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Swim School and
Competitive Squad Training

NZL Swim Coaching Team

NZL Swim has a wealth of coaching experience to draw from within it's senior coaching team. From young swimmers just starting out through to Olympic level competition, the coaching team have the perfect combination of technical expertise and practical know-how to oprimise the performance of every swimmer.

David Lyles

Director and Head Coach

David Lyles has been an International swim coach for Great Britain, China and New Zealand and has a wealth of experience coaching club and age group swimmers through to senior and International athletes.

He has been a Head Coach at club, University and National training centre level as well as being Head Coach to a professional provincial team in China. After starting coaching whilst still at University, David took his first coaching job in 1989 and in 1992, qualified his first swimmer on an Olympic team – a feat he repeated at 6 consecutive Olympics between 1992 – 2012.

Having started at club level, David was given the opportunity to help set up and develop a new scheme at the University of Bath in South West England in 1997. With a brand new facility and the ability to attract top swimmers, it was not long before the centre was home to the first British Swimming National training centre.

After coaching 20 International swimmers and producing finalists at both the Sydney and Athens Olympics, a unique opportunity arose to coach in China. Working for the Shanghai sports bureau, David was selected to lead the Shanghai provincial team in 2007, a move that saw Shanghai named as top team at the Chinese National Championships every year from 2008-2012. Success came quickly, and aside from his team duties, Coach Lyles achieved a 100% success record, with all 9 of his swimmers gaining selection for either World or Olympic teams between 2010 -2012.

With 7 swimmers coached onto the China team for the home World Championships in Shanghai 2011 and 5 swimmers selected for the 2012 London Olympics, David Lyles was a constant member of one of the worlds’ biggest and strongest swim teams.

With 7 medals from 5 different swimmers at World Championships (2010 + 2011) and Olympic Games it seemed as if the mission was completed and so a new challenge was required which saw David take up a position with Swimming New Zealand.

As head coach to the NZ National training centre, David oversaw a transitional period where a number of the most promising youth swimmers moved to Auckland with almost immediate success; several swimmers were selected for the 2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships, winning 2 medals in the process. At the same time, the more established senior members of the squad continued to progress, breaking over 10 New Zealand national records; not to mention the first World Championship medals in the pool for a generation.

As Director of NZL Swim, David’s goal is to help coaches and swimmers improve standards of swimming performance by providing them with the very best in swim coaching.

Bridget Maher

Junior Development Manager

Bridget has been involved in swimming for most of her life as both a competitor, teacher and coach. She excelled in distance races and made finals at the New Zealand Senior Championships every year from 2008-2015. She also won medals at National level both in the pool and on the Open Water circuit.

Her domestic prowess led her to represent New Zealand at the Hong Kong Open Water World Cup and the Oceania Championships in 2014.

Bridget holds a Certificate in International Sports Studies as well as a Bachelor in Sport & Exercise (Coaching) and is a Bronze Level accredited Swimming New Zealand coach.

Bridget has worked for NZL Swim since they opened in 2016 and played a pivotal role in the development of both the squad system and the Phoenix Aquatics club.

She brings a wealth of experience, passion and knowledge to her workouts and lessons and works at all levels from Improver lessons to competitive Age Group squads and Masters’ swimming.

Matt Phillips

Age Group Coach

Matt started competitive swimming at 8 years old and has competed at National and International meets in both Australia and America. Formerly a member of the SNZ National Training Centre, he won national medals in Breaststroke and I.M. with his highest honour being crowned NZ National Champion in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke in 2017.

Matt has been teaching & coaching at various levels since 2012, from infants to squad swimmers. After completing his SNZ assistant swim teacher award, SNZ Teacher of Competitive Swimmer & the SNZ Bronze Coaching Course, he has developed a passion for coaching at a high level.

He also studied a Bachelor of Teaching & Learning (Primary) at the University of Canterbury and currently works as an Intermediate Teacher at Murrays Bay Intermediate.

Matt has specific responsibility for development the young competitive swimmers. He is involved in the delivery, management and planning of the sessions and accompanies swimmers to identified meets around the local area.

