Coaching Staff

Meet Our Coaches

Darcy Irwin

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. 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.

Jacko Sandu


Jacko has been coaching and life guarding since 1973. He has been coaching with the Nanaimo Ebbtides for 18 years. In 1989 Jacko was the head coach for the Nanaimo Riptides and is still affiliated with the club today. Jacko is certified in the National Coaching Certification Program as a level 1 coach. Everybody in the Nanaimo swimming community knows Jacko as he's been part of it since 1974.

Jacko has been swimming competitively since age 9; he has competed with Nanaimo Ebbtides in the Canadian National Masters Championships at U.B.C. and the FINA World Masters Championships in Australia in 1988.
Jacko has 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.

Lee Vanden Ham


Lee Vanden Ham began swimming at the age of six back in his home town of Edmonton, Alberta with a summer club called Edmonton Huma huma nuka nuka apua’a. He swam with them for 11 years as a swimmer (2003-2014) and eventually ended up coaching with them for 3 years (2013, 2016, 2017). In the 13 years with Huma they won provincials four of those years, with two separate back to back provincial championships (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013). In that time Lee also achieved a provincial record.
In 2014-2015 he was part of the Strathcona Lords high school swim team and helped win their 28th consecutive City Championship as captain of the team. Lee continued to coach for the club after his captainship.
Lee coached with the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club in 2013-14. He also coached 2014-2016 with the Edmonton Olympian Swim Club. Lee continued to coach as a lead coach at the U of A swim camp for three summers from 2015-2017. He also coached for the Steadward Bears Para Swim Team (2014-2015).
In 2018, he was a senior coach for the Nanaimo White Rapids. Lee resides in Nanaimo attending Vancouver Island University and is in his third year of education with a focus on physical education. He has also worked professionally as a PADI SCUBA Divemaster.