Peel Aquatic Club, based at the MARC in the City of Mandurah, Western Australia is excited to announce the appointment of internationally renowned swimmer and high performance coach Zoë Baker as the Club’s new Head Coach.
Baker, born in Great Britain, is a former four-time World Record Holder and has over a decade of coaching experience in both club and High-Performance environments. This includes coaching Internationally at all three seasons of the International Swimming League (ISL) for Energy Standard and LA Current teams.
Baker’s success in and out the water is World Class. Baker set a European record for 50m Breaststroke at the 1999 European Championships (LC) in Istanbul as well as becoming European Champion (SC) the same year in Lisbon, Portugal.
She went on to secure medals at the European Championships in 2000, and won medals at the 2001 FINA (LC) World Championships in Japan, 2022 World (SC) Championships in Moscow and 2003 World (LC) Championships in Barcelona.
A highlight for Baker was winning the gold medal for England at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, where she broke the Commonwealth and World Record to dominate victory in the 50m Breaststroke event. She was one of only two swimmers to break the world record at these Games along with Ian Thorpe (AUS).
Baker switched to represent New Zealand from 2005-2008 due to her training base being in Christchurch and having gained New Zealand Citizenship in 2000. She went on to compete for Swimming New Zealand at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
“Zoë comes with a swimming and coaching pedigree matched by few others and has coached some of Britain’s most talented swimmers”, said Adam Woodage, President of Peel Aquatic Club.
“We are absolutely delighted to have secured Zoë as our new Head Coach and are looking forward to building on our current success and further developing high performance squads and swimming talent in Mandurah.”
"I'm very excited to be taking on the Head Coach role at Peel Aquatic. Something which almost happened back in 2017", said Baker.
"My roles previously have focused on training athletes to be competitive at events such as the European, World Championships and Olympic Games. I have successfully created high-performance training environments where Junior and Senior athletes can thrive. My plan is to do the same at Peel Aquatic Club, by setting up a new Elite ‘pro team’ and building the Performance squad, whilst nurturing home-grown talent. The aim is to provide pathways for every swimmer to reach their full potential."
Baker has been coaching for the past ten years in Bournemouth and Winchester in the UK where she has built high-performance squads at private schools and UK swimming clubs, coaching the likes of GB international Kayla Van Der Merwe (19) who won gold in 100m Breaststroke at the European Junior Championships in Kazan and medals at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Budapest. She also coached Paralympic gold medallist Alice Tai (MBE) from 2013-2016 leading her into the Rio Paralympic games, Rio 2016.
Also, under Baker’s charge is up and coming GB sprinter Lewis Burras (22) who is currently Britain’s 2nd fastest 50m Freestyle of all time. They are currently preparing together for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“We’re delighted Zoë is joining Peel Aquatic. Recently Zoë was one of 24 female coaches selected for the UK Sport High Performance Coaches Leadership Program. As a female swimming coach with such a high pedigree this appointment is pivotal for the City of Mandurah and Australian Swimming and will draw both high performing talent and young developing swimmers into the area”, said Vice-President, Sam Larmour.
Baker starts with Peel Aquatic Club from 25 April 2022 following the 2022 Australian Age Swimming Championships and 2022 British Swimming Championships. She will make her competition debut at the Australian Open selection trials in May.
Peel Aquatic Club is based at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre (the MARC) at 303, Pinjarra Road Mandurah, Western Australia.