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Coaches & Directors
We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.
Coaching Staff

Joy Symons

Manager

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Joy has over 20 years experience in the industry as an athlete, coach, and swimming teacher.  Her athletic skills have taken her across the globe swimming for Australia at World Championships, World Cups, Oceania Championships and NCAA’s (National Collegiate Athletic Assosciation – American College Nationals).

Joy is a driving force at Shut the Gate as she manages, teaches, instructs aerobics and Aqua Zumba, as well as takes on administrative duties.  She is the AUSTSWIM Champion for the Central QLD Region and also the President of the Central QLD Swimming Association.  Joy’s qualifications are: 

·        Austswim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety,

·        Austswim Teacher of Infants and Preschool Aquatics

·        Austswim Teacher of Competitive Strokes

·        Austswim Teacher of Access and Inclusion

·        Austswim Presenter of Swimming and Water Safety

·        Bronze Coach

·        Bronze Medallion

·        CPR

·        Certificate III – Fitness

·        Aqua Zumba Instructor

·        Pool Operators Licence

·        Master of Arts – Public Administration, Communications, Special Education

·        Bachelor of Applied Science – Biology


Joy and Val are no strangers to parenthood as they balance work and family life with their two amazing children aged 6 and 3.

Val Kalmikovs

Manager, Head Coach - CQ Aquajets

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Val has over 30 years of experience in the Aquatic Industry, as an athlete, coach and swimming teacher.  As an athlete he has competed in two Olympics (2000, 2004), numerous world cups, world championships, and NCAA’s (National Collegiate Athletic Assosciation – American College Nationals).  He has coached swimmers to Australian and US National Championships, Junior Olympics and been voted Central Californian Coach of the year.  He has coached in many countries across the globe.  His teaching skills see him connect with much smaller swimmers.  His methods lead to great results and the parents of his swimmers are happy to see their progress. 

As Val’s experiences give him an edge in the aquatic industry, Val’s skills are also continuing to expand with RLSSA and Austswim Certificates.  His qualifications are:

·        Austswim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety

·        Austswim Teacher of Competitive Strokes

·        Austswim Teacher of Preschool and Infant Aquatics

·        Aqua Zumba Instructor

·        Bronze Coach

·        Bronze Medallion 

·        CPR

·        Pool Operators Licence 

-        Master of Arts – Sports Management and Athletic Administration

-        Bachelor of Arts – International Affairs

 

 

Tara Callaghan

Teacher

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Tara was born in the Central Queensland region, mostly living in Rockhampton and Gracemere.  She started swimming at a very young age because of her mother’s influence and strong belief that all children should learn how to swim and have good knowledge of swimming safety.  Tara has continued swimming for many years and during those years she has been involved in squads as an active member of CQ Aquajets and Gracemere swimming Club.

She decided to hang up her togs two years ago, so she could concentrate whole heartedly on her education.  

Tara is passionate about being outdoors, staying fit, having fun, her beloved family pets and her hobby, visual arts and crafts.

Connie Casey

Teacher

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Connie has lived in Rockhampton for 14 years.  She is married with three beautiful children.  Connie graduated her Bachelors of Education – Primary, in 2002 from CQU and has been teaching ever since.  Connie’s roles as an educator have also included, relief teaching, group leading in child care and now teaching swimming.

Outside of work, Connie likes to spend time with her family, watch her children play basketball and AFL, go to the beach, read books, watch movies, listen to music, cook, and go shopping.  She also likes to keep fit by walking and participating in Aqua Aerobics classes.

 

Cathy Clark

Teacher

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Cathy is an AustSwim qualified teacher with over 30 years experience. Coming from a swimming background where she competed at a high level Cathy also competed in diving and synchronized swimming. She has taught at several swim schools, taught school swimming and worked for the Asthma Foundation with asthmatics and children with disabilities. 

Cathy is married, has 3 children and continued swimming throughout the years updating her AustSwim in 2004. She has attended many workshops, some with Laurie Lawrence, and enjoys teaching all aspects of swimming from disability swimmers to adults. She is passionate about water safety and having her swimmers learn for fitness and enjoyment right through to a competitive level. Her hobbies include travel, fishing, gardening and music.

Kim Donaldson

Aqua Instructor

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For the past 8 years, Kim, has worked as a heavy equipment operator and trainer/assessor in the mining industry.  Kim got married in 2012 and decided that in 2013 she would study for her certificate III and IV in fitness.

