Coaching Staff

The BC Sliding Development Centre's Coaching Team consists of Cassie Hawrysh/Skeleton Head Coach, Ryan Taal/Bobsleigh Head Coach and Arnita Ancena/Luge Head Coach.

Head Coaches Luge, Skeleton & Bobsleigh

Cassie Hawrysh

Head Coach, Skeleton

Cassie was born and raised in Brandon, Manitoba. Sport has always been a major part of her life. With successful athletic careers in both volleyball and the heptathlon she found her passion, skeleton, in 2009. In just two short years, Cassie earned her place on the Canadian World Cup team. Medals and multiple top results lead to an 8th place overall in the 2011/2012 world ranking, and in 2013/2014 Cassie was named as the alternate for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. She officially retired from competition following the 2016/2017 season.

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Ryan Taal

Head Coach, Bobsleigh

Ryan Taal was born on March 10, 1987 in Calgary/Alberta. Before switching to coaching bobsleigh, he was a competitive sliding athlete up to the World Cup level in both skeleton (2 years) and bobsleigh (7 years). In his active career, he represented two countries internationally, Canada and the Netherlands where his family originates from. He got his biggest inspiration from being a forerunner for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games on Whistler’s track, when he slid alongside the world’s best sliding athletes.

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Arnita Ancena

Head Coach, Luge

Arnita Ancena was born on March 11, 1980 in Madona, Latvia. She joins the BC Sliding Development Centre with over 20 years of experience in luge, both as an athlete (from 1995 until 2001) and as a coach (from 2000 onwards). Arnita represented her home country Latvia both in the Luge Junior and Senior National Teams. As a coach, she has worked with novice, development and youth/senior national team athletes both in Latvia and in Canada.