It’s nice to meet you!

Established in November 2018, Phoenix Aquatics is a water-based sports club from North Shore, Auckland that currently operates out of Northcote College Swimming Pool. Our members rang from learn-to-swim right up to International and Olympic swimmers. Guided by a team of highly qualified kaiako (coaches) and dedicated parent volunteers, our goal is to provide the environment, culture and pathways necessary to enable our rangatahi and kaiako achieve their full potential and remain engaged in their sport.

This commitment from our kaiako and members is paying dividends. From humble beginnings, Phoenix Aquatics has had representation at all levels of international swimming, from Junior Teams, through to World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympic selection. This has seen us become firmly established as one of New Zealand’s top clubs placing swimmers on National teams and finishing in the top 5 at National Championships. We also present a strong presence in Junior swimming where Phoenix has won Regional and National titles in the 12/under Junior Festival categories and regularly features amongst the top 3 clubs in regional events.

Phoenix Aquatics enjoys providing our members with the opportunities to realise the results of their hard work and dedication, be that qualifying for international, national or regional meets, gaining national swimming titles, making a final, achieving a personal best, or being an important, supportive team member. The pride our members experience when they test themselves against the best and enjoy the mana that comes with the knowledge that their mahi has provided them with this opportunity is a joy to witness. That coupled with learning the resilience and self-management required to perform and for our older swimmers, to step up to help mentor and lead, are tools that we are dedicated to ensuring our swimmers acquire so they can be applied to other areas of their lives.

Training Facilities

In a sport where pool space is at a premium, Phoenix Aquatics is extremely grateful for the relationship we have established with NZLSwim and Northcote College which has seen us have exclusive access to the Northcote College pool. Our members are tremendously proud of ‘their’ modest pool, and the relationship has meant we have been able to work with the school to maintain a facility that also ensures they can continue to offer water safety programs and training for school teams and additional community programs.

This relationship has seen us, along with the assistance of very generous members, upgrade the starting blocks, improve the seating around the pool, refresh the changing rooms and establish a permanent covered outdoor land training area. Recently Northcote College has also had the pool resurfaced and painted and work tirelessly with the coaches and NZLSwim to ensure the filtration and heating system is maintained to the highest standard possible.

We are proud to call Northcote College Pool our home.

phoenix aquatics race day at northcote college pool
northcote college pool newly resurfaced
David Lyles coaching at Phoenix Aquatics training pool situated in Northcote College Auckland

Contact Details

Pool Location
Northcote College Pool
5 Kauri Glen Rd
Northcote, Auckland
New Zealand

Membership Enquires
Calvin Schaanick
Phone: 027 429 6598

Coaching/Squad Enquires
David Lyles
Head Coach
Phone: 021 828 850

23/24 Board Members

Ming Zhang
Michael Wang
Vanessa Ouwehand
David See
Sally Cheng
Lin Hongren
Officials Co-ordinator

If you wish to contact any of the current board members please email Ming Zhang:


Please contact Ming Zhang if you are interested in volunteering for any of the below positions

Squad Manager

Our Coaches 

David Lyles Phoenix Aquatics head coach
David Lyles head coach at phoenix aquatics coaching the senior swimmers

David Lyles – Head Coach

The PA programme is headed by 6-time Olympic Coach, David Lyles who was Head Coach at club, University and National training centre level in the UK, coaching over 20 swimmers to international level, including finalists at both Sydney and Athens Olympic Games before becoming Head Coach to the Shanghai provincial team in China. Here, coach Lyles won more than a dozen medals at Asian, World, and Olympic Games before being appointed Head Coach to the New Zealand National Performance Centre in 2013. During his time with the National programme, swimmers won medals at World, Commonwealth & Pan-Pacific championships, as well as setting the first World Record for a generation.

David Lyles has been a coach at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as the 2013 and 2022 World Championship teams. He is the Chair of the Auckland Coaching group, as well as a member of the NZ High Performance Coaching Group and several National Federation working groups on education and competition planning.

With an Honours degree in Sports Management from the World-renowned Carnegie Sports College in Leeds, David Lyles brings over 35 years of coaching knowledge and experience to the club programme and guides a team of young, aspiring and capable coaches who focus on technique and skill in the water together with a passion and hunger for swimming success.

