Meet the Liz van Welie Swim School team
Greg (Owner/Swim Instructor)
Growing up in Waihi with a pool in the front yard and with grandparents living on the beach front at Waihi Beach, Greg has been in water all his life. A competitive triathlete and a surfer his entire life, Greg considers learning to swim a skill that not only can save a life but provide so many opportunities.
Greg has taught for 10 years and worked in sport development and consultancy with Sport Bay of Plenty for 10 years. Greg has been leading coach development throughout New Zealand and has developed interests in psychological type and learning preferences.
With Greg's knowledge and Liz's experience it was a natural development that they would open the Liz van Welie Swim School.
Liz (Owner/Swim Instructor)
Originally from Alexandra in Central Otago, Liz moved to Dunedin when she was 16 to pursue her swimming career under the famous "Mr. Laing" and the rest is history. A semi-finalist in 200M Fly at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, one of the only two to make it so far, Liz went on to claim silver in the 400M IM at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002.
Having gained degrees in both Physical Education and Marketing, Liz has a love of learning and now enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. Liz and her husband Greg opened the swim school in January 2011. Amongst her other interests and hobbies, Liz loves to do some surfing and baking.
Wendy (Swim Instructor/Office Manager)
Originally from Perth Western Australia, Wendy worked for 6 years as an AUSTSWIM qualified swimming teacher for the Education Department. She moved to New Zealand nearly 4 years ago with a Kiwi husband and 2 teenage children to enjoy the country lifestyle of Tauranga.
Since moving here she has added another 3 years swimming teaching experience. Wendy has also worked as a nanny with Porse and has an Early Childhood and Care Certificate Level 3.
Wendy is passionate about children learning how to be safe in and around water and learning how to swim from an early age. Her own children were water babies and she absolutely loves seeing how much fun and confidence they have in the water.
Outside work Wendy enjoys cooking, horse riding, and swimming at the beach – but doesn't like being dumped by the waves! She also enjoys spending time with family and walking in the native bush. Wendy looks forward to teaching children how to swim in a fun, positive and safe environment and to help them to develop a love of water.
Jess (Swim Instructor/Office Manager)
Jess Ion was born in Kawerau but then moved to Palmerston North where she has stayed until she moved back to the sunny Bay of Plenty this year.
Jess has a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise degree majoring in Management and Coaching. She is also a qualified AUSTSWIM teacher and a Les Mills RPM Instructor.
After obtaining her degree, Jess has been involved in sport. For the Horowhenua District Council, she managed all their aquatic events and swim school programmes. Jess also worked this year in the USA as a lifeguard and swimming instructor in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Jess suffered a near drowning when she was an infant and was rescued by the Westpac helicopter. This has led to her lifelong commitment and passion to keep children safe and teach them to be confident in water.
Other interests for Jess include triathlon and running events, cross fit, travel, and spending time with family and friends.
Anne (Swim Instructor)
Before having three children, Anne worked for 10 years as a physiotherapist, with postgraduate diplomas in Manipulation and Acupuncture. Originally from Whakatane, she has had a lifelong love of swimming, which she still uses as her preferred form of exercise.
In her spare time she is a keen pianist, and plays the flugel horn in a band.
Anne is delighted to be working with us, where she can combine her personal and professional knowledge to assist our younger swimmers to gain confidence, while learning fundamental water skills through movement, music and play.
Rachael (Swim Instructor)
Rachael was born in Scotland but moved to New Zealand when she was a child, growing up in Hamilton. She gained a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Drama through The University of Waikato and is also a trained Padi Dive Master.
As a busy mum to three young boys, in recent years Rachael has been actively involved in playcentres and has learned a lot about child behaviour and development.
While working at Liz van Welie Swim School Rachael's goal is to foster a love of the water and swimming in others and help children to learn life saving skills.
Cloe (Swim Instructor)
Cloe grew up in Auckland, moving to Tauranga 10 years ago to marry her husband Alan. She is now mum to two primary school aged children. Cloe is a qualified nanny and has previously worked for Porse in this role.
