General Manager & Director of Operations, Member of the Board
Andrew is one of two general managers of Sunnyside Paddling Club.
Andrew graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelors of Business Administration and has worked at a major financial institution for over 12 years in Finance, Risk Management and Customer Experience Strategy. He also founded and owns Afterburn Performance Fitness Inc. a dragon boat centric fitness facility in the Scarborough Area. Afterburn has Ontario’s only Dragon Boat Specific Paddling Pool. Andrew applies his business background to ensure that Sunnyside is customer focused, constantly challenging the status quo and operations are run efficiently, effectively and sustainably.
Andrew has paddled and coached dragon boat for over 14 years. He loves the sport because of the motivation of 10 Men and Women pushing each other towards a singular purpose. He also enjoys it because of the alignment of the fitness requirements to be a top-performing paddling athlete and being healthy (great paddling athletes have great power to weight ratios and look great! which is healthy!). In 2018 he competed at his first Dragon Boat Club Crew World Championships, medalling in 2 distances with his team the Outer Harbour Hounds in the premier open category. He also holds a Dragon Boat Canada Level II coaching certification.
In his spare time, he likes to play volleyball, paddle, train in the gym and eat all you can eat sushi.
General Manager & Director of Operations, Member of the Board
Khanh first discovered his passion for dragon boat in 2002 through the University of Toronto New College Dragon Boat club. During his under graduate years he was able to compliment his studies at U of T in Kinesiology with program development for the New College Dragon Boat team. Over the last 16 years he has continued to be involved in the sport - as a paddler and an active leader, with various teams and clubs within the GTA. His major achievements in the sport include racing at two CCWCs, in Hong Kong, China and Szeged, Hungary and accomplishing Dragon Boat Canada Level II coaching certification.
Combining his educational background as a Strength Coach and Athletic Therapist and his experience in the sport, he’s able to develop programs for athletes that are more research based. He is honored and humbled to take on this new position with the club and is excited to be working with the community to provide continued services at Sunnyside Paddling Club.
Identifying a need in 2005 for a community-based organization to serve the demands of a growing dragonboat and paddling community, Blake co-founded National Dragonboat Club (now known as Sunnyside Paddling Club - SPC) with other key paddling community stakeholders, and SPC has quickly grown to become North America’s largest paddle-sport club with 125 dragon boat teams and 3,000 active members.
When it comes to dragon boat in North America, Blake is definitely a pioneer. As a coach, event organizer, club founder, and pretty much all the dragon boat roles in between – Blake has been there. In fact, he was one of Canada's National Team coaches from 2001 to 2005.
One of Blake's unparalleled accomplishments is launching a Grade 6/7/8 dragon boat program in Toronto, bringing the magic of dragon boat and teamwork to kids who otherwise would not have had the opportunity. Whether he’s introducing dragon boat to people with disabilities or coaching national teams, Blake’s passion for dragon boat is one thing that never changes.
President, Member of the Board (Interim)
Louis has a passion for paddle sports including dragon boat and outrigger canoe. For the last 8 years, Louis has made it his goal to introduce dragon boating to as many people as possible no matter their background, experience, ability or any other possible barriers. In his own words, “My philosophy is that dragon boating in Canada should be encouraged from the grassroots level and geared to all ages and abilities. This in turn will feed and support our competitive programs to compete and succeed at the international level.”
You don't have to look far for evidence of Louis’ beliefs. As Captain of Sunnyside Paddling Club Thunderstruck Program and now the interim President of SPC, Louis has welcomed members of all backgrounds and experience levels. Doesn't matter if you are brand-new to the sport or have world championships experience, all are welcome. Louis goes out of his way to personally mentor new paddlers. Louis has also been coaching and steering for other teams for the last four years.
With international dragon boat race experience from as far away as Inner Mongolia as well as competing at the Club Crew World Championships in Hungary in 2018, Louis knows first hand that the world looks to Canada as a leader among the dragon boating nations. “Canada needs to continue to be creative and open-minded with respect to dragon boat growth and development - this is what put us on the world stage 20 years ago and this will keep us there in the years to come.”
Starting this year, Louis plans to extend his passion for promoting dragon boat, to also promoting outrigger canoe to paddlers of all ages and abilities. He believes outrigger canoe is a great sport for teams and paddle training, and is working to establish the sport at SPC and help it grow in Ontario.
Outside of his SPC commitments, Louis is a husband and father of four, and an Officer, Vice President & Director of one of Canada's largest financial institutions. As a business professional Louis knows the importance of keeping things organized, progressive, and staying in touch with your community.
Passionate about health and the benefits of dragon boat to the community, Chrissy joined Blake Hara in 2011 to help lead Sunnyside Paddling Club (SPC) and uses her business background to build on the paddling opportunities in Toronto. SPC is a club focused on paddling programs designed to accommodate everyone, including underprivileged youth, groups brought together by disabilities, recreational paddlers, and national team athletes.
Having achieved top international paddling performances as both an athlete and a coach, Chrissy feels at home when on the water. Some of her successes include being an eleven-time IDBF World Dragon Boat Champion for the National Premiere Mixed and Women's Teams (2003-2007), multiple Pan American Champions in C1 and C2 Sprint Canoeing (one and two person canoe), and coach of the SPC university team at the World Collegiate Dragon Boat Championship (2012-2016).