David has received a number of other awards and qualifications throughout his career including:

  • ASA Coach
  • China National Coach
  • New Zealand Gold level coach
  • Young British coach of the year
  • Magnolia award for contribution to the city of Shanghai
  • New Zealand Coach of the Year

What keeps David going is not winning, but the quest for reaching potential in himself, his coaches, and his kids as swimmers. Victory is not when you have won, but when you know you have done your best.

David Lyles Phoenix Aquatics head coach
David Lyles head coach at phoenix aquatics coaching the senior swimmers
Coach Jenny Lyles with Phoenix Aquatics winners

Jenny Lyles – Senior Coach

A former professional swimmer in China, Jenny reached international standard at both World Schools and World Cup level. After retiring from swimming, Jenny went to study International Business at Jiao Tong University where she managed to combine her studies and running a small learn to swim school for both Chinese and foreign children.

After moving to the UK, Jenny took a position as Swimming Development Officer at the University of Bath. With the emphasis on the quality of teaching and focus on core skill acquisition, it was not long before she was back on poolside as a development coach. She fed directly into the University Age Group programme which went on to be National Age Group champions in 2004 and 2005.

A fully qualified ASA Teacher, Jenny moved back to China in 2005 to work as a swimming coach with the Shanghai provincial team. With the success of the swimmers under her guidance, Jenny was selected to the Chinese National coaching staff in 2009 and attended both Asian and World Championships as well as coaching swimmers to the 2012 Olympic Games in London with several swimmers winning medals at these competitions.

After moving to New Zealand in 2013, Jenny returned to her first love of teaching swimming, forming the “Swim2Win” swim school. Her influence is felt by youngsters across Auckland and her eye for detail and total focus on technique development provides a pool of talented swimmers that feed into the Phoenix Aquatic programme.

Bridget Maher giving advice at swim meet to phoenix aquatics competitor
Michael Mincham coaching poolside
Ryan Lockwood Phoenix Aquatics Coach with senior swimmers

The Engine Room

Bridget Maher – Aquatic Manager

Bridget has been involved in swimming for most of her life as a competitor, teacher, and coach. She excelled in distance races and made finals at the New Zealand Senior Championships for 8 consecutive years, winning medals at NZ National Championships both in the pool and on the Open Water circuit.

She began her coaching career whilst she was still competing, starting out as a volunteer teacher at just 15 years old in the Wairarapa region before heading to Manawatu to further both her education and swimming performances.

Bridget completed a Certificate in International Sport Studies whilst training and teaching in school’s swimming programmes and her distance successes led to selection for the New Zealand team at the Hong Kong Open Water World Cup and the Oceania Championships in 2014.

Bridget holds a Bachelor in Sport & Exercise Science (Coaching) and is a Bronze Level accredited Swimming New Zealand coach. She has worked for NZLSwim since they opened in 2016 and played a pivotal role in the development of both the squad system and the Phoenix Aquatics club. She has been selected for the Auckland Team for the Caro cup on several occasions and has also been a part of successful junior camps overseas.

With a wealth of experience, passion and knowledge, Bridget works at most levels of the programme but is directly responsible for the identification and development of swimmers graduating from the swim school and moving into squad swimming. To most youngsters and their families, Bridget is the face of NZLSwim and her position as Aquatic Manager is a reflection of her commitment and determination to make the programme succeed at all levels.

Ryan Lockwood – Head Junior Coach

The dynamic and passionate coach Lockwood leads the ‘Stars” section of the Phoenix Aquatics programme which identifies and develops the champions of tomorrow.

An integral part of the club, the Stars system has already produced over 30 National qualifiers and 10 national age group medallists and is the cornerstone of quality assurance proving detailed age-appropriate technical skill development and an education programme to ensure all swimmers are equipped for future success.

Ryan has additional responsibility for the development of all junior swimmers within the club system and works with swimmers from the Swim2Win feeder programme as well as assisting with the Age Group performance programme and ensuring a smooth transition for all aspiring junior swimmers.

As a former competitive swimmer at NSS, Ryan competed for 10 years before transitioning to coaching where his swimmers set 16 Auckland Records and 2 New Zealand Records. He went to Massey University where he got a Bachelor of Science Degree, Majoring in Psychology with a Minor in Business Law.

In 2019, Ryan became a part of Phoenix Aquatics, under the mentorship of Head Coach David Lyles. He was appointment Head Junior Coach at the beginning of 2023 and the junior section of the club has won many regional titles, with swimmers breaking Auckland records and featuring in the top 3 clubs at the Swimming NZ Junior Festival event.

