Coaching Staff

Meet Our Coaches

Chris Carrier

An image of Darcy Irwin, Swimfit owner

Chris Carrier has been coaching swimming since 1988, following his time as a swimmer at Acadia University and as a lifeguard. Chris has coached throughout the Maritimes, where he grew up. He’s also coached in BC for several age group clubs including the Nanaimo Riptides and Kamloops Classics Swimming as an age group coach. He has coached swimmers from the ages of 6-84 years.

Chris has a passion for coaching swimming and loves to work on the technical aspects of the sport. He especially enjoys coming up with physically challenging workouts and seeing his swimmers thrive and exceed their own expectations. Outside of his time at the pool, Chris works as a building technologist in the field of architecture.

Darcy Irwin

An image of Darcy Irwin, Swimfit owner

Darcy has been coaching and teaching competitive swimming since 1999. He has been coaching since he was 14 years old and swam competitively for 13 years. He was a Team Canada coach for the DISCO World Championships in Taipei, Taiwan in 2010 and Loano, Italy in 2012. Darcy was a gold medalist at the 2010 Canadian Masters National Swimming Championships.

Along with coaching the Masters Swim Club, he also is assistant head coach of the Nanaimo Riptide Swim Team in British Columbia, Canada. Darcy is in charge of running the team's "Learn to Swim" program while coaching provincial, national and international level swimmers.

He trains and certifies new coaches to teach swimming all over British Columbia. Darcy does consulting work with other swim teams and pool facilities to help them develop or improve their "Learn to Swim" programs. He also runs an adult swim fit learn to swim, tri athlete and fitness swimming groups 4 days a week.

Anna Pendergast

An image of Anna Pendergast

Anna was coaching Ebbtides occasionally last year and will be coaching on Saturdays this year. Anna has also been representing our Ebbtides Masters Swim Team in regional, provincial, and national competitions since January of 2023. We are delighted to have her passing on her Riptides expertise, swimming techniques and competitive strategies.

Jacko Sandu - long-time coach, retired in 2022


Everybody in the Nanaimo swimming community knows Jacko as he's been part of it since 1974. Jacko coached the Nanaimo Ebbtides for 18 years and in 2022 decided to retire. We hope to see him swimming with us soon when he returns from his travels!

In 1989, Jacko was the head coach for the Nanaimo Riptides. Jacko is certified in the National Coaching Certification Program as a level 1 coach. He has been swimming competitively since age 9 and has competed with Nanaimo Ebbtides in the Canadian National Masters Championships at UBC and the FINA World Masters Championships in Australia in 1988.

Jacko swam in 5 Canadian National Masters Championships (1988, 1995, 1998, 2010, 2012) and competed in the World Masters Games in 2009. He has participated in triathlons, 10 km, half marathon, and full marathon races including the Boston Marathon in 2004. Jacko may be swimming in the pool with us and hopefully occasionally coaching from deck if he gets bored with his other retirement passions!