. They joined a larger group of athletes that attended Synchro Canada’s Development and Evaluation Camp in November where the 24-member 2018 Junior Athlete pool was named.  The final team selection took place on March 25-26, 2018, at the conclusion of the Canadian Artistic Swimming National Qualifier in Calgary. The athletes then attended preparation camps in Quebec City in May, Toronto in June, and the last two weeks at a training camp in Cegled, Hungary, where they put the finishing touches on all of their routines.

The swimmers on the 2018 Junior Team represent five different provinces from across the country. Three members were on the 2016 junior team that competed strongly in Kazan, Russia: Emily Armstrong; Paige Hopper; and Cassandra Winkelaar; while eight will represent Canada for the first time at a FINA Artistic Swimming Junior World Championships.

“The Junior World Championships are an important opportunity for this group of athletes to gain valuable competition experience on a large international stage” said Julie Healy, Chief Sport Officer, Synchro Canada.  “It has been a season-long collaborative effort between our Canadian clubs and Canada Artistic Swimming and I am confident this team will be ready to compete with the rest of the world and make Canadians proud.”

Swimming in the Solo events for Canada will be Emily Armstrong, who was the top Canadian in figures in 2016, finishing 12th overall. She also competed in the Duet finals in 2016, and will swim the Duet events in Budapest with Paige Hopper. Catherine Barrett is the reserve in the Duet Technical, while Mikaëlle Gauthier is the reserve in the Duet Free.

In the Technical Team the athletes and coaches have been working toward the achievement of excellent element execution as well as the perfection of synchronization through precision and fierce energy of movement. In the Free Team the choreography has been created to represent the Canadian North.  The athletes will show the audience and judges strength, power, grace, and unity.

Healy further commented: “Canada Artistic Swimming is proud of the talented and diverse professional support team we have engaged in Budapest – to create the best possible environment for team success and to enable our athletes to perform their best in every way”.

The team will be led by head coach Kasia Kulesza of Quebec Excellence Synchro and assistant coaches Jennifer Koptie of the Regional Training Centre Ontario and Jennifer Tregale of the Calgary Aquabelles.  The team leader will be Elena Podolsky of the Waterloo Regional Synchro Club.

Canadian officials at the event are Diane van der Pol, who will be a FINA Evaluator for the event, along with judges Louise Kennedy and Lianna Sottile, who will be judging at her first Junior World Championships.

The members of the team to represent Canada at the 2018 FINA Junior World Artistic Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary, are:

ARMSTRONG, Emily Scarborough, ON Regional Training Centre – Ontario
BARRETT, Catherine St. John’s, NL Regional Training Centre – Ontario
CZARKOWSKI, Jaime Calgary, AB Calgary Aquabelles
FINN, Scarlett Toronto, ON Regional Training Centre – Ontario
GAUTHIER, Mikaëlle Gatineau, QC Dollard Synchro
HOFFMANN, Teah Calgary, AB Calgary Aquabelles
HOPPER, Paige Calgary, AB Calgary Aquabelles
REGNIER, Jaiden Mactaquac, NB Regional Training Centre – Ontario
SPOTT, Emma Toronto, ON Regional Training Centre – Ontario
STREMLAW, Kristin Ottawa, ON Regional Training Centre – Ontario
WINKELAAR, Cassandra Calgary, AB Calgary Aquabelles


Judi Enns Bradette President Canada Artistic Swimming, Toronto, ON
Julie Healy Chief Sport Officer Canada Artistic Swimming, Montreal, QC
Stéphane Côté Communications Director Canada Artistic Swimming, St-Georges, QC
Elena Podolsky Team Leader Waterloo Regional Synchro Club, Kitchener, ON
Isabelle Lecompte High Performance Manager Canada Artistic Swimming, Montreal, QC
Kasia Kulesza Head Coach Quebec Excellence Synchro, Laval, QC
Jennifer Koptie Assistant Coach Regional Training Centre-Ontario, Toronto, ON
Jennifer Tregale Assistant Coach Calgary Aquabelles, Calgary, AB
Veronique Richard Mental Performance INS Quebec, Montreal, QC
Marianna Varpalotai Athletic Therapis Niagara Falls, ON