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New Direction for Swimming in Victoria

On July 11, 2002 Swim BC granted approval to Geller Sports for the formation of a new swimming club to begin operations in September. Pacific Coast Swimming will offer a professionally delivered model that has proven to be highly successful worldwide and is clearly the wave of the future in terms of delivering top notch professional coaching that produces results.

The new club has commitments from a large group of International and National Level athletes who will be making the move to the new club to stay with their coaches. These include 2002 Commonwealth Games team members Danielle Bell, Christin Petelski and John Stamhuis, Canadian National Open Water Swimmer of the year Karley Stutzel,. and 2001 Canada Games gold medalists David Creel and Jesse Jacks. Geller Sports will work co-operatively with the University of Victoria swim program to provide services to this core group of athletes.

The club will be led by twenty-six year National Team coaching staff veteran, Ron Jacks. Jacks, a former three time Olympic swimmer himself, began coaching following the 1972 Olympics and has been involved at the highest level ever since. He has been one of the most successful and consistent coaches in Canada, placing twelve swimmers on Olympic teams since 1976 as well as having coached two Olympic bronze medalists and a World Champion.

Rod Barratt joins the team after six years as Head Age Group Coach under Ron Jacks. Rod has extensive experience as a Head Coach at the National level, has worked with National Centre programs in both Victoria and Calgary and is the President of the BC Swim Coaches Association. Penny McCullough-Barratt who has developed successful Elementary School programs in both Red Deer, Alberta and Victoria will also be joining the team come September.

UVic head coach Dr. Peter Vizsolyi, who is also the Vice President of High Performance with the Canadian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association, will act as a Technical Consultant to the program. The assembly of this staff will ensure that the highly successful partnership between Ron Jacks and Dr. Peter Vizsolyi will be maintained.

The club will receive administrative and support services from Geller Sports, which is owned and operated by National Diving Coach Mitch Geller. The new club will expand the range of development programs currently available in Greater Victoria, via the Geller Sports OlympicGarten program, which seeks to involve children between the ages of four and seven in aquatic sports and to lay a foundation for future elite performance and the overall development of diving and swimming.