Competitive Squads

Competitive Squad swimmers are members of the SOPAC Swim Team and compete at club nights, meets and other social activities.

Swimmers underwater in lanes

Competitive Squads

Squads is a comprehensive squad training program that prepares swimmers for competition at all levels or for those just wanting to maintain fitness.

The squad levels focus on maintaining advanced technique, whilst giving swimmers the opportunity to develop their own competition skills.

About SOPAC Swim Team

The SOPAC Swim Team's mission is to promote swimming as a sport by actively encouraging the pursuit of competitive success and excellence. By creating a swimming club culture dedicated to innovation and excellence, we aim to promote and respect these ideals at the highest levels within the competitive swimming community and the general public.

SOPAC Swim Team is affiliated with NSW Swimming and is a member of the Metro North West District. The club is a non-profit organisation with all funds raised being reinvested into the club for the benefit of its members.

The club holds a race meet each month and competes against other NSW-affiliated clubs at Invitational Meets, which are hosted by fellow clubs. Club membership entitles swimmers to compete against other clubs in Metropolitan, State and National Championships.

The club places a great deal of emphasis on its young members. It exists not only to help fund members attending National Championships but also to develop and encourage young swimmers.

Each squad swimmer is encouraged to be a member of the SOPAC Swim Team. Membership enables swimmers to participate in monthly club nights, and race meets. Find out more about the SOPAC Swim Team.

Join the squad
 

Squad coaches

James Greathead - Senior Performance Squad Coach
James Greathead

James Greathead is a highly skilled performance coach with 18 years of experience and is renowned for his dedication and passion for building environments that optimise for the development of individual potential through challenge, support and exploration.

Some of his extensive highlights include serving as the Head Coach at Wests Illawarra Aquatic Swim Club, earning APV Club Of The Year in 2021/22, coaching Jarrod Poort and Wesley Roberts to remarkable successes, including World Championships and Olympic Games representation, National Event Camp Team Coach (100/200 Women) and placing swimmers on Junior World Championship and Junior Pan Pac teams.

James’ experience also saw him employed as the Australian Triathlon National Swim Lead and a key member of the NSWIS triathlon coaching team.

Adam Kable - NSW High Performance Hub Coach
Adam Kable

Having coached high-performance athletes at Sydney Olympic Park since 2011, Adam Kable leads the Olympic Park Performance Hub's coaching team. He is a four-time consecutive winner of the NSW Swimming Coach of the Year award and has guided athletes onto each and every Australian swimming team, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan Pacific Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Cup events, and more. In 2019 alone, the NSWIS coach guided one athlete to a world-record performance and a world championship gold and silver medal.

Adam’s philosophy involves connecting with each athlete as a person and developing an individual performance plan to help them achieve their goals. This plan combined with a strong squad culture built on ownership and accountability has driven the squad to be one of the best in the nation.

Adam holds an undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy and a Master of Education in Coach Education.

Coaching appointments:

2019World Championships Australian Team Coach
2018Pan Pacs Australian Team Coach
2018Commonwealth Games Australian Team Coach
2017World Championships Australian Team Coach
2016Junior Pan Pacific Championships Australian Team Coach
2015World Junior Championships Australian Team Coach
2015Australian Rio Protocol Camp Coach
2014FINA Youth Program Mentor Coach
2014Lead Coach Australian National Talent ID Squad
2013Australian Youth Olympic Festival Australian Team Coach
Daniel Benvenuti - National Age Performance & Junior Competition Squad Coach
Daniel Benvenuti

Daniel has been a long time regular at Sydney Olympic Park, starting off his swimming career in the parents and babies’ classes, and later re-joining in the learn to swim levels. He quickly worked his way into squads at the age of 13, and soon after qualified for the State Championships in the 14 years 100 Breaststroke. Throughout the next year Daniel qualified for the 100m and 200m Breaststroke, the 100m Butterfly and the 200m IM at the State Age Championships.

Later in his career he attended his first National Championships in Brisbane in 2012 and continued to qualify for National Age and Open events until he retired from competitive swimming at 19. Daniel then went on to teach learn to swim for 5 years at Sydney Olympic Park, where he took a role as a mini squad coach, quickly progressing up to junior squad. He has worked his way up, over time, to be the State coach at Sydney Olympic Park. Daniel has completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching degree.

