the defy team

Laura lando, DEFY TEAM

Laura was a Collegiate soccer scholarship athlete, and part of the National Training Program as a youth soccer player. She continues to play soccer and enjoys cycling, weight lifting, and staying active. As a member of the Defy team, she has a passion for women’s health and return to fitness postpartum, as well as injury prevention in the female athlete. Laura also excels at integrating vestibular and concussion care into the return-to-sport process.

Laura started playing soccer at the age of seven while growing up in Brampton, Ontario. By the age of ten, she was playing competitively and she never looked back. She was selected for Team Ontario, and advanced to participating with the National Training Centre of Ontario. A member of the Team Canada U-17 Training Camp, Laura’s soccer career led her to a full scholarship at Fordham University in NY, NY. She excelled on the soccer field, as well as in the classroom. Her passion for sport, her positive experiences in physiotherapy, and her love of health and wellness, led her to a career in physiotherapy. Laura received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree at Columbia University in NY, NY. After working as a staff PT, she opened and managed a successful new clinic for her employer SPEAR Physical Therapy.

Laura’s postgraduate studies include courses in Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), Mulligan Concept, Functional Range Mobility Specialist Certification (FRCms), NAIOMT, Kevin Wilk’s Treatment of the Shoulder & Knee, The McKenzie Institute, and most recently training in Vestibular Rehabilitation and Concussion Treatment. She is a member of the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario.

Laura continues to play soccer competitively for Guelph. She caught the triathlon bug from Jared, and has completed multiple triathlons including her first Half-Ironman distance in 2014. Laura truly believes that “exercise is medicine” and can provide numerous health benefits both physical and emotional. She believes there are ways for everyone to exercise and achieve personal fitness. In her spare time, Laura enjoys cooking up healthy new recipes, reading historical fiction, exercising outdoors, and spending quality time with her little boy.

Jared lando, DEFY TEAM

Jared is extremely passionate about helping runners get back to doing what they do best. He has completed multiple Ironman-distance triathlons and is now pursuing his dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Within the Defy team, Jared has taken numerous courses on both coaching and rehabilitating runners; combined with his experience in Strength & Conditioning this gives him a unique perspective on treatment of running-related injuries and running performance.

Jared grew up playing competitive baseball and soccer through high school, and then played rugby for Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He completed his degree at Manhattan College in the Bronx, New York, graduating with a B.S. degree in Exercise Science. After his undergraduate studies, Jared spent a few years training elite high school and university athletes at a private facility outside of NYC as well as assisting patients and athletes who were rehabilitating from injuries.

With the desire to increase his knowledge, Jared entered physiotherapy school at Stony Brook University in New York and graduated in 2010 with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree as well as a new passion for endurance sports. Jared has worked in private sports orthopaedic clinics in NYC and Ontario as well as run a private concierge physiotherapy company in NYC.

Jared has completed 4 Ironman triathlons, hundreds of other endurance events of all distances and continues to train towards a sub 3 hour marathon. Endurance sports speak to Jared as an athlete and as a physiotherapist, as he believes for both your results are dictated by the work and effort you put into them. He is personally invested in getting the most out of his body and is passionate about helping others do the same.

Jared’s post-graduate coursework includes Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), Functional Anatomy Seminars (FRA, FRCms and FR), Active Release Techniques, Mulligan Concept, NAIOMT, Treating the Multi-sport Athlete, USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coaching, and many others. Continued learning is not just a weekend course but something he practices on a daily basis for the purpose of giving his patients the best care possible. Jared’s experience with sport, conditioning, and his physiotherapy background gives him the ability to appropriately guide athletes from recovery to returning to sports using high level exercises.

Other than running and biking a lot of miles, Jared defies the stereotype of an endurance athlete and is passionate about getting stronger and lifting heavy weights. He enjoys reading, podcasts, balancing a healthy diet with Oreos, and most importantly not missing a second of time with his little boy.

