ACE Swim School Manager - Wendy Smith

Wendy is our wonderful Swim School Manager. 

Wendy comes to us from Swimming New Zealand where she was for 8 years as an Education Advisor for the Waikato Area. Wendy's role included providing training for those involved in learn to swim education through courses, workshops, qualifications and poolside assistance. Wendy also worked with swim club volunteers, professional swim teachers, parents, school teachers and other individuals interested in gaining knowledge in learn to swim education.

Prior to joining Swimming New Zealand Wendy was Head Teacher at the Hamilton City Council, Waterworld complex. This role involved the day to day running of the Learn to Swim programme and overseeing of the Swimming Teachers.

Wendy has an extensive background in swimming and aquatics, as a competitive swimmer, surf lifeguard, pool lifeguard and Learn to Swim Teacher.

Wendy was a member of the late Duncan Laing Swim squad in Dunedin and on moving to Hamilton a swim squad member of Hamilton Swimming Club under the late Ken Key. During her time at Hamilton Swimming Club Wendy was a volunteer Swim teacher. Seven years at Waihi Surf club followed after her departure from Swim Club.

After 14 years in a clerical role Wendy left the work force to start her family. It was while attending swimming lessons with her young children that she decided to take up Swim Teaching as a job and hasn't regretted her decision to get back into the sport for a second.

Wendy holds the National Certificate in Adult Education and National Certificate in Sport and Recreation Aquatics, SNZ NZCST School Age and Adults, Teaching Swimmers with Disability and Early Childhood qualifications. Wendy is often seen at swim meets as a volunteer technical official in roles as ITO, JOS or timekeeper.

Please pop in and say hello at anytime as Wendy loves getting to know all of our ACE families.

ACE Swim Instructor and Office Administrator - Katie Smart 

Hi, My name is Katie.  I am super excited to be back in the pool here at ACE.  I have a lot of swim instructing history with Babies, Pre schoolers and School Age Swimmers and have taught in a few different places across NZ.  Looking forward to bringing my experience and love of the water to all my classes to benefit your children.  When I am not in the pool, you will most likely find me in the kitchen making cakes or having fun with balloons.

ACE Swim Instructor and Office Administrator  - Jordan Harper 

Hi! My name is Jordan, I am currently taking a break from studying to be a primary school teacher at Waikato Uni. I have a passion for getting alongside people and helping them learn new skills. I’ve been a water baby for as long as I can remember, with my mum having to bribe me into leaving the water, I also enjoy the outdoors, adventuring, rock climbing and spending time with family and friends. I can’t wait to meet you!

ACE Head School Age Swim Instructor - Patrick Gallagher

Pat is our Head School Age Instructor.  He joined our ACE team in 2010.  Pat is extremely passionate about Learn to Swim and ensuring your child is progressing through our levels. Pat is also a competitive open water swimmer and fantastic role model for his swimmers.  Pat's favorite stroke is Butterfly and his favorite Sea Creature a Starfish.

ACE Swim Instructor and Office Assistant - Katrina Jonkers 

Katrina is a mum of 3 boys and a qualified school teacher.  Katrina is a dedicated relief Swimming Instructor working mornings with our Baby and Pre School Swimmers.  You will also see Katrina helping out in our office from time to time.  Katrina loves to float peacefully in the Water and her favorite Sea Creature is a Seahorse.

ACE Swim Instructor - Natalia Speechlay

Natalia is one of our lovely, smiley, friendly Instructors and thoroughly enjoys being a part of our Ace Learn to Swim team.  Natalia is currently studying at Waikato University to become a Teacher.  Natalia has a background of swimming competitively throughout her primary school and high school years.  Natalia's favourite stroke is Breaststroke and her favourite Sea creature is Kina.  

ACE Swim Instructor - Ashleigh Cockburn

Hi everyone, My name is Ashleigh and I am from Australia! I have always had a passion for the water, completing my first swimming competition at age 5 and continuing on to qualify for the Australian Swim Team by age 15. I have been a swimming instructor for going on three years now. Outside of the water you’re most likely to find me with my many animals (dogs, horses and a single cat), eating Mexican food or studying to complete my Bachelor of Social Science and Public Relations.

ACE Swim Instructor - Ciara Duncan

Hi, my name is Ciara Duncan, and I am from Thames. I moved to Hamilton to start my Nursing degree, and currently, I love it! I have played a few sports over my schooling years; I played netball, touch, and I was a swimmer too! I started swimming when I was five years old moving throughout the Thames Learn to Swim programme very quickly before I became a competitive swimmer at the Thames club when I was eight years old. I have achieved a lot over my swimming career where I won my first national medal at a tender age of 9. My most significant swimming accomplishments where being the first to win nine golds out of nine events at the Junior National Championships, and then going on to compete over in Australia where I set a Victorian Swimming record. I stopped Competitive swimming four years ago, as it was hard to juggle swimming, school, netball, and work. I was a swim coach at the Thames learn to swim programme where I taught a variety of levels, starting with teaching water confidence, all the way up to the junior competitive swimmers. I got into swim coaching because I have a passion for swimming and I wanted to give back to the club and the sport. I look forward to being part of this friendly and very experienced team, and thank you for having me on board! My favourite stroke is Backstroke and my favourite sea creature is a dolphin.

ACE Swim Instructor - Megan Whitburn

Megan is another one of our super amazing Instructors.  You could basically call her a mermaid! Megan is an amazing Swimmer herself and is always winning loads of Medals at Masters Swimming Events around the Country.  Megans favorite Sea Creature is a Dolphin and favorite stroke Freestyle.  

ACE Swim Instructor - Tracy Mckee

Tracy is another one of our wonderful Baby and Pre School Instructors.  She is a Mother of 2 and loves to spend time with her family, baking and creating.  Tracy is a very energetic, encouraging and positive Swim Instructor.  Tracy's favorite Sea Creature is a Seahorse.  

ACE Swim Instructor - Anne Cockburn

Anne is from Australia and moved to NZ with her family in 2017.  Anne had a farm near Canberra with horses, donkeys, alpacas and dogs.  Anne's family has now settled permanently in the Hamilton area along with several of the animals they brought over the ditch with them.  Anne was involved with Swimming in Australia and is thrilled to be able to share that passion with our ACE Swimmers.  When Anne is not at the swim school you will find her spending time with her animals, tramping, swimming or gardening.  Anne's favourite stroke is Backstroke and her favourite sea creature is a Seahorse.


ACE Office Administrator and Swim Instructor - Claire Cullingworth

Hi my name is Claire! I’m originally from South Africa but moved to New Zealand 12 years ago. I have a passion for swimming and have competitively swam since a young age. When I’m not swimming you’ll find me out on Lake Karapiro wakeboarding. As a child I swam for ACE so I am super excited to be apart of the ACE family again, I’ll be in the office when I’m not in the pool teaching so do come in and say hi! Claire's Favourite stroke is Breaststroke and her favourite Sea creature a Nemo Fish - a popular choice with many of our cute swimmers.

ACE Swim Instructor - Monique Rowe

Monique is from Hamilton but grew up in North America.  Moniques favorite Sea Creature is a Mermaid and her favorite Swimming Stroke is Freestyle.  You will find Monique at the Beach, studying Law at University or hanging out with her friends.  You will also find her in our Office or Swimming Pool sharing years of Swimming knowledge with your lucky children. 

ACE Swim Instructors - Profiles coming soon

Sandra Dinnington