Club History

The St. John's Legends Swim Club was originally founded as the Newfoundland Aquarena Aquatic Club (NAAC) in 1978 following the construction of the Aquarena for the City of St. John's hosting of the 1977 Canada Summer Games. The club developed quickly under the direction of its first head coach Tom Arusso and within two seasons Paula Kelly had been named to Canada's 1980 Olympic Swimming Team. 

In 1992 the Newfoundland Aquarena Aquatic Club was renamed and incorporated under the name, St. John's Legends Swim Club (SJL) which it continues to operate under for the swimmers of the metro St. John's area.

The Club is affiliated with Swim Newfoundland and Labrador and with the National Sport Governing body Swimming Canada. A hard working volunteer Board made up of parents of Legends swimmers provide goverance for the Legends Swim Club. The Board meets regularly and parents are encouraged to become involved in the club.

The Legends offer programs for a variety of ages and skill levels, from our pre-competitive Little Legends squads (young, inexperienced, novice swimmers) to our National squad (dedicated athletes competing at a national level). Legends swimmers compete against swimmers of the same age and ability levels across the province and across the country. New swimmers may choose not to compete until the parents, coach, and swimmer agree that the individual is ready.

The Legends Swim Club trains out of three pools: the Aquarena, the Memorial University pool, and the Paul Reynolds Community Centre. This offers an excellent combination of training facilities for all club members.

The Legends Swim Club is lead by a full-time Head Coach with the support of part-time Assistant Coaches and a two part-time adminstrative specialists. Our coaches are well trained and motivated individuals eager to help each child strive to achieve his/her fullest potential.

Over the years the club has continued to be a leader on the provincial swimming scene. Some of NACC/SJL swimmers who have made waves on the national and international stage of swimming are:




Paula Kelly


Canadian Olympic Swim Team Member

Ian Tennent


93' Canada Games, Gold and Silver

Adrian Costello


National Youth Team Member

Suzanne Drodge


Junior Nationals, Gold and Bronze

Steven Thornhill


Junior National, Bronze

Owen Daly


Age Group Nationals, Gold

Catherine Shortall


Age Group Natioals, Gold

Noah Cumby




Canadian Swimming Championships, Bronze

Junior Pan Pac's Team, Bronze Relay

Canadian Swimming Championships, Silver 

Tyler Robinson



World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships 

World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships

Jaxson Row



Canadian Junior Swimming Championships, Bronze

FINA Swimming World Cup (Toronto)

These athletes have helped to keep the Legends name on the swimming map of Canada. 

*If you have information to add this page, inaccuracy to correct, or know of other notable Legends from our history please reach out to

Club Mission and Philosophy

Maintain and develop a competitive swim team, having as its goals the maximization of the potential of all members as competitive swimmers and the maximization of personal satisfaction and growth on the part of the members through the Club's training, competitive, and social programs.

Cost-effectively deliver a superior program from developmental to elite levels of training and competition for the athletes and coaches of the St. John's Legends Swim Club. This will be accomplished by coordinating the initiatives and programs -- from TIP to the National Squad -- and working interdependently with the coaching staff, athletes, parents, and executives.

Club Goals

The primary purpose of the St. John's Legends Swim Club is to provide an opportunity for each of its members to attain his or her maximum potential in competitive swimming. In pursuing this goal, it is our belief that each swimmer will derive significant benefits in the areas of:

1) Character development - understanding the value of hard work and commitment, learning to contribute to a team effort, and self-image enhancement.
2) Internal rewards - experiencing the unique satisfaction that follows 100% unconditional commitment.