Meet our Coaching Staff
We are fortunate to have such a great and knowledgeable coaching staff this year. Without our coaches’ hard work, dedication, and efforts, our athletes would not be the same. Capital Wave’s line-up of coaches is one of the best in the country to date. They vary from Olympians, International, and National coaches, to young athletes giving back and mentoring the youth in our successful Splash Polo program. Our coaches bring a tremendous amount of experience to Capital Wave and love sharing their passion for water polo with all our athletes and their parents. There is no doubt that Capital Wave has the best staff in the Capital Region. We encourage you to review their profiles below.
Interested in joining our coaching staff? We are always looking to increase our great coaching staff. Please get in touch with our club Head Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org
Capital Wave Head Coach and HPA Director
Head Coach Celso Rojas has coached all age groups and all skill levels for more than 30 years. Born in Peru, Celso was already a successful competitive swimmer when he started playing water polo at the age of 15. As team captain for the Peruvian National Water Polo Team, he participated in numerous national and international tournaments. In the 1990s, Celso had the opportunity to train with the US National Water Polo Team. During his four years in California, he fostered a number of important links within the USA water polo community. In 1994, he returned to Peru and, again, became a member of the Peruvian National Team.
Celso moved his family to Canada in 2001, settling in Vancouver where he became coach of the girls’ team at Simon Fraser University. Under his tutelage, the girls won the North West Division title, in 2004, for the first time ever.
He joined British Columbia’s Provincial Team as a development coach in 2003, and became the Provincial Head Coach from 2005 to 2008. During that period, BC teams of both genders won many national and international events. In 2008, Celso moved to Ottawa to Head Coach the Ottawa Water Polo Association, where he also coached two years for the CSL Women’s league and assisted the National Development Centre programs. In 2012, Capital Wave was created and Celso was named the club’s Head Coach, where he established the club’s philosophy and infrastructure. In 2014, Celso was named Assistant coach of the Women’s Commonwealth Team and Assistant Coach of the 19U Women’s National Team. Recently, Celso was the Assistant/Mentor Coach for the Youth Men’s National Team that competed at the Youth Pan American Championships in Peru in 2017 and the Youth World Championships in Hungary in 2018. He was also the Head Coach for the Team Ontario Women’s program in 2018 that traveled to Barcelona, Spain.
Celso is the club’s Head Coach for its seventh consecutive season and oversees all programs as well as runs its High-Performance Academy. Celso has his Level 4 coaching certification and is certified in both as a water polo coach and as a swimming coach as well.
All of his three children have played water polo and have gone through Team Ontario and Junior and Senior National team programs. His two older kids have graduated from Carleton University while playing the Ontario University league and his youngest daughter is off to play in the NCAA Division I league in the US next fall.
Splash Polo Head Coach
Veronica Rojas was born in Los Angeles, California but raised in Lima, Peru until the age of 8, when her family moved to Vancouver. Once in Vancouver, Veronica started playing water polo with the Pacific Storm Water Polo club. Over the years Veronica has played in over 12 National Championships, has been a member of Team Ontario, and in 2011 she was also a member of the Women’s National Team for athletes born in 1993.
Along with coaching for Capital Wave since the clubs inception, Veronica was an assistant coach for Team Ontario in the summers of 2013-2015 and an assistant coach for the Women’s National Development Program in 2014.
Veronica has graduated with high distinction from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology with a concentration in Law and currently works for a Law Firm. She currently plays with Capital Wave’s Major League team and helped the team capture the silver and bronze medals at Senior Nationals in 2017 and 2018 respectively. She loves working with children of all ages, and her goal is to provide a positive-mentor role model for our young athletes, as well as help them grow in their water polo career by offering them guidance and expertise from her many experiences over the years. Veronica has her NCCP Level 2 Coaching Certification and is currently the Splash Polo Head Coach.
Splash Polo Coach
Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Owen is currently in his 3rd year playing water polo. Having spent a few years doing power swim Owen was ready for a new challenge; he was introduced to water polo through Capital Wave’s Summer program and was instantly hooked. He is a member of Capital Wave’s U16 and U19 boy’s teams as well as being part of the club’s High-Performance Academy where he trains 11 times a week. Last summer Owen travelled to Greece to represent the province as a member of Team Ontario and had the pleasure of playing water polo against various Greek teams. Teaching water polo to a younger generation allows Owen to share his passion for the sport and he loves to see the kids having fun and enjoying the sport. He feels strongly that younger kids need to have older youth mentors to look up to and this club provides that. Currently in grade 10, Owen hopes to eventually become a photojournalist so that he can share his love of nature and hopefully inspire others to help protect the environment too.
