Matthew Bell, Head Coach And Owner Of Ajax Swim Club, Arrested For Alleged Sexual Assault

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Photo Courtesy: Sue Borst

The owner and head coach of the Ajax Swim Club near Toronto was arrested this week for suspicion of sexually assaulting a former underage swimmer on his team in 2011.

Matthew Bell, who has been a part of Ajax Swim Club since 2001, was arrested after police in the Major Crime Sexual Assault Unit began an investigation following the disclosure of an underage girl who said she was sexually assaulted in 2011 by Bell. Police have charged him with four counts of luring a person under 18 years old, one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation, according to a report by Global News. Other media reports indicate that no one else has come forward with complaints toward Bell.

Bell, 35, was having a banner year as a coach, serving on the staff of Canada’s junior world championship squad. One of his swimmers, Javier Acevedo, brought a gold medal back to the Ajax Swim Club in the mixed 400 medley relay that set the junior world record.

Bell’s Twitter account, @ajaxswimming, was not active today, though Bell is still listed on the team website as High Performance Coach and CEO.

Swimming Canada’s Statement:

Swimming Canada was informed today of criminal charges against coach Matt Bell of Ajax, Ont., and has taken immediate action.

Bell, the High Performance Coach and CEO of Ajax Swimming, is charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and four counts of luring a person under 18 years.

“We have been informed of the charges and are taking all appropriate actions available to us. We have suspended Mr. Bell from all swimming activities and interactions under Swimming Canada’s jurisdiction pending the outcome of the of criminal proceedings,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi.

Bell’s past roles with Swimming Canada include being part of the coaching staff at the 2015 FINA World Junior Championships and the recent Mid-Eastern World Cup Tour.

“Immediately upon becoming aware of the charges, we began the process of contacting athletes and parents who have had interactions with Mr. Bell in connection with Swimming Canada national teams, tours and programs, and we should have all notifications complete within the next 24 hours” El-Awadi said.

Anyone with new information about this or any related incident is asked to contact Det. Bussanich of the Major Crime Sexual Assault Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5324.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

“Swimming Canada takes this situation very seriously. Anyone who wishes to come forward, either as a witness or a victim, is encouraged to do so. Ensuring a safe environment for all participants in our sport is our utmost priority,” El-Awadi said.

“As the police investigation is ongoing, we will be issuing no further comment or details.”

12 comments

  1. David Miller

    Harry Middleton look at the name

  2. avatar
    gordon

    If the police have electronic comments between this coach and a kid that enforce the charge he is Toast. And I agree, from what I know about this Coach, Not a Surprise.

    Good Luck in any New Career!

  3. avatar
    gordon

    If he is Guilty or Not. This Coach should be putting out a Public Statement and on the Club Site.
    That he is abiding by his Bail conditions and Staying away from Coaching and Places where children would be , Such as Swimming pools, Until this is resolved. By stating nothing on his Site it is a disservice to all the Swimmers and Parents that support this Coach. Valid questions such as who
    would be coaching his High end swimmers would be important for those swimmers and parents to know. Other then being an X Olympic Swimmer What Coaching credentials does his Girl Friend have to take over the coaching of that Club?

  4. avatar
    gordon

    Correction. Because of his Bail conditions he cannot use a Computer or Phone. So he can’t make a statement on his site. I guess someone should be. Like the Head Coach, His Girlfriend. She is
    still coaching with that club So SOMEONE should be making a statement on the Ajax Club Site.

    They may be able to keep or have support from the Older top level swimmers but as far as getting new younger swimmers joining that club. Good Luck.