Ryan has been selected to coach the Auckland squad at Caro Cup level and more recently taking the Age Group team away to compete in the NSW State Championships in Sydney. He was also a part of the Swimming NZ team to Mission Viejo, LA and is a regular coach on the National Age Group programme, having been on several camps and being a team coach on the SNZ Tri-Series.

Identified as a promising young coach, Ryan is a member of the HP Coaching group and is also part of a select group of emerging coaches personally educated by world-renowned sports coaching mentor Wayne Goldsmith.

Ryan believes that consistency is the key to improving an athlete’s performance and that thinking is reflected in his motto: “Show up, do the work, and let the magic happen.”

Outside of the pool, he finds joy in exploring New Zealand and surfing all around the country.

Michael Mincham – Age Group Coach

Swimming has been a lifelong passion for Michael, who started competitive swimming at the age of 5 and continued right through to 21. Throughout his competitive swimming journey, Michael achieved remarkable milestones by breaking over 20 New Zealand Age Group Records and represented New Zealand in various National and International events between 2011 to 2017, including the Youth Olympic Games, Youth Commonwealth Games, Junior Pan Pacific Games, World Championships, and World University Games.

Michael was instrumental in getting David Lyles back into serious coaching way back in 2016 when, after watching the Olympic Trials on TV, he decided he wanted to return to the water and make the World Championship Team.

With only 6 months in which to qualify, Michael turned to his former coach, David Lyles, for guidance. Swimming many sessions on his own in lane 6, with just his coach for company he not only achieved his goal of World Championship status, but attracted other high calibre swimmers to the programme, planting the seed from which Phoenix Aquatics would later grow.

Michael has a great deal of experience in teaching and coaching for someone so young, as he started at the age of 18 teaching swimming at The Southport School in Australia, where he worked with children with disabilities. Upon returning to New Zealand, Michael continued teaching for Jenny and David with their Swim2win and NZL Swim programmes.

His coaching trajectory advanced under the mentorship of David Lyles, and Michael was instrumental in the growth and development of both the Age Group and Stars Programmes. Michael moved to the Mt Eden Swimming Club to take on the role of Head Coach, playing a pivotal role in the reconstruction of the competitive programme at the Mt Eden Site and being rewarded with selection onto the Auckland coaching staff for the NSW State Championships.

Michael was welcomed back to Phoenix and brings a wealth of experience and dedication to swimming, both as a seasoned competitor and a skilled coach. His unique ability to reach, understand and communicate with swimmers of all ages and levels has made him a firm favourite among parents and swimmers alike and is in great demand for both group and private coaching sessions.

He aspires to foster joy and a deep passion for the sport of swimming, with a commitment to giving back to the very activity that presented him with so many opportunities. Michael’s objective is to provide children with the chances and opportunities to grow and develop, enabling them to reflect on their swimming journey and emerge as stronger and more positive individuals, both in water and in life.

Calvin Schaanick – Programme Coach

Calvin’s swimming career started at the relatively late age of 12, but being a fast learner, he quickly moved on, winning medals at South African NAGS in Butterfly and Freestyle sprint events between the ages of 13-16.

He first started teaching swimming at the age of 19 having been sidelined through injury and just a year later, found himself coaching at the junior level for Seagulls Swimming Club under South African Head Coach – Graham Hill.

He went on to run numerous squads over a range of age groups, including Olympic Medallist Chad Le Clos. Calvin ran the dryland and conditioning programmes for the age group squads and was a coach on various away trips within South Africa.

In 2019, Calvin went on to head a club by himself and significantly increased the number of qualified Junior National swimmers however, the club folded when COVID-19 hit South Africa and he was offered another head coach position where he again significantly increased the number of NAGS qualifiers doubling the number of swimmers at that standard.

In 2022, Calvin moved to New Zealand with his wife, who is a registered nurse, and their son and shortly afterwards, started at Phoenix Aquatics as Programme Coach with responsibility for the Junior Development squads and involvement in the advanced levels of the learn to swim programme as well as looking after the administration of the club.

Calvin holds a certificate in personal training and basic first aid and is a development level coach in New Zealand. He has been selected for the Auckland Team for the Caro Cup and supports the Junior swimmers at local and regional meets.