Splash Polo Coach
Born in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, and raised in Ottawa, Adrien has now played four full seasons, currently entering his fifth this year. He first started playing in 2013 in the recreational program as he was introduced to the sport by his friend and played through two seasons before recognizing his love for the game of Water Polo. He now plays for both U16 and U19 Capital Wave teams. In his first year of the High-Performance Program, Adrien hopes to get a scholarship and make the Canadian national team in the near future. As a coach for the Splash Polo program, he hopes to give back all his years of experience and his knowledge of the game back to the kids all while keeping a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. He further hopes to spread the love of the game to many kids across the program.
Splash Polo Coach
Born in Lima, Peru, Valeria moved with her family to Vancouver in 2001. Valeria grew up watching her older siblings swim and play water polo until she finally decided to join the sport when her family moved to Ottawa in 2008. She joined our very own’s David Hart, “I Love Water Polo” program and her career took off since then. It was an obvious choice for her to join the sport her family loved and so she set high goals for herself. She made the Team Ontario 19 and under squad at only 13 years old. In 2017, she made the Youth National Team that got bronze at the 17U Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru. In 2018, she made her first Senior National Team trip to Athens, Greece, where the team played against Greek teams. Later in 2018, she won the gold medal with the Junior National Team at the 19U Pan American Champions in Clearwater, Florida and competed at the 18U World Championships with the Youth Team in Belgrade, Serbia. She is currently enrolled in Capital Wave’s High-Performance Academy for her second year and is the captain for the 19 and under women’s program. She has committed to Wagner College next fall where she will play in the NCAA Division I league in the US. On her free time, she loves to give back to the younger Splash Polo athletes and is thrilled to be working alongside her sister, Veronica.
Splash Polo Coach
Kaitlyn was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario and is currently in her 9th year of playing water polo. She started playing in 2010 when she tried a summer program for water polo and she loved it. She is currently a member of Capital Wave’s 19 and under women’s team. She traveled to Barcelona last summer with the girls Team Ontario water polo where they played many other local teams. Kaitlyn loves working with the younger generation as she loves the energy and watching them improve throughout the year. As well, she loves to give back and hopes to inspire the younger generation as she was inspired. She hopes to continue playing water polo next year when she goes off to university where she would like to study kinesiology.
Splash Polo Coach
Born and raised in Ottawa, Averi is in her second year playing for Capital Wave. She first fell in love with the sport when introduced in 2017 through her aunt who has been a long-time player. Averi is currently in the High-Performance Academy and plays on the girls U19 team. She loves giving back and spending time coaching the Splash Polo kids.
Splash Polo Coach
Shannon has been a water polo mom and enthusiastic spectator for almost 7 years. She is a teacher of 21 years, teaching both high school and more recently, elementary. Teaching children of all ages has always been an enjoyable and interesting career path that keeps her on her toes.
It was after teaching two thirds of the Rojas family that Shannon was introduced to the fun and exciting world of water polo. She has been part of the Capital Wave family since its first year!
Along with volunteering for the Splash polo kids, she is the editor for the NewSplash – the Capital Wave newsletter.
High Performance Coach & Athlete
Rodrigo Rojas was born in Lima, Peru and moved to Vancouver when he was 6 years old. He began swimming at age 5 and at the age of 9 he started playing water polo with the Pacific Storm Water Polo Club. Rodrigo has played a total of 13 National Championships (4-time Gold Medalist – 16U, 18U, 22U and Senior) and over 50 international scrimmages/games while a member of Team Canada. Rodrigo graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing with distinction from Carleton University in 2017. Rodrigo played for the Carleton Ravens varsity team and during his time, helped the Ravens win two gold medals and capture three silver medals while being named to the all-star team all five years and being named OUA Male Player of the Year for two consecutive years in a row (2015, 2016).
Rodrigo, like his father, has played for the Peruvian National team back in 2014, and recently in 2017 where he competed in international tournaments in Malta and Colombia. Rodrigo spent a year in Barcelona, Spain for the 2017-2018 season working and playing. He played for the Club Natació Poble Nou water polo club that competed in Catalunya’s first division league. He worked with Barcelona International Water Polo Academy (BIWPA) where he worked as a Sports Manager next to Spanish Olympic Coach, Quim Colet.