Jared lando, DEFY TEAM
Jared is extremely passionate about helping runners get back to doing what they do best. He has completed multiple Ironman-distance triathlons and is now pursuing his dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Jared has taken numerous courses on both coaching and rehabilitating runners; combined with his experience in Strength & Conditioning this gives him a unique perspective on treatment of running-related injuries and running performance.

Jared grew up playing competitive baseball and soccer through high school, and then played rugby for Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He completed his degree at Manhattan College in the Bronx, New York, graduating with a B.S. degree in Exercise Science. After his undergraduate studies, Jared spent a few years training elite high school and university athletes at a private facility outside of NYC as well as assisting patients and athletes who were rehabilitating from injuries.

With the desire to increase his knowledge, Jared entered physiotherapy school at Stony Brook University in New York and graduated in 2010 with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree as well as a new passion for endurance sports. Jared has worked in private sports orthopaedic clinics in NYC and Ontario as well as run a private concierge physiotherapy company in NYC.

Jared has completed 4 Ironman triathlons, hundreds of other endurance events of all distances and continues to train towards a sub 3 hour marathon. Endurance sports speak to Jared as an athlete and as a physiotherapist, as he believes for both your results are dictated by the work and effort you put into them. He is personally invested in getting the most out of his body and is passionate about helping others do the same.

Jared’s post-graduate coursework includes Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), Functional Anatomy Seminars (FRA, FRCms and FR), Active Release Techniques, Mulligan Concept, NAIOMT, Treating the Multi-sport Athlete, USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coaching, and many others. Continued learning is not just a weekend course but something he practices on a daily basis for the purpose of giving his patients the best care possible. Jared’s experience with sport, conditioning, and his physiotherapy background gives him the ability to appropriately guide athletes from recovery to returning to sports using high level exercises.

Other than running and biking a lot of miles, Jared defies the stereotype of an endurance athlete and is passionate about getting stronger and lifting heavy weights. He enjoys reading, podcasts, balancing a healthy diet with Oreos, and most importantly not missing a second of time with his little boy.

Julie Brandon, DEFY TEAM

The Defy team congratulates Julie and her family on the arrival of their new baby. We wish her a fulfilling maternity leave!

Julie was a collegiate Nordic skier and National-level rugby athlete in her youth. She continues to ski during winters, and enjoys running year-round. She is passionate about getting female youth athletes stronger and more resilient to injury. Julie strongly believes that proper mobility and stability are key for injury prevention and rehabilitation and uses manual therapy to open a window of opportunity to establish optimal movement patterning. As part of her treatment, Julie uses Functional Dry Needling, which she has trained for through Kinetacore.

Julie grew up dancing before her love of sport flourished in high school. While she was competitive in running, rowing, and Nordic skiing, the rugby field was where she truly thrived. She played for Ontario U17 and U19 rugby teams and continued her career as a varsity athlete at Queen’s University while completing dual-degrees in Life Sciences and in Physical and Health Education. In 2007 Julie was invited to the U20 Canadian national team training camps and competed for Canada at the 2008 Nations Cup. Each winter, when the rugby fields were covered in snow, Julie switched gears to compete as a varsity Nordic skier.

Julie saw and experienced the benefits of physiotherapy and athletic therapy through each of her sports, and even in high school she was confident that she would pursue a career as a physiotherapist. Upon graduation from Queen’s, she attended the University of Toronto to complete her Master’s of Physiotherapy, where she finished at the top of her class.

After graduation, Julie worked at physiotherapy clinics in Trenton, Kingston, and Fredericton, while following her husband’s career in academia. Her post-graduate training includes Functional Dry Needling (Kinetacore), acupuncture, Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), Soft Tissue Release, Manual Therapy courses through the Orthopaedic Division, and Management of Post-Concussion Syndrome. Julie strongly believes that proper mobility and stability are key for injury prevention and rehabilitation and uses manual therapy to open a window of opportunity to establish optimal movement patterning.

