Our Team

Our team of passionate coaches aim to inspire every swimmer to achieve their individual goals whether they are learning to swim or swimming competitively

Graham Smith


Originally from Scotland, Graham has pursued a career in coaching after stepping away from his own swimming journey. His coaching started in Scotland where he was Head Coach for Stonehaven before moving to the City of Glasgow swim team. In 2003 Graham moved to New Zealand to coach in Hamilton and started coaching with the Para Swim team in 2006.

In 2010 Graham began his position as head coach of St Paul’s Swim Club bring with him a wealth of knowledge and experience. Graham was appointed the Head coach role for the Para Swim team in 2010 World Championships in Eindhoven and lead the team in 2011 to the Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships in Edmonton. His passion for teaching and his eagerness for developing people holistically have formed an essential part of his coaching success, including coaching swimmers to national and international teams.

His philosophy of learning and teaching focuses on the athlete’s ability to understand the learning process and channel their strengths and weaknesses into their own knowledge. Graham holds a Master of Science in Performance Coaching and Swimming New Zealand Silver Coaching Award, as well as many other accreditations.

Jeremy Tasker


Hailing from the South Island, Jeremy grew up in Oamaru, Otago. He started coaching in 2017 at North Canterbury Swim Club while he also finished off his swimming career. Jeremy moved to Hawkes Bay for 18 months to become the Assistant Coach of Aquahawks Swim Club then onto St Paul’s in 2022.

His philosophy aims to encourage each swimmer to be better than they were yesterday so they each get a sense of achievement, whether that’s an NZ Title or understanding a skill. His confidence and enthusiasm while poolside brings a lot of energy and success to the team, including coaching multiple swimmers to NZ Titles.

Vicki Taylor

Vicki Taylor


Vicki has a background in management, communication and sales. She started in administration for NZ Post where she later qualified as a technician. She has experience in setting up and running several successful businesses, including Taylor Made gift baskets, a distribution business she has owned and managed for 27 years, and 2Focus Learn to Swim, a learn to swim programme in country schools. She also helped establish St Paul’s Swim Club.

Growing up at the beach, Vicki is a strong swimmer and her passion for swimming was revived when both her children started competing in the pool and at open water events. In 2008 while working with senior swimmers, Vicki decided to qualify as a life coach to help them as competitive athletes. This evolved into another business 2Focus Life coaching.

With a strong background in swimming and management, in 2009 Vicki took on the task of managing the St Paul’s Swim Club. She is grateful the two things in life she is passionate about, have become her every day work.

Vicki’s philosophy is that everyone should have equal opportunity to achieve. She believes if you have a positive attitude, self-belief and plenty of support, anything is possible.

Freya Sirl


Having been immersed in the world of swimming from a young age, the sport of swimming holds importance to me. My journey began early on, evolving into years of competitive swimming. However, it was through coaching, particularly teaching young children to swim, that I discovered my true passion. Witnessing their growth and learning of skills ignited a deep love for guiding others in their swimming journeys.

After coaching young swimmers for a while, I decided to make it my career. I spent two years as the assistant head coach at Fairfield Swimming Club before moving to St. Paul’s in May 2023. I love passing on what I’ve learned from my own swimming days to the next generation. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of helping swimmers achieve their goals. Seeing them master new skills is incredibly rewarding. I feel lucky to be a part of their journey to success.

Michelle Peoples

Michelle Peoples


Michelle has a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism from Otago University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (Secondary) from the University of Waikato.

She has worked as an event manager at Sport Bay of Plenty overseeing the multisport portfolio, including Event Director of the Port of Tauranga Half Ironman and Sport Development Officer delivering coaching courses to sports organisations. She was also secretary of the WBOP Sports Council, has been a physical education teacher at Hamilton’s Fraser High School and a sports coordinator at St Joseph’s Catholic School, Fairfield.

Michelle has a passion for all sports having played and coached many different codes through the years. She played netball and rugby at a provincial representative level and volleyball at a national level. She has 4 children; all have been competitive swimmers through the St Paul’s Swim Club with two boys still competing.

I am honoured to be the President of the St Paul’s Swim Club and excited to be part of the future development of the club.