Away from swimming, Matt likes to relax and watch rugby and most weekends are filled with either relaxing or going on adventures with friends. Swimming is not the only sport that Matt is passionate about, Rugby plays a big part of his life and even though he lives in Auckland he still supports Canterbury.

Ryan Lockwood

Coach / Teacher

Ryan swam at club level for 10 years where he developed a talent for distance swimming both in the pool and open water.  He was a National Age Group finalist on several occasions, competed at New Zealand Opens and placed in the top three of the Ocean Swim Series multiple times.

He is currently studying at Massey University where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science majoring in psychology with a minor in business law.

He has been coaching at a club for the past 3 years and has gained his bronze certification. During this time, he has coached junior swimmers whom broke New Zealand records in freestyle and butterfly along with Auckland records in all 4 disciplines.

Ryan likes the challenge of coaching swimming and enjoys helping people achieve their goals. He gets a lot of satisfaction in seeing others reaching their desired result.

Away from the pool Ryan enjoys soccer, golf and surfing and like to travel when he can.

Danyon Loader

Performance Consultant

Danyon Loader, ONZM, is New Zealand's most successful swimmer to date. A specialist in Freestyle and Butterfly, he is an Olympic Champion, a former World Record holder and was New Zealand’s first inductee into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Fort Lauderdale Florida in May 2003. After joining his long-time coach Duncan Laing in 1985 Danyon’s career soon became legendary as he went on to become one of the fastest swimmers in the world in his events. By age 13 he was winning medals in the New Zealand National Age Group Championships and quickly progressed to swimming events at the National Open Championships. At the young age of 14, he represented New Zealand at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games.

Only two and a half years later, and still a young 17-year-old, he surprised the world when he won the silver medal in the 200m butterfly behind the World Record holder - USA's Melvin Stewart - at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics In 1993, Danyon set the 200m butterfly short course World Record three times in eight days whilst on the European le of the World Cup Tour. The next year, he won gold in the 200m butterfly, silver in the 400m freestyle and both freestyle relays and bronze in the 200m freestyle, at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria. Capping this outstanding year off at the World Aquatics Championships later that year, he won silver in the 200 butterfly and bronze in the 200 and 400 freestyle. In 1995, Danyon won eight gold medals on the World Cup circuit in Europe, breaking the 400m freestyle short course world record in the process. This was, however, only the prelude to his outstanding performances at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games where he won gold medals in both the 200m and 400m freestyles, an Olympic feat accomplished only once before. He was named Sportsman of the Year three times (1992, 1994 and 1996) at New Zealand’s highest sporting awards, The Halberg Awards dinner. Receiving the coveted Halberg Award - the supreme award selected from the winners of the Sportsman, Sportswoman, Disabled Sportsperson and Team of the Year Award categories – in 1996. In 2000, he was named New Zealand Sportsperson of the Decade (1990s).

Along with these awards, Danyon twice received the prestigious Lonsdale Cup from the New Zealand Olympic Committee (1992 and 1996). This is presented to a New Zealand athlete (or team) who has demonstrated the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth sport during the previous year.

Danyon was New Zealand's first swimmer to break World Records in two different strokes, butterfly and freestyle and by the time he retired, he had set a record 58 New Zealand national records and four world records - three in the 200m butterfly and one in the 400m freestyle. The 400m freestyle record stayed for three and a half years until broken by Australian Ian Thorpe.

Following his retirement, Danyon has held a variety of positions including stints as coach to several clubs throughout New Zealand; most recently, he was a member of the coaching team leading the National Training Centre in Auckland and helping to prepare swimmers for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacific Championships and World Championships.

Danyon’s experiences as an international athlete and his unique views on the teaching, coaching and development of swimmers makes him an ideal consultant on all technical aspects of the sport. As an Olympic ambassador for the NZOC he has continued to inspire athletes and contribute to the development of swimming in New Zealand. He brings a wealth of knowledge, tremendous passion and enthusiasm and leaves a lasting impression on all those who come into contact with him.