Julie loves to stay active in sport, both as a competitor and as a physiotherapist. She has completed many hours of on-field coverage for high school and college level rugby and football and was the team physiotherapist for the Canadian National Rifle Pistol and Shotgun team for the Championship of the Americas in 2014 and the PanAm games in 2015. In recent years, Julie has participated in competitive rowing, running, and the odd Nordic ski race. As a keen outdoor enthusiast, you can often find Julie hiking, canoeing, camping, and spending countless hours at the park with her two young kids.

Brandon Bates, DEFY TEAM
Brandon was a multi-sport athlete, with experience in competitive hockey and baseball, as well as rugby and football. During the winter months, Brandon enjoys downhill skiing. He has developed a passion for golf in recent years, and has dedicated his most recent coursework to pursuing excellence in treatment of golfers through the Titleist Performance Institute.

Brandon grew up twenty minutes outside of Belleville, Ontario on the family dairy farm. From a young age Brandon had a passion for sports and outdoor activities. He applied a strong work ethic learned on the farm to excel in both academics and competitive sports. Brandon focused mainly on playing competitive hockey and baseball during his youth and teens, while expanding his experiences to rugby and football in high school. It was at that stage in life when Brandon first recognized his dream of becoming a physiotherapist, while shadowing at a sports physiotherapy clinic in his hometown.

In pursuit of his career goals, Brandon completed a Bachelor of Honours Degree Specialization of Kinesiology at Western University. He specialized in the areas of exercise physiology, biomechanics and athletic injuries. Brandon then achieved a Masters of Physiotherapy degree from Queen’s University.

As a lifelong learner, he has completed coursework in acupuncture and dry needling. He most recently earned his Level 2 Medical Certification with the Titleist Performance Institute, as he pursues excellence in treating golfers.

As an avid outdoor enthusiast, when Brandon is not in the clinic you will most likely find him on the golf course, at the ski hill or on the outdoor trails in the surrounding area. You might see him practicing his swing in the clinic as well!

You can expect Brandon to bring an energized, positive and enthusiastic approach each and every day. He looks forward to creating fun and professional relationships with all of his new clients, while empowering them to move and perform at their highest level.

Brandon Bates, DEFY TEAM
Brandon was a multi-sport athlete, with experience in competitive hockey and baseball, as well as rugby and football. During the winter months, Brandon enjoys downhill skiing. He has developed a passion for golf in recent years, and has dedicated his most recent coursework to pursuing excellence in treatment of golfers through the Titleist Performance Institute.

Brandon grew up twenty minutes outside of Belleville, Ontario on the family dairy farm. From a young age Brandon had a passion for sports and outdoor activities. He applied a strong work ethic learned on the farm to excel in both academics and competitive sports. Brandon focused mainly on playing competitive hockey and baseball during his youth and teens, while expanding his experiences to rugby and football in high school. It was at that stage in life when Brandon first recognized his dream of becoming a physiotherapist, while shadowing at a sports physiotherapy clinic in his hometown.

In pursuit of his career goals, Brandon completed a Bachelor of Honours Degree Specialization of Kinesiology at Western University. He specialized in the areas of exercise physiology, biomechanics and athletic injuries. Brandon then achieved a Masters of Physiotherapy degree from Queen’s University.

As a lifelong learner, he has completed coursework in acupuncture and dry needling. He most recently earned his Level 2 Medical Certification with the Titleist Performance Institute, as he pursues excellence in treating golfers.

As an avid outdoor enthusiast, when Brandon is not in the clinic you will most likely find him on the golf course, at the ski hill or on the outdoor trails in the surrounding area. You might see him practicing his swing in the clinic as well!

You can expect Brandon to bring an energized, positive and enthusiastic approach each and every day. He looks forward to creating fun and professional relationships with all of his new clients, while empowering them to move and perform at their highest level.