While working here Cloe would like to help children learning to swim feel empowered to succeed and feel confident in the water while having fun in an environment that's safe for their learning.
In her spare time she enjoys running, going to the gym, reading, boogie boarding, playing the guitar and spending time with her family.
Rochelle (Swim Instructor)
Rochelle was born and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. She moved to Australia for 3 years and recently moved to Tauranga.
After finishing her schooling in Australia, Rochelle completed a Specialist Sport Programme, receiving the Pierre de Coubertin Award for excellence. She has coached Rowing and Hockey for Ballarat High School.
Rochelle worked at the Mark Stahl Swim School in Ballarat, which will help her in her role at the Liz van Welie Swim School. While working for us she hopes to learn every child's name and make them the best swimmers. She expects her passion for swimming and water sports will rub off on the kids.
Outside of work, Rochelle enjoys lots of sports (including AFL), art and travelling. She loves going camping with the family and also taking part in charity events and triathlons.
Cassie (Swim Instructor)
Cassie Fellinger was born in Middleburg, Mpumalanga in South Africa. Cassie tried several activities while she was at school including ballet, netball and swimming. She was a provincial representative at swimming.
At the age of 16, Cassie moved to Tauranga and went to Otumoetai College where she gained her NCEA Level 3. She is currently studying at Bay of Plenty Polytech to become a Chartered Accountant.
While she is working at Liz van Welie Swim School, Cassie hopes to teach the children to become safe in water and help them to build up their confidence.
Outside of teaching and studying, Cassie can be found reading either a book or a kindle. She often spends time with friends and goes to the movies or watches a video at home.
Lys (Swim Instructor)
Lys Game was born and grew up in Tauranga. Lys currently studies at Tauranga Girls College and has an endorsed NCEA Level 1 & 2 with Merit.
Lys has done babysitting and has worked with a catering company. Lys swam competitively for 6 years winning several provincial swimming medals.
While she is working at Liz van Welie Swim School, Lys’ goals are to help children become confident in the water while learning to swim for them to be safe in and around water and make it an enjoyable experience for them.
Outside of teaching and studying, Lys enjoys playing water polo, travelling with her family and spending time with her friends.
Emma (Swim Instructor)
Emma Karl was born in Perth, Western Australia. The family moved to Tauranga in 2010.
Emma studied at Aquinas College and she graduated from there in 2015 gaining Level 3 NCEA. She is now studying for a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.
Emma has done babysitting and has also done fruit picking at the Oropi Orchard.
While she is working at Liz van Welie Swim School, Emma's goals are to get to know each child and help them gain experience and confidence in the water. She wants to provide an opportunity for each swimmer to swim to the best of their ability.
Outside of teaching and studying, Emma enjoys tennis and spending quality time with family and friends. She loves the outdoors and is always up for an adventure.
Maegan (Swim Instructor)
Maegan was born and raised in Hamilton and has just recently moved to Tauranga. After high school she spent a few years travelling the world and working in American Summer camps through Camp America.
Maegan has previously taught for 6 years at Hilton Brown Swimming School in Hamilton and is very passionate about water safety and learning to swim. She is very enthusiastic and loves to see children’s confidence grow as their swimming progresses.
While she is working at Liz van Welie Swim School, Maegan will encourage children to learn about water safety and skills that will improve their confidence around water. She also wants them to be stronger and more aware of water safety.
Outside of work, Maegan enjoys going hiking, going to the beach and playing volleyball.
Gra (Office Manager)
Gra hails from North Wales. He gained a degree from the University of Liverpool in Maths and Physics. He shifted to New Zealand when his family were under 5 years of age and lived in New Plymouth. From there he moved to Dunedin via Dargaville.
Gra worked at the University of Otago and while in Dunedin he became involved in local and national swimming administration. He even supports the Highlanders!
While working at the Liz van Welie Swim School Gra hopes to get to know all parents and brighten up their days.