Coaching appointments and achievements:

  • Development coaching license
  • Teacher of competitive strokes (AUSTWIM)
  • Former state, national age, and open qualifier
  • Swim teacher for 8 years
  • Coached metropolitan medallist’s
  • Coached state medallist’s
Pancha Thambo - State Age Competition Squad & Junior Competition Squad Coach
Pancha Thambo

Pancha is a highly experienced coach who has been coaching successfully for over 30 years. In this time he has coached many State and National age champions. Pancha has also been the development coach of many outstanding swimmers  who have continued on to international competitions. He started coaching in Southern California in 1984 before moving to Riyadh to work in the British International school.

He has also been the lead coach of Junior State programs at SOPAC (formally SAC Seals) and MLC Marlins, when these clubs won the NSW junior state point scores. Pancha was also Head Coach of PLC School and guided the school team to 8 victories in the prestigious NSW independent  Girls’ Swimming association between 2006- 2017. He comes back to SOPAC with a passion to develop the next generation of outstanding swimmers.
 
Pancha is an avid fan of Cricket and Soccer, but he is most passionate about coaching swimming.  

Coaching appointments and achievements:

  • Level 2 Silver Advanced Coach
  • Multiple NSW Swimming Teams
  • NSWIS scholarship holder coach
  • 1st National Age Gold Medallist 2007
  • NSW Junior State Championships, Point Score Champions (Lead Coach)
  • Senior Assistant Coach Lane Cove (2018-2021)
  • Head Swimming Coach Presbyterian Ladies College 2006-2017
  • Junior Head Coach MLC Marlins 2002-2006
  • Junior Head Coach SAC Seals (SOPAC) 1998-2001
William Choi - Junior Competition Squad & Transition Competition Squad Coach
William Choi

William began swimming at the age of three and worked his way into mini squads, where he began his competitive career by the age of eight. He qualified for State Age in the sprint events for both the Freestyle and Butterfly.

William’s competitive career ended at the age of 18, but he moved into the teaching pathway, establishing a career in Learn to Swim, where he taught all ages and levels, from beginners through to mini squads. He then moved into competitive stroke coaching, where he gained further qualifications and experience.

William is currently studying at ACU to become a school teacher, where he is further developing his passion for guiding young people. His pedagogical approach to swimming ensures that those under his tutelage develop their skills and understanding towards the sport, ultimately developing exceptional swimmers and guiding them to achieve their goals.

Coaching appointments and achievements:

  • Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety (AUSTWIM)
  • Teacher of Towards Competitive Strokes (AUSTWIM)
  • Past competitive state-age swimmer
  • Swim Teacher since 2018

New squad swimmers

If interested, complete a New squad swimmer form to express your interest and a trial session will be arranged with the most suitable group.

Trial sessions: $5 per session/person (parent and swimmer require to pay on entry)

Enrolment is via monthly direct debit, complete Direct Debit Agreement Form and submit to the Swim School office at [email protected]

Entry cards

Once enrolment has been confirmed swimmers and parents will be issued with an entry card. This card enables access to the Aquatic Centre on your designated training day and times.

Entry cards need to be presented at the Service Desk to gain entry for your squad session. Your entry cards cannot be used for access to the Centre outside the training times. Lost or stolen cards are the responsibility of the cardholder and a $5 fee will be charged for a replacement card.

Senior Performance Squad

Coach: James Greathead

This squad is for athletes who have achieved National Open qualification or are a senior National Age qualifier. Swimmers will be accepted into this squad via consultation with the Head Coach. This is a performance squad for athletes that devote their full focus to swimming. Athletes will be reviewed annually or when the circumstances warrant a review.

Training requirements

  • Each athlete is expected to maintain a full training load (8-9 sessions per week & gym)
  • Membership to SOPAC Swim Team


Kit bag: kickboard, snorkel, fins, pull-buoy, paddles, band (All with name clearly marked)

Training timesMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
AM5 am - 7 am5 am - 7 am5 am - 7 am5 am - 7 am5 am - 7 am6 am - 8 am
PM4 pm - 6:30 pmGym4 pm - 6:30 pm 4 pm - 6:30 pmGym


Cost: $200 per month

NSW Hub High Performance Program

Coach: Adam Kable

The High Performance program that operates out of the SOPAC pool is the pinnacle of the program. Entry to this squad is via approval from Adam Kable and the NSW Technical Director Ron McKeon.