Kyle Aitken, defy team
Kyle played varsity football for the University of Waterloo, after being a multi-sport athlete in his youth. Kyle is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has over 8 years of experience coaching a diverse range of athletes from youth to semi-professional. Kyle himself takes a keen interest in both powerlifting and bouldering and loves working with fellow barbell sport athletes and climbers. He focuses on using an active approach to rehab, combining exercise and education with manual therapy when appropriate to help empower his clients with the tools to live better and achieve beyond what they thought possible.

Kyle is the token "Maritimer" of the team. Raised in Wellington, Nova Scotia, Kyle played football, baseball, box lacrosse, and basketball through his youth, eventually continuing on to play football at the University of Waterloo. While at Waterloo, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, then continued on to his Masters of Physical Therapy at Western University. Throughout his education, Kyle has been fortunate to learn from some of the top minds in performance and rehabilitation.

Kyle is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has over 8 years of experience coaching a diverse range of athletes from youth to semi-professional. He has been fortunate to work with football, baseball, hockey, volleyball, CrossFit, and powerlifting athletes in both a rehabilitative and performance context. Kyle himself takes a keen interest in both powerlifting and bouldering and loves working with fellow barbell sport athletes and climbers.

Kyle is extremely passionate about working collaboratively with his clients to help keep them doing what they love while aiding them in injury risk management, return to activity, and improved performance. He focuses on using an active approach to rehab, combining exercise and education with manual therapy when appropriate to help empower his clients with the tools to live better and achieve beyond what they thought possible.

Outside of the clinic, Kyle can be found climbing or lifting, trying new coffees, and spending time with his girlfriend Nadine and their cat Princess.

Andrew Lefler, DEFY TEAM
Andrew grew up as a multi-sport athlete, particularly excelling at basketball. He competed at the rep level, while also getting involved with coaching youth basketball. After high school he developed a passion for ultimate frisbee, again excelling as an athlete and a coach. Playing Ultimate has led him to compete at the Canadian Ultimate Championships the past 5 years in a row. Andrew has completed rigorous training in Active Release Technique, completing the Full Body certification. The team members at Defy rely on Andrew for his anatomy and soft tissue knowledge and often consult with him on clients’ injuries.

Andrew grew up as a multi-sport athlete, particularly excelling at basketball. He competed at the rep level, while also getting involved with coaching youth basketball. After high school he developed a passion for ultimate frisbee, again excelling as an athlete and a coach. Playing Ultimate has led him to compete at the Canadian Ultimate Championships the past 5 years in a row.

Positive experiences with his own training and athletic rehabilitation influenced Andrew to pursue a career as a Massage Therapist and Performance Coach. He graduated with honours from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in 2015. He is also a CrossFit Level 1 Coach at CrossFit Kitchener. He is a member in good standing of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.

Andrew has completed rigorous training in Active Release Technique, completing the Full Body certification. His other post-graduate studies include the following; Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist Certification (FRCms), RockTape RockBlades Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, RockTape Functional Movement Taping, CrossFit Level 1 Trainers, and Power Athlete Methodology.

Andrew can be found living an athletic lifestyle on a daily basis. You will find him training or coaching at CrossFit Kitchener, or competing in Ultimate Frisbee. He believes that good movement quality is paramount for pain management, and success as an athlete. In his spare time Andrew enjoys training, reading books, playing games, and spending quality time with his wife and their dog.

Andrew Lefler, DEFY TEAM
Andrew grew up as a multi-sport athlete, particularly excelling at basketball. He competed at the rep level, while also getting involved with coaching youth basketball. After high school he developed a passion for ultimate frisbee, again excelling as an athlete and a coach. Playing Ultimate has led him to compete at the Canadian Ultimate Championships the past 5 years in a row. Andrew has completed rigorous training in Active Release Technique, completing the Full Body certification. The team members at Defy rely on Andrew for his anatomy and soft tissue knowledge and often consult with him on clients’ injuries.

