Phoenix Aquatics

Phoenix Aquatics has a philosophy that believes being a member of a swim team should be primarily fun. We aim to keep swimming fun through enjoyable training sessions, interesting travel and racing opportunities with a backbone of age appropriate coaching.


We believe that a swimming club should encourage fitness, and improve fitness, by regular attendance in sessions.


Competitions should be a positive part of the club experience and at an appropriate level to encourage continued participation.


Competitions should allow swimmers to grow; learning through the challenge that both success and learning from mistakes allow - all guided by qualified coaches.


In summary;


  • Fun
  • Fitness - health and wellbeing, active lifestyle
  • Stroke technique - core strength and shoulder stabiliisation
  • Social events
  • Competitive philosophy  - Participation


All of these points are included in our invitation letter which is issued to prospective members.


Competitions and Events

Phoenix aims to take part in events regularly during the year and there are schedules and information updates available on this site and through Club announcements.


Time Trials

Time trials will be held to assess the performance of swimmers at regular intervals. Progress will be communicated to the swimmers.


Club Championships

Annual Club Championships will be held in May each year.


Graded Meets

These are developmental events to allow swimmers an intermediate step between early competitions and open/district/national events.


Fees will be announced at the time.

Head Coach


Gary Vandermeulen

Tel: 01786 461260

E-mail: or

(Please use email as the first point of contact)


Olympic Swimmer in 1988, Olympic Coach 2000, 2004

Scottish coach of the year 2002, 2004

Okanagan Hall of Fame Inductee 2011


And more for those who want to know.... :)

Coaching Certification and Awards


  • Inductee into Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame Nov 2011
  • Swimming Teachers Association, Tutor, Examiner 2010
  • Scottish Swimming Probationary Tutor License, Level 1 & 2 (Teaching/Coaching Aquatics)
  • National Pool Plant Operators Foundation Certificate, 30 November 2007
  • National Pool Lifeguard Qualification
  • Emergency First Aid Procedures for Sports Coaches
  • UKCC, National Coaching Certificate; “Expert Witness”, level 2, level 3 candidates September 2007.
  • Strength & Conditioning Certification Workshop, National Training Centre, May 17-21, 2004
  • British Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association: Scottish Coach of the Year 2004
  • British Swim Coaches & Teachers Association: 2002 Coaching Award for Excellence
  • Coaching Association of British Columbia 2002 “3M Coach of the Year” International Award
  • National Coaching Certification Program: Level I, II, III Certified (Dec. 1996), Level IV (current).
  • SearsI Can Swim’ Teacher Certification: Course Conductor Instructor
  • 3M NCCP Swimming Teacher Certification
  • HIGH FIVE (Principles of Healthy Child Development), Leader Certification
  • Canadian Swimming Coaches Association: Gold medal Award 2000
  • British Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association: Millennium Award 2000
  • British Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association: Scottish Coach of the Year 1999,2004

Team Coaching Appointments:

  • March 2008  Head Coach, Scottish Women’s Team, Celtic Nations Tri-meet, Edinburgh
  • March 2007  Head Coach, Scottish Women’s Team, Celtic Nations Tri-meet, Dublin
  • August 2004   Coaching Staff (Personal coach): GB Olympic Games Team & preparation camp
  • June 2004  Coaching Staff: GB Team, Athens Test Event & camp, Athens & Paphos
  • August 2003Coaching Staff: GB World Swimming Championships, Barcelona
  • July 2002Coaching Staff: Scottish Commonwealth Games Team, Manchester
  • April 2002Coaching Staff: British World Short Course Championships Team, Moscow
  • September 2000Coaching Staff: British Olympic Team, Sydney
  • June 1999  Head Coach: Canadian Team, USA Swim Disability Championships, Minneapolis
  • April 1999  Accredited Personal Coach: World Short Course Championships, Hong Kong
  • September 1998Accredited Personal Coach: Commonwealth Games (Scotland), Kuala Lumpur
  • September 1997Head Coach: Southern Region, South Alberta vs. North Alberta dual meet.
  • August 1997Coaching Staff: Alberta Canada Games Team, Brandon
  • September 1996Head Coach: Southern Region, South Alberta vs. North Alberta dual meet.

Swimming Achievements:

  • CIAU (Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union) Male
    Swimmer of the Year 1988
  • Canadian National Champion (Short Course & Long
    Course): 22x
  • Canadian National Team Tour (Moscow & London) 1986
  • Canadian National Team, World University Games, Zagreb, 1987
  • Canadian National Team, Pan American Games, Indianapolis, 1987
    (Silver Medalist 4x200m Free Relay, finalist in 200m Backstroke, 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, 200m Fly)
  • Canadian National Team, Seoul Olympics, 1988
    (Finalist 4x200m Free Relay, 23rd place 400m Freestyle)
  • Canadian National Team, Pan Pacific Games,  Tokyo, 1989 (Silver Medalist 4x100m Medley Relay, Finalist 400m Freestyle & 200m Freestyle)
  • Canadian National Team, World Championships, 1990 (pre-selection)
    (10th place 200m Fly)
  • Canadian National Team, Commonwealth Games,  Auckland, 1990
    (Silver Medalist 4x200m Free Relay, finalist 200fly, 400m freestyle)
  • Canadian National Team, Rome International, 1991 (finalist 200m Fly, 400m Freestyle, 200m Freestyle, 4x200m Freestyle relay)
  • Canadian Record Holder: 200m, 400m, 800m Freestyle
    (800m record held from 1988 to 2008)
  • 1989 world ranked top 5 in the world short course meters; 100m Fly, 200m Fly, 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, 800m Freestyle
  • inducted into Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame November 2011
  • Personal Best times Short Course Meters:
    • 100m Free: :50.60 (1990)
    • 200m Free 1:46.40 (1989)
    • 400m Free 3:44.10 (1990)
    • 800m Free 7:47.09 (1990)
    • 1500m Free 15:16.00 (1990)
    • 100m Back :56.00 (1988)
    • 200m Back 1:58.50 (1991)
    • 100m Fly :54.40 (1992)
    • 200m Fly 1:57.00 (1992)
    • 200m IM 2:04.50 (1990)
    • 400m IM 4:23.50 (1992)