Training requirements as per direction of High Performance team and Coach. It is expected that members of the NSW Hub program treat the membership like a full-time job, with part-time university study or part-time work worked around training.

National Age Performance Squad

Coach: Daniel Benvenuti

Due to the performance nature of this squad, there is a performance-based criteria assigned. Swimmers in this squad will have achieved multiple National Age qualifying times or are at a training level that is consistent with the attainment of a National Age qualifying time in the near future.

In addition, swimmers must meet attendance and trainability requirements. Selection into this squad will be in consultation with the Head Coach and National Age Performance Coach. Athletes will be reviewed annually or when the circumstances warrant a review.

Training requirements

  • Each athlete is expected to maintain a full training load (6-7 sessions per week & gym)
  • Membership to SOPAC Swim Team


Kit bag: kickboard, snorkel, fins, pull-buoy, paddles, band (All with name clearly marked)

TRAINING TIMESMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
AM5 am - 7 am5 am - 7 am 5 am - 7 am5am - 7am 6am - 8am
PM 4 pm - 6:30 pm 4 pm - 6:30 pmGym4pm - 6.30pmGym


Cost: $200 per month

State Competition Squad

Coach: Pancha Thambo

Athletes in this squad will be training at a consistent level. Swimmers will have attained state qualifying times. This is a medley-based squad in which swimmers will focus on all strokes.

Training requirements

  • Each athlete is expected to maintain a full training load (4-6 sessions per week)
  • Membership to SOPAC Swim Team

As a rough guide, swimmers should train half of their age plus or minus a session. For example, a 10-year-old should train 5 sessions, plus or minus 1 session.


Kit bag: kickboard, snorkel, fins, pull-buoy, paddles, band (All with name clearly marked)

TRAINING TIMESMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
AM 5 am - 7 am5 am - 7 am 5 am - 7 am 6 am - 8 am
PM4 pm - 6:30 pm 4 pm - 6:30 pm 4 pm - 6:30 pm 


Cost: $190 per month

Junior Competition Squad

Coach:

William Choi - Mon

Pancha Thambo - Tue, Wed, Thu

Daniel Benvenuti - Fri

Swimmers in this squad will continue to develop their competition race skills. They will continue to refine their starts, turns and underwater skills. At this level swimmers will achieve a greater aerobic capacity, leading to greater volume in training sessions. Swimmers will also undertake dry land activities in the 30 minutes prior to training in the afternoon (4:30 pm – 5 pm).

Training requirements

  • Minimum of 4 sessions per week
  • Membership to SOPAC Swim Team


Kit bag: kickboard, snorkel, fins, pull-buoy (All with name clearly marked)

TRAINING TIMESMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
AM5.30 am - 7 am 5.30 am - 7 am  5.30 am - 7 am
PM4 pm - 6 pm4 pm - 6 pm 4 pm - 6 pm 


Cost: $185 per month

Transition Competition Squad

Coach: William Choi

This squad is the entry level to the competitive pathway program. Swimmers will be required to join the SOPAC Swimming Club. Swimmers will work at developing all strokes, developing starts and underwater skills and learning how to compete in individual medley races. Swimmers will start to develop their aerobic system. Swimmers will be introduced to competitive swimming at club and area meets.

Training requirements

  • Minimum of 3 sessions per week
  • Membership to SOPAC Swim Team


Kit bag: kickboard, snorkel, fins, pull-buoy (All with name clearly marked)

TRAINING TIMESMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
AM  

5:15 am - 6:15 am

6:15 am - 7:15 am

 

5:15 am - 6:15 am

6:15 am - 7:15 am

PM 

4 pm - 5:15 pm

5:15 pm - 6:30 pm

 

4 pm - 5:15 pm

5:15 pm - 6:30 pm

4 pm - 5:15 pm

5:15 pm - 6:30 pm


Cost: $180 per month