by Yard Athletics – March 17th, 2021
It’s been a wild start to the year! Despite the current hold on athletic group training, we are as busy as ever which means Yard Athletics has had to beef up our roster and make some few key free agent signings.
***Yes we love sports cliche’s, no we’re not going to stop using them***
In the last few months, Ilan, Sam, Torin and Luke have been joined by Lauren O’Sullivan, Gabe Grzybowski and Melis Papila, three fitness enthusiasts who have brought a wealth of energy and experience to the coaching team at Yard.
We thought it would be a good time to introduce each of them in more detail, as well as remind you of the other Yard veterans who have been helping our community stay strong and fit.
For the full bios of each coach, check out the team section of our website HERE
Coles Notes version? See below!
Ilan Cumberbirch (Founder, Director of Yard Athletics)
BKIN, CSCS – Founder/Director of The Yard Athletics
Ilan’s love for sport and fitness started early. As a former professional athlete, he has experienced the rigors of sport from both an athlete’s and a coach’s perspective, enabling him to understand the commitment and dedication necessary to attain one’s full potential.
Sam Shaw (Head Strength & Conditioning Specialist)
BKIN, CSCS – Head Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Sam has been working as an athlete and coach in the strength and conditioning industry since 2008. As an athlete Sam has participated at both the collegiate and university level, representing his country on the international stage during that time.
Torin Nikiforuk (Personal Training Specialist)
BS, PTS – Personal Training Specialist
Torin’s passion for fitness is celebrated in all forms of movement. Whether it’s a multi-day hike, or a group fitness class, he loves to find new ways to challenge both his body and mind. Torin’s academic interests lie within the role exercise plays as a form of therapy; specifically in neurodegenerative diseases.
Luke Williams (Personal Training Specialist)
CanFit Pro – Personal Training Specialist
An active lifestyle and athletics have always been a part of Luke’s life. A former collegiate quarterback, Luke was forced to end his football career due to injury. This setback became his catalyst for change and Luke became focused on maximizing his physical potential through training. His understanding of the human body and the power of the mind became the focal point in his training regimen and daily life.
Lauren O’Sullivan (Personal Training Specialist)
CanFit Pro PTS – Personal Training Specialist
Lauren’s dedication to an active lifestyle came out of a need to step away from the academic and subsequent 9-5 desk. The opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded, active people, be it while back-country hiking, at spin, or strength training, is what drove Lauren’s interest in Personal Training. The mind-body shift as a result of consistent and progressive exercise gives Lauren the balance needed to tackle all facets of daily life.
Gabe Grzybowski (Personal Training Specialist)
As a lifelong athlete, Gabe has been involved in skiing, basketball, and rugby from an early age. By nurturing a competitive spirit, Gabehas driven himself and others to build on their athletic performance with the mantra ‘harder, faster, stronger’.
Melis Papila (Personal Training Specialist)
As a competitive powerlifter and coach, Melis’ mission is to help people see how much a barbell can change their lives. She works relentlessly to share information on health, mental health, strength training, and cultivating an athlete mindset, even for the everyday gym-goer.
Outside of the gym you can find Melis obsessively talking about her dog Duke, eating her weight in pizza, blogging about beer, hiking, miserably failing at snowboarding and traveling (pre-pandemic).