Andrew grew up as a multi-sport athlete, particularly excelling at basketball. He competed at the rep level, while also getting involved with coaching youth basketball. After high school he developed a passion for ultimate frisbee, again excelling as an athlete and a coach. Playing Ultimate has led him to compete at the Canadian Ultimate Championships the past 5 years in a row.

Positive experiences with his own training and athletic rehabilitation influenced Andrew to pursue a career as a Massage Therapist and Performance Coach. He graduated with honours from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in 2015. He is also a CrossFit Level 1 Coach at CrossFit Kitchener. He is a member in good standing of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario.

Andrew has completed rigorous training in Active Release Technique, completing the Full Body certification. His other post-graduate studies include the following; Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist Certification (FRCms), RockTape RockBlades Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, RockTape Functional Movement Taping, CrossFit Level 1 Trainers, and Power Athlete Methodology.

Andrew can be found living an athletic lifestyle on a daily basis. You will find him training or coaching at CrossFit Kitchener, or competing in Ultimate Frisbee. He believes that good movement quality is paramount for pain management, and success as an athlete. In his spare time Andrew enjoys training, reading books, playing games, and spending quality time with his wife and their dog.

Nicole Ellis, DEFY TEAM
Currently on leave.
Nicole has played and trained in a multitude of sports, including baseball, soccer, tae kwon do and gymnastics. She turned her passion for gymnastics into competitive cheerleading, competing at a national level, until she began University. Nicole now focuses her time on weight training and cycling. She enjoys treating a diverse clientele, using her passion for client education to complement her manual skills.

Nicole Ellis graduated from the Canadian College of Massage and Hydrotherapy in 2018 with honours, and is a member in good standing with the CMTO (College of Massage Therapists of Ontario). Prior to her manual therapy training, Nicole graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2016 with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology. Nicole has played and trained in a multitude of sports, including baseball, soccer, tae kwon do and gymnastics. She turned her passion for gymnastics into competitive cheerleading, competing at a national level, until she began University. Nicole now focuses her time on weight training and cycling.

Nicole has experience working with diverse clientele in both clinical and volunteer settings, including elite athletes, individuals experiencing chronic pain and injuries, palliative care, headaches, postural imbalances, facet irritation, joint dysfunction, and fascial restrictions.

Nicole has a passion for biomechanics, musculoskeletal and neurological systems, pain science, and fitness, and studies current scientific literature in her field. She uses her theoretical knowledge and practical training to provide a thorough assessment, including range of motion, muscle length and strength testing, neurological testing, and specialized orthopaedic testing. This approach helps Nicole develop a specific clinical impression and, therefore, a client-specific treatment approach. Nicole values the importance of client education, and informing clients of all treatment options (including treatment techniques, therapeutic exercises, and appropriate referrals).

When Nicole isn’t at work, she can be found training, cycling outdoors, rock climbing, or hiking with her two dogs.

Diane Bégin, DEFY TEAM
Dee grew up as a multi-sport athlete, particularly excelling at ringette. She completed at the rep level for over 10 years as a goaltender. During her undergraduate studies she competed in both 15s and 7s rugby for Sheridan College. Dee excels both at rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries as well as performance training. She leads Defy’s Strength Training for Youth Athletes Program, as well as our Team Strength & Conditioning Programs.

Diane Bégin, best known as Dee, is a Certified Athletic Therapist in good standing with the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association. She is a graduate of the Bachelors of Applied Health Sciences (Athletic Therapy) program at Sheridan College Institute of Technology, and is a current graduate student of the McMaster University School of Rehabilitation Science where she is completing a Master Thesis in balance and fall prevention training.

Dee grew up as a multi-sport athlete, particularly excelling at ringette. She completed at the rep level for over 10 years as a goaltender. At college, Dee decided to venture off and try a new sport: rugby. Throughout her undergraduate studies she competed in both 15s and 7s rugby for Sheridan College.

