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Meet Our Coaches

Michael Figotin - Assistant Head Coach
MICHAEL FIGOTIN
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH

Michael has a very strong passion for gymnastics, and has been coaching for over 14 years. His patience, devotion and ability to pay attention to the smallest detail is appreciated by both his students and their parents. Michael also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education. Michael loves gymnastics just as much as we love him!

FENG ZHA
MAG COMPETITIVE COACH

Feng is originally from China, and has over 10 years of coaching experience in many countries, including Qatar, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and most recently coaching a MAG elite team in Thailand. Feng began gymnastics at the age of 4 and continued training for over a decade. He is very passionate about teaching gymnastics and loves seeing his athletes learn new skills, work hard and improve strength and flexibility.

RUOPING ZHANG
WAG COMPETITIVE COACH

Ruoping joins us from Singapore, where she was a national team coach. Ruoping began gymnastics when she was only four years old and went on to compete in several National competitions in the People’s Republic of China where she was an elite athlete. Other highlights of her career include leading the national team of Thailand to compete in the SEA Games and World University Games and coachig Jiang Tong from China, who placed third in balance beam at the 2006 National Youth Championships held in Yunnan.

MICHAEL CHAVES
T&T PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Born in Oakville, Coach Mike has a phenomenal background in gymnastics. He was involved in artistic gymnastics at the age of 7, but switched into tumbling at the age of 11. He has an educational background in Fitness Leadership and Athletic Therapy and experience with competing for Team Canada for the past seven years. Michael is proud to share his legacy with his athletes and inspire them to learn, grow, and reach new goals every day.

ALEX STANKOV
MAG AND WAG COMPETITIVE COACH

Alex holds a Bachelor’s degree as Coach of Artistic Gymnastics and Teacher of Physical Education, as well as a Master’s Degree in Sports Biomechanics from the National University of Physical Education and Sports of Ukraine. As a competitive athlete, Alex has been ranked one of the best gymnasts in his home country, Ukraine — a powerhouse in the gymnastics world. In 2008 he was a Ukraine National Competition team-meet gold medalist and in 2015 he was a Bronze team medalist. He was also the MAG all around (individual) silver and bronze medalist in 2010 and 2011. Alex is a passionate, friendly, energetic and attentive coach, aims to guide students to train with a sense purpose and responsibility. He is also prioritizing preparing effective training methodologies that take into consideration the individual abilities and goals of each one of his athletes.

CRISTINA CHIRILA
ACROBATIC COMPETITIVE COACH

Cristina is a certified level 2 NCCP coach with years of experience as an artistic gymnast in Romania. She was a former teacher in Romania with a background in Law, Political Science and Administration. Cristina loves working with children and is passionate about teaching. She is very enthusiastic about acrobatic gymnastics and is excited to introduce the new acrobatics program to Rideau Gymnastics.

WENDY LYNN SILVERTHORN-DUGGAN
COMPETITIVE & RECREATIONAL COACH

Gymnastics has been a part of Wendy's life for as long as she can remember and she trained and competed until she retired at age 20. She studied gymnastics for two years at Seneca College under four National-Level Coaches. She now has Level I and Level II as well as Level III technical and theory in women's artistic gymnastics, Level I and II in trampoline, Level I and II in men's artistic gymnastics and is also a qualified judge for ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and Ukrainian dance.

Irina Shivrina - Choreographer
IRINA SHIVRINA
CHOREOGRAPHER

Irina graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Choreography from Arts University. In Russia, Irina worked in a professional dance company for many years. She also has over 23 years of coaching competitive figure skaters, gymnasts and dancers. Irina said “When I see my students have fun as well as manage to improve their skills – that’s what keeps me going. I love working with kids and helping them grow, not only as gymnasts or skaters, but as children and young adults.”

ANDY MENARD
PRE-COMPETITIVE T&T AND RECREATIONAL COACH

Andy is a Competition I WAG trained coach with 5 years of experience. She is currently completing her BSc. in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Andy also has experience coaching recreational and competitive soccer back in her hometown of Kingston. After being a gymnast herself for eleven years, she wishes to share her love of the sport with her students.

SUZANA DIACONESCU
COMPETITIVE AND RECREATIONAL COACH

Suzana is a Competition 1 MAG and WAG trained coach, as well as an athlete in Rideau's National team! She is also a certified Junior Olympic Compulsory artistic gymnastics judge. Suzana has been involved in gymnastics for most of her life, training at the competitive level for over 11 years, and is an Ontario Champion on Beam and Eastern Canadian Champion on Floor. Suzana is known for her kind, joyful and supportive coaching and loves imparting her knowledge of gymnastics to others.

NADER AHMED
RECREATIONAL COACH

Nader is a competitive 1 WAG & MAG NCCP trained coach. Nader was a gymnast; competing at the national level in Egypt. He joined the Modern Pentathlon and Parachuting soon after been a gymnast. He has massive experience in teaching and lecturing which he brings to his coaching.

ANDREW POPOV
RECREATIONAL COACH

Andrew is an accomplished young man, who has been participating in gymnastics from a very young age. His enthusiasm for the sport is demonstrated through his coaching. We can guarantee that Andrew will always have a smile on his face!

Hayley Green - Recreational Coach
HAYLEY GREEN
RECREATIONAL COACH

Hayley has been an artistic gymnast since she was a toddler, until recently when Michael Chaves introduced her to power tumbling. She loves power tumbling now, however, artistic gymnastics will always have a place in her heart. She loves being in the gym and coaching while making her athletes smile. She is preparing for her upcoming competitions and looks forward to representing Rideau Gymnastics.

Anatasia Kursova - Recreational Coach
ANASTASIA KURSOVA
RECREATIONAL COACH

Anastasia was involved with gymnastics since she was a tot. She is a current competitive athlete here at Rideau. In her spare time, Anastasia loves coaching Rideau Kindergym classes, but also enjoys riding horses.

SOFIA BAGGIO
RECREATIONAL COACH

Sofia been in gymnastics since the age of two, and has had the opportunity to compete as a National and high performance level athlete at the Eastern Canadian Championships, The Canadian National Championships, as well as Elite Canada! She has hopes of receiving a scholarship to a university in the USA where she can continue her career in gymnastics. Gymnastics has always been such a big part of Sofia's life, and she truly enjoys being able to share that, along with her positive energy, humour and dedication to the sport with the kids that she coaches.

OLIVIA YEH
RECREATIONAL COACH

Olivia is a level 1 NCCP recreational coach who loves working with young gymnasts. She has been involved with gymnastics since the age of four, and is currently part of a provincial aesthetic group gymnastics team. Aside from teaching, Olivia is also very passionate about music and dance. She hopes to bring smiles to children’s faces while helping them grow and develop fundamental gymnastics skills.

GRACIOUS CHITENDERU
COACH-IN-TRAINING

Gracious is from Zimbabwe and has always had a passion for gymnastics. She incorporates her love for art and music in different environments such as Kindergym classes. Gracious enjoys seeing the passion for gymnastics in the people she gets the chance to interact with.

SALOMÉ TERAN RODRIGUEZ
COACH-IN-TRAINING

Salomé is from Ecuador, and started artistic gymnastics when she was 9 years old where she focused mostly on beam and floor. She also used to perform gymnastics routines when competing at school. Salomé likes to dance and mix it with gymnastic techniques.