Encouraging others to participate in physical activity is her passion.  Kim is also a Ballroom Dancer and participates in kettle bell training. 

Kim is trained in Aqua Zumba as well!

Teresa Fox

Teacher, Admin

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Originally from Victoria, Teresa moved to Rockhampton in February 2014 following her heart.  Her passion for aquatics building since her competitive days into the experienced teacher she is today.

Teresa has been teaching swimming for over 15 years and has previously run her own swim school.  She established a successful learn to swim program in Mackay whilst working for the local council before moving to Rockhampton.  Teresa is an Austswim qualified teacher, Bronze level Coach, as well a RLSSA lifeguard.

Teresa is currently studying nursing at CQU while teaching at Shut the Gate and working in the office.

Her life interests include swimming, belly dancing, music, reading and learning new things.  

Caroline Goddard

Teacher

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Caroline started working in the Aquatic Industry in 2002 (after nearly 4 years of Tertiary studies in Education and Early Childhood).  It was here she truly found her home – combining her love of teaching and working with children.  Caroline has enjoyed teaching children from baby classes up to junior squads, with baby classes, water safety, confidence and learn to swim being her biggest passion.

Caroline had a short career change when she got married but happily returned after the arrival of her first son.  Another baby later, she can’t imagine working in any other industry! 

Caroline loves being a part of watching a child learn, grow and improve with a skill that they will have forever, and may even save their life!

Rebeca Lehman

Aqua Instructor

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Leanne McDonald

Teacher

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Originally from Sydney, Leanne comes from a swimming background. She enjoyed competitive swimming from a young age. After teaching for a few years, she changed her career path to childcare but always maintained a love of swimming and water sports. After marrying and raising her son, Leanne resumed her teaching career and since, moved to Rocky with husband Steve and dog Bella.

She revised her Austswim in 2002 and has continued to develop her skills in all areas including workshops for CPR and has an AustSwim babies and toddlers certificate. She is passionate about making her classes fun while focussing on water safety techniques. Her hobbies are fishing, watching sports, walking, jogging and enjoying time with her 2 beautiful granddaughters!

Jared O'Hanlon

Teacher

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Born in Rockhampton in 1995, Jared began swimming at a very young age mainly due to the fact that his parents couldn’t keep him out of the water when they were trying to keep an eye on his siblings.

After a few years in learn to swim and a mini squad he began swimming in competition for Rocky City at the age of 9. Since then he has swam for Nudgee Brothers and is now swimming for CQ Aquajets, winning championships and setting records for breaststroke at regional, State and National level for both school and club. He is also currently a student at The Cathedral College.

After completing the requirements of his Austswim course in 2012 Jared is now teaching at Shut the Gate where he hopes to improve his knowledge of swimming as well as expanding his experience to new areas within the sport.

Mikaela Richardson

Teacher

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Originally from Barcaldine, Mikaela has led an exceptional life for someone her age.  Completing her Austswim course at 16, driving trucks in the mines, winning scholarships for her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, and volunteering in Fiji has given Mikaela life skills most 19 year olds never get to experience.

Mikaela is a teacher of many passions; Teaching swimming and increasing water safety awareness to her swimmers is one of them.  Volunteering, gardening, environmental science, and scuba diving are other things Mikaela is passionate about. 

Mikaela loves and misses her pet goat, Fred, who still in Barcaldine.

Brielle Robson

Administration

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Brielle is a hardworking teenager who started working at Shut the Gate in 2012.  Her interests include swimming, music and belly dancing.

Brielle, an avid animal lover, wants to study veterinary science.  Her favourite animals are goats and sheep. 

Brielle will complete her AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety later this year and will begin her training to become a swimming teacher.

Amy Woodside

Teacher, Admin

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After finishing high school in Biloela, Amy moved to Rockhampton to complete a business & accounting degree.  It didn’t take her long to work out this wasn’t what she wanted to do.

Amy completed her Austswim courses in August 2013 and began teaching at Shut the Gate soon after completing her training. Combining her love for children and helping others, she is well suited to this profession.

Amy is also studying a bachelor of physiotherapy. She currently lives in Gracemere with her 2 little dogs. Amy spends her spare time renovating her house, taking photographs, volunteering at Capricorn Animal Aid and keeping fit with crossfit.  Amy looks forward to travelling the world someday.