Volunteer Coaches

Assistant Coach    

Coaching Staff

Grant Boyd - Head Coach

Coach Boyd has been at the helm of the UCC program since 2003. In that time, the program has seen much success on the water and off. The team has been consistently successful at spring and fall regattas, with a number of crews on the podium at the Canadian High School National Championships (“School Boy”). The team has also placed a crew in the top ten at the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston the past five years.

Off the water, the team has seen much success as well. The program consistently sends boys to competitive rowing schools to compete at the university level, both in the US at Ivy League and other Division 1 schools, as well as across Canada and in the UK. Many UCC athletes have gone on to compete for and represent Canada at the international level. The team has grown in numbers over Coach Boyd’s tenure which is important to the development and the success of the program. The exposure rowing receives within the school has also seen tremendous improvement in this time.

Coach Boyd began rowing in Grade 9 but has been involved in rowing since the age of 10. He started out as a boat holder at regattas and started rowing competitively during his first year of high school. He won numerous national championships while competing at the high school level.

This success carried into university, rowing for Brock University as a member of various national championship crews. As a club athlete for the St. Catharine’s Rowing Club, Coach Boyd was a member of seven Royal Canadian Henley Regatta champion crews, winning at both the junior and senior levels.

The crews Coach Boyd coaches have experienced the similar success. Since he started coaching in 1987, his crews have won Canadian High School National Championships, Stotesbury Cup Championships, Royal Henley Regatta Championships, Royal Canadian Henley Regatta Championships, and NCAA Championships.

Email: gboyd@ucc.on.ca
Phone: (416) 488-1125 ext.

James Weekes - Assistant Coach jweekes@ucc.on.ca
Mr. Weekes has been the Higher Level Physics teacher and faculty advisor to the rowing team at UCC since 1998.  As a dedicated member of the team, he contributes much of his time to organizing the boys and their travels.  A graduate of Mechanical Engineering from University of Toronto, Mr. Weekes has prior teaching experience in the UK.  He is also a passionate collector of antiques.

David Borden - Assistant Coach dborden@ucc.on.ca
Dave is a UCC old boy (1999).  He rowed for 5 years with UCC and became a co-captain of the rowing team.  After UCC he rowed for Queen's University, where he studied English Literature, International Development, and Education.  He has coached rowing at UCC for 4 years (2005-2008 and 2009-2010), and for one year at Trafalgar Castle School in Whitby (2011-12).  He is currently an economics teacher at UCC, and a faculty advisor for the team.  When not marking papers, Dave can be found wandering nature trails or canoe tripping in the Canadian North.

Christian Ventresca - Assistant Coach cvrows@gmail.com

Christian has been involved with the UCC Rowing Team since 2003.  Christian started rowing in St. Catharines with Holy Cross High School and the St. Catharines Rowing Club where he enjoyed success with multiple Stotesbury Cup gold medals, School Boy silver and a Royal Canadian Henley Regatta gold medal.  After high school, Christian rowed for 5 years at the University of Toronto competing both locally and overseas for the Varsity Blues in Taiwan and Milan, graduating with a M.Sc. in Planning in 2004.  Since joining the UCC coaching staff, Christian has guided the senior lightweight program through many successful seasons and CSSRA medals including gold medal finishes in the Sr. 72kg 2- (2009), Sr. 72kg 4+ (2010) and Sr. 72kg 8+ (2012).  During the day, Christian is a Senior City Planner at the City of Toronto.

Mark “Hammy” Laidlaw laidlawm@yahoo.ca

Hammy graduated from UCC in 2003.  As a coxswain for the Blues, he was co-captain of the rowing team and earned two silver medals at School Boy.  After UCC, Hammy coxed for the University of Victoria, winning the men's eight at the 2004 Canadian University Rowing Championships before becoming a member of the Canadian National Rowing Team.  His international accomplishments include four World Championship medals and a silver medal from the 2011 Pan Am Games.  Hammy recently completed an M.A. in Leadership, which serves his passion of developing high-performing, collaborative teams.  Outside of rowing, Hammy loves keeping active, including running, swimming, cycling, playing baseball, and going for hikes with his lovely wife Connie.

David Cole - UCC Boatman & Safety Steward

Known affectionately as "Yessir Mr. Cole", "Hey Coley Coley”,"MacGuyver" or "Batman"

Dave is the lubricant that keeps things running smoothly by supporting our coaching staff. Dave can repair all but the ugliest damage to shells - if your son can break it, rest assured he can fix it. Dave keeps our coach boat engines gassed up and running well so the boys will rarely have to tow their coaches back to shore (though it does make for good exercise).  David is also our driver. From spring training in Tennessee, through the high school rowing season, all the way to the fall head-race season, David fearlessly drives our truck and trailer, getting our equipment where it needs to be, usually with a bonus of getting the best parking spots.

After learning to row in 2002 and heading up the recreational program at Argonaut Rowing Club, in addition to other volunteer work, David was honoured with the 2005 RowOntario Recreational Coach of the Year Award.


Fall Sports

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