Our Coaches

Our coaches are a young and enthusiastic team dedicated to the growth of your child. They relish the opportunity to teach our young people the skills required to be successful in competition while also teaching the value of hard work, commitment and respect for others. Each of our coaches have had successful careers as competitive swimmers, representing their clubs at State level, so they know from real experience what it takes.

They're all accomplished professionals in their chosen careers who just want to make a difference amongst the youth in our community.

  • VanessaL

    Vanessa Laidlaw I started swimming at a young age, representing my school in competitive swimming and later my club at State level. I was lucky enough to join the Hawks in 2020 after I made the "tree-change" from Melbourne. I just love living and working in Central Victoria! All the Hawks have made me feel so welcome.

    My first job was as a swimming teacher, beginning with young children as a Learn to Swim instructor and then progressing to coaching junior and intermediate competitive swim squads. I love being able to share my own passion for the sport with the next generation of swimmers. I'm particularly focused on teaching the correct technique for each stroke as well as the correct technique for breathing as getting both right is super-important for success in swimming. I’m happiest when I see my swimmers achieve their personal swimming goals.

    When I'm not down at the Club coaching I'm a Human Resources consultant with more than ten years of experience in the profession. My job is a "people first" job which gives me skills that I can use every day in my coaching. Come and see me on the pool deck. I'd love to talk with you about how I can help your child grow through the sport I love.

  • CarlaD

    Carla Dullard I have been an Aquatic Educator for over a decade, working and developing programs in Bendigo, Melbourne and Cambodia. Outside of being a coach at the club, I’m a Youth Worker at Doxa School Bendigo.

    I’m a strong believer that aquatic sports can provide all children with an equal opportunity to succeed. I like to encourage children to “make friends with the water”, regardless of their age or their abilities on dry land. Helping our team to grow and our swimmers to learn holistic life skills is one of my favourite things about being a coach. I also love getting our families involved to be a part of that journey!

    When I was younger, I was a swimmer with the Hawks and proudly represented the Club at local, Regional and State levels. My favourite memories from this time would definitely have to be the road trips to competitions and the moments in training when you were pushed to go harder than you ever imagined you could!

    You’ll always find me walking up and down the pool, with fun earrings and rainbow shoes, cheering along my Squaddies! Come and say Hi!, anytime!

  • TriciaG

    Tricia Geary I have had a love for the water since a very young age, having started swimming competitively when I was just seven. I've had plenty of success in the pool over the years thanks to the wonderful coaches I've had the tremendous support I've received from my team mates, my Club and my family. I had such fun traveling to swim meets with my family and my Club mates and catching up with friends I'd made all over Victoria. Two highlights that standout are the Gold medal in the 50m Backstroke at the 2012 Country Championships in Bendigo and being selected to swim for Team Vic at the National Schools Championships.

    For the past ten years I've been teaching children to swim, either as an instructor in a Learn to Swim program or as a competitive Squad coach. I just love passing on to the next generation all that I have been taught and learned throughout my career as competitive swimmer. The opportunity to guide young children towards the success that I experienced, and watching them become fine athletes and good people along the journey, gives me a great sense of satisfaction every day.

    Many years ago, a wise swimming official once told me "If you can swim, you can do anything in life" That's good advice I have lived by. As you spend the hours in the training pool following that black line you're building the strength, dedication and determination to do anything you want in life. Always dream big!

  • JackT

    Jack Timmins Competitive swimming was a hugely important part of my childhood, so I‘ve always wanted to give something back to the sport that shaped who I am today. I started coaching when I moved to Ballarat in 2012 to study for a Bachelor of Education (Physical Education & Health Education) and a Graduate Diploma in Outdoor Education at the University of Ballarat. Since 2017 I’ve been teaching at Marist College Bendigo. I love my role there.

    I have a passion for sport and fitness and am enjoying working with the great young talent we have at the Hawks. I am currently completing a Masters of Educational Leadership and training for triathlons in my spare time. I am looking forward to helping all swimmers reach their goals and watch the club grow bigger and stronger. Go Hawks!

  • TomT

    Tom Trainor I've been member of the Hawks team since I was in Year 7 and loved every minute of it. I'm now doing my final year of VCE at Marist College Bendigo and competitive swimming will remain an important part of my weekly routine. Being with the Hawks has given me the opportunity to become a leader in my community, having first been vice-Captain and now Club Captain for the past two years.

    Being a part of the Hawks coaching team provides me with a way to give something back to the Club that has given so much to me. I love watching the future leaders and stars of our Club progress as each season unfolds. No matter where life might take me next year I'll always be a Hawk and thankful for all that competitive swimming has given me.