top of page

Coaching Staff

Head Coach - Chris MacPherson

Since 1999 Chris has been coaching at various Canoe Clubs within the Atlantic Division. In 2010, he joined the coaching staff at Sackawa Canoe Club, and became head coach in 2015.


Growing up in the First Lake area, Chris joined Sackawa in 1989 as an out of shape preteen who needed to "Get out of the house". He was hooked from the moment he set foot on the property. The Head Coach at the time, Kenny (Poppa-bear) Popovich immediately made him feel at home and welcome. Kenny had a way of making every kid feel important and included. 33 years later Chris strives to keep Sackawa the way it was the way it was when he first experienced it, where he felt safe, welcome and part of the team. 

Over the past decade or so Sackawa has transitioned from a feeder, primarily recreational program to a blended model where our members and athletes range from beginner summer camp athletes to National and International podium performance. It is not uncommon for first year Sackawa athletes to find themselves training or being coached by some of the best paddlers in Canada. 

Over the past few years our governing bodies have instituted Gender Inclusion and SafeSport policies into our sport. In that time, Chris was part of designing our new training facility. It was imperative that our facility reflect both policies. Our gender equitable change rooms and washrooms combined with "everywhere observable" designs ensure that everyone can be safe in an inclusive environment. 

Chris is committed to continuing to lead Sackawa to be an inclusive, family friendly training centre where athletes of all ability's feel encouraged to reach their individual goals whether that be to paddle across the lake, or into the next Olympics. 


Board of Directors


Tyler Laidlaw - Commodore

Vacant - Vice Commodore

Angela Clark - Past Commodore

Rowan Gray - Athlete Representative

Wanda Holmes - Secretary

Colleen MacNeil - Treasurer

Matt Chisholm - Building & Grounds

Vacant - Fundraising/Grants

Caleb Gray - Equipment & Maintenance

Jennifer Miles - Human Resources


Ian Whynacht - Communications

bottom of page