Dee loves to stay active in sport, both as a competitor and as an Athletic Therapist. She has completed many hours of clinical and on-field coverage in both elite and youth sports. She has worked for multiple post-secondary institutions such as the University of Toronto, Fleming College, and Conestoga College. She had the incredible opportunity to work the 2017 Ottawa RedBlacks training camp. Her experiences in youth sport include; Rugby Ontario, Football Ontario, Special Olympics, JUEL Basketball, Club Rugby, and various high school sports. Unfortunately, Dee has not been able to participate in competitive sport since her undergrad studies. However, she has remained active by regularly attending the gym and participating in recreational sport. She hopes to return to competitive sport soon!

Diane Bégin, DEFY TEAM
Dee grew up as a multi-sport athlete, particularly excelling at ringette. She completed at the rep level for over 10 years as a goaltender. During her undergraduate studies she competed in both 15s and 7s rugby for Sheridan College. Dee excels both at rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries as well as performance training. She leads Defy’s Strength Training for Youth Athletes Program, as well as our Team Strength & Conditioning Programs.

Diane Bégin, best known as Dee, is a Certified Athletic Therapist in good standing with the Canadian Athletic Therapy Association. She is a graduate of the Bachelors of Applied Health Sciences (Athletic Therapy) program at Sheridan College Institute of Technology, and is a current graduate student of the McMaster University School of Rehabilitation Science where she is completing a Master Thesis in balance and fall prevention training.

Dee grew up as a multi-sport athlete, particularly excelling at ringette. She completed at the rep level for over 10 years as a goaltender. At college, Dee decided to venture off and try a new sport: rugby. Throughout her undergraduate studies she competed in both 15s and 7s rugby for Sheridan College.

Dee loves to stay active in sport, both as a competitor and as an Athletic Therapist. She has completed many hours of clinical and on-field coverage in both elite and youth sports. She has worked for multiple post-secondary institutions such as the University of Toronto, Fleming College, and Conestoga College. She had the incredible opportunity to work the 2017 Ottawa RedBlacks training camp. Her experiences in youth sport include; Rugby Ontario, Football Ontario, Special Olympics, JUEL Basketball, Club Rugby, and various high school sports. Unfortunately, Dee has not been able to participate in competitive sport since her undergrad studies. However, she has remained active by regularly attending the gym and participating in recreational sport. She hopes to return to competitive sport soon!

Hope Muldoon Defy Team

Hope Muldoon, DEFY TEAM

Client Experience Coordinator

Hope was active in a variety of sports growing up including, rugby, snowboarding, horse riding, soccer and basketball. She was highly competitive in rugby, playing for both Fergus Highlanders and her high school team. Hope knows first-hand the impact and impairment that a sports injury can bring, and can fully relate to the desire to recover and get “back in the action. Hope’s passion for providing quality customer service combined with her background in Digital Marketing and Business Administration, makes her a valuable asset to the Defy team.

Hope is a graduate of Conestoga College where she earned her Advanced Diploma in Business Administration, with a specialization in Marketing. Hope also studied Kinesiology at York University, and brings this valuable background to her current position.

During her studies at Conestoga, Hope gained experience and skills in a variety of areas such as Digital Marketing, Sales and Events. She went on to further develop these skills while working for a local Event Marketing agency, skillfully executing events ranging from experiential activations, trade shows, in-store demos and community programs. Hope has a 12-year background in customer service which she excels at secondary to her passion for providing quality customer service.

Growing up just outside of Guelph in Rockwood, Hope was active in a variety of sports including, rugby, snowboarding, horse riding, soccer and basketball. She was highly competitive in rugby, playing for both Fergus Highlanders and her high school team. Hope knows first-hand the impact and impairment that a sports injury can bring, and can fully relate to the desire to recover and get “back in the action.” Hope enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, spending time with dogs, cats and horses. (and yes.. in that order)

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