Apart from being an athlete in Canada, Rodrigo was the assistant coach for Team Ontario from 2013-2015 and has been the team manager for Canada’s Youth, Junior, and Senior National Teams for the past 4 years working with 7 national programs. He is currently the team manager for the 20U Men’s program that will be traveling to Greece this summer 2019 for the 20U FINA World Championships.
Rodrigo is a great ambassador for the sport of water polo in Canada and there is no doubt that he carries the same passion for water polo as his father. Rodrigo has his NCCP Level 2 Coaching Certification. He is currently training in the High-Performance Academy as well as coaching the competitive groups.
U14 and ILWP Coach
With thirteen years’ experience coaching water polo at various levels of athletic development, Adrian Steenkamer is a team player with expertise in providing technical, strategic, physical, and mental direction to athletes. He has extensive experience assistant coaching and coaching at regional, provincial, national, and international water polo tournaments. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, his teams won gold at the provincial level and took silver at the 2011 National Championship. His recent achievements include a silver medal win at the 2017 Senior Nationals and a bronze medal finish at the 2018 Senior Nationals with Capital Wave’s Women’s Major League team.
Adrian has a strong belief in the long-term athletic development (LTAD) program, which considers the best interests of the athlete, not the goals of coaches or parents who might simply want to win at all costs. He has his Level 2 coaching certification with three multi-sport modules completed. Adrian currently coaches the U14 Competitive age groups, the ILWP programs, and assists with the High-Performance Academy.
U14 and ILWP Coach
Born in Ottawa, Patrick started swimming at age 11. Wanting to play a team sport, he joined the “I Love Water Polo” program created by our very own, David Hart. By the age of 13 he stopped swimming and devoted his time to competitive water polo where he played in two National Championships, including winning a silver medal at the 2008 National Championships in Vancouver. Once in university, Patrick continued to play water polo for the University of Ottawa Gee Gees competitive water polo team while completing his Bachelor of Music with specialization in musical performance.
As a lifeguard and swim instructor, Patrick has experience teaching people of all ages and skill levels how to swim. In addition to teaching swimming, Patrick also has experience in teaching music, where he has given workshops and master classes in high schools. Patrick is currently working as a Musician in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Patrick believes that emphasis on good technique and proper practice methods are essential to success. “As a musician and as an athlete, I always try to achieve perfect technique. Once a technique is mastered, it provides the most efficient and reliable results. To develop perfect technique, it is our responsibility to always practice these skills at the highest level with high regards to fine details. Only then can we perform at the highest level of excellence.” Patrick looks forward to working with our athletes in the I Love Water Polo program, right where he started from!
U14 and ILWP Coach
Coach Fraser Anderson has coached and played water polo for over 30 years in Canada and in the United States. Born in London (UK), and raised in Hong Kong, The Phillippines and Birmingham (UK), Fraser started his aquatic life as a competitive swimmer at the age of 8 in Manila.
Fraser’s somewhat rational fear of sharks combined with his mother’s desire to get some much needed quiet time around the house, meant he spent much of his early life in the pool learning how to swim fast. After countless laps in many pools around the world, his swimming career came to a peak at the age of 14 when Fraser moved back to Canada, joined the Nepean Swim Club, and set a Canadian national swim record.
His extensive time in the pool had diminished any ability to play land sports, so he had to find another sport in the water. So, Fraser started playing water polo for Nepean High School in Grade 10. Although time has dimmed his memories, he’s pretty sure Nepean won a few championships. Fraser went on to coach Nepean High School’s water polo team as he entered Carleton University and continued the team’s winning ways. At Carleton, Fraser played under the tutelage of Canada’s premier water polo coach and former Capital Wave coach, David Hart. The lessons learned under Hart still resonate.
After Carleton, Fraser coached the Georgia Tech water polo team and also played for the Atlanta Dynamo club. Upon his return to Ottawa, Fraser was an assistant coach for the Carleton University Women’s water polo team.
Fraser continues to swim and coach with the Ottawa Swim Masters club, swim in open water competitions, and can occasionally be seen in a scrimmage with Capital Wave’s younger athletes or with our adult program.
Fraser coaches the ILWP program and considers it a privilege, “the Capital Wave family under Head Coach Celso is a water polo club like no other. It’s a club with heart and soul that turns out better players and, more importantly, better individuals.”
Fraser is a certified Competitive Water Polo coach, National Lifeguard and a trained Swimming 101 instructor.