Head Coach and National Squad Coach



John graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Science Honours in Chemistry. Before retiring John was a teacher for 35 years, the last 15 as an Assistant Principal of a large secondary school in Geelong. He also has extensive experience as a School Sport Administrator.

John is a Nationally accredited ASCTA Gold Licence swim coach with 29 years experience.

Club, State and National Experience:

John is currently Head Coach and a Life member of the Geelong Swimming Club that caters for all levels of swimmers.

He has coached Club teams at National level  with gold medal success. In  2017 two of his swimmers swam in finals  at the Australian Age Championships.

John’s experience at a Victorian State level is extensive both with School Sport Victoria teams (1992-2008) and Swimming Victoria Development squads.

In 2009 he was Head Coach of the Victorian Team for the Australian Paralympic Junior Games.

This season he had several swimmers in the Swimming Victoria Development Program.

John was  the Swimming Program Manager for the Barwon Sports Academy for 7 years and two swimmers from his squad are members of the 2017 Barwon Sports Academy swimming program that is designed to promote and enhance the development of Geelong’s elite swimmers.

In 2013, John was presented with the Ross Synot Award for exemplary service to the Barwon Sports Academy. It is an award that celebrates the time, care, skill and dedication of someone within the Barwon Sports Academy for a strong commitment to the development of the organisation.

John is the Chief Technical Officer for Down Syndrome Swimming Australia

International Experience

Head Coach of the Australian Down Syndrome swimming team

2018 Word DSISO World Championships in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

2016 World Championships in Florence Italy

The Australian team of 22 swimmers was World Champions once again. Phoebe Mitchell won 6 Gold and one Silver medal

2014 World Championships in Morelia, Mexico

The Australian team of 24 swimmers was World Champions after a prolonged preparation at altitude His swimmer, Phoebe Mitchell won seven individual gold and one silver medal. Phoebe was awarded female swimmer of the meet for the third time.

2012 World Championships in Loano, Italy

He and his swimmer Phoebe Mitchell were members of the Australian Down Syndrome Team which competed at the Phoebe collected 6 Gold medals and swam four World Records and the team was World Champions. She was awarded Female swimmer of the meet.

2004 Athens Paralympics

John was a Team Coach of the Swimming Australian Paralympic team in Athens. His swimmer, Daniel Bell  won two individual silver medals and a relay Gold.

He was Team Manager of a Swimming Australia Paralympic team at an International meet in Berlin in 2006.

2008 Beijing Olympics

John coached Austrian tri-athlete, Kate Allen, during 2007 and 2008 for the swimming leg of the triathlon.He also helped prepare Kate for 2008 European Triathlon Championships in Lisbon while she was recovering from a serious accident, and the 2008 World Triathlon Championships in Vancouver where she finished eighth

He has coached Age group triathletes for many World Championships, including his son Adam who won a silver medal at the World Championships in Hawaii in 2005.  He helped to prepare Scottish and Welsh triathletes for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

He has also provided specialist coaching for Dutch triathlete. Yvonne Van Vlerken who finished second at the 2013 Melbourne Ironman thus qualifying for Hawaii where she finished fourth.

In 2013, John travelled to Kerala, South India to coach swimmers at a private school.

John’s sets high technical standards for his swimmers in developing a mechanically efficient stroke that maximizes propulsion and minimizes resistance. He builds power through speed and strength training which he develops into speed endurance.

email John



State Squad Coach


Silver Licence Swimming Coach –Swimming Australia and Australian Coaching Council (currently accepted to work towards the Gold Licence)
American Swimming Coaches Association – Certified Level 2
Life Member American Swimming Coaches Association
USA Swimming Registered Coach
Swim Australia Course Presenter for Swim Teaches and Coaches

Swim Coaching Experience

In the USA – (1989 – 1995)
Swim Coach Spirit Swimming – Pennsylvania USA .
USA swimming Team-Atlanta Camp Coach (1.Blue Ribbon, 2.Age Group & 3. Sprint)
Swim America Program Coach –

In AUSTRALIA ( 1996 to date)
Australian Paralympic Team coach for World Championships in Durban, South Africa – 2006
Australian Paralympic Team Coach for World Cup championships in Manchester, UK – 2005
Swim Coach – South Barwon Swimming Club amalgamated with Northern Dolphins & Geelong City Aquatics
Swim Coach – Warrnambool Swimming club
Swim Coach – FAI Woden Swim Club, ACT
Swim Coach – Northern Dolphins & Geelong City Aquatic.

Personal Competitive Swimming

Won National Championships (Sri Lanka ) in the following events:
1500 Freestyle (National Record)
400 Freestyle (National Record)
200 Backstroke

Represented Sri Lanka at International competitions in the above events and relays ( 4 x 200 Freestyle)
Won Open Water Ocean Swims in the following National Competitions in Sri Lanka
2 – mile (Fastest time achieved)
6 – mile (Fastest time achieved)



Country Squad Coach and Junior Program Head Coach

Sadat head shot


Bronze Licence Swim Coach

Coach of Swimmers with a Disability

Aust Swim Teacher of Water Safety,

Infant Aquatics,

Swimmers of All Abilities

Bachelor of Performing Arts Ballarat University (1991)

Certificate III, IV Diploma and Advance Diploma in Disability Work

Work Experience

Sadat has been appointed to the role of Coach / Carer for the Australian Down Syndrome Swim Team 2014 (MEXICO) &2016 (Italy) .

He has 10+ years Swim Teaching Experience with the City of Greater Geelong (COGG) Receiving he City Shining Star Award (2013) and a nominated Finalist in the Aquatic & Recreation Victoria Award (2012) for Infant Swim teaching.

Sadat has Previously Held the roles of President Geelong Swim Club 2012-2016

President of the Geelong and District 11 2012-2014

Vice President of the Barwon South Western Swimming Association District 23 20013-2015

Chair Person of the Bay City Clubs Committee 2014-2016

Coach Geelong Swimming Club Blue G’s 2013-2015

Outside of the pool:

Sadat holds the role of Operations Manager for the Encompass Community Services an organisations that assist Individuals with a disability in the Geelong region. Sadat is also an accomplished Theatre director having directed many Local musical comedies for Youth and Adults.

Sadat has a strong belief that a happy swimmer is a fast swimmer and what you put in at training is rewarded in competition.


Assistant and Relief Coaches

Zachary Hussain

  • ASCTA Learn to Swim
  • ASCTA Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Bronze Licensed Coach

Emma Hocking

  • ASCTA Learn to Swim
  • ASCTA Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Currently completing Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science / Bachelor Business (Sport Management) at Deakin University.

Tony Denham

  • ASCTA Learn to Swim
  • ASCTA Teacher of Competitive Strokes

Amber Duncan

  • ASCTA Learn to Swim
  • ASCTA Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Certificate III and IV in Fitness

Aaron Ford

  • ASCTA Learn to Swim
  • ASCTA Teacher of Competitive Strokes

Shaun Ward

  • ASCTA Learn to Swim
  • ASCTA Teacher of Competitive Strokes