Our Coaches

Head Coach: Danielle Brault, B.Sc. (phys.ed.), M.Sc. (kinesiology), NCCP (Level 3)

Over 30 years of coaching already - time flies when one’s having fun! I started in 1973 as an assistant with the Équipe de Natation de Cowansville (Québec) and became the head coach in May 1977. The youth team was quite competitive at the time with about 100 swimmers, almost maximum numbers considering Cowansville is a small town of 12,000. At the same time as heading the Swim Team, I also taught physical education in Eastern Townships’ elementary schools. An extremely busy period of my life.

Having heard of the Masters program, I started coaching a group of adults as an extension to the youth group in 1979. And it was fun! Quite a few of the swimmers who were with the club when it began are still swimming in Cowansville. It is great for me to join them in workouts when I’m in Quebec visiting my family.

In 1985, I took a one year leave of absence from my Quebec jobs and traveled to Germany where I became head coach of the Lahr Beavers Swim Team, a club set up for children of Canadian military personnel based in Lahr. These adults were keen and fit, an easy target for starting another Masters program. We competed in Switzerland, France, Denmark . . . a tough life!

I enjoyed Germany so much that I applied for a teaching job with DND and for several years taught at base schools in Lahr and Baden. Back in Canada in 1991, I completed a Masters degree in kinesiology at the Université de Montréal and did some coaching with the University’s Masters Team for one year. I then returned to Cowansville for a couple of years to teach and yes, to coach masters.

In July 1994 I met Avila at the World Championships in Montreal and she told me the Victoria Masters were looking for a coach for the upcoming season. Super for me as I was moving west and looking for work. And here I am in 2012. This is my 18th year with VMSC and I truly enjoy coaching such dedicated swimmers. When I’m not coaching or teaching, I’m in the water myself or on the running trail.

Assistant Coach: Avila Rhodes, B.Ed.

Avila has been swimming with the Victoria Masters Swim club for years - she recruited Danielle to coach the team when they met in 1994! Avila started as an assistant coach for the club in the 2003-2004 season, and her enthusiasm for swimming and athletics is much appreciated by the swimmers! Avila has been instructing/coaching at a number of Victoria pools since her teens. After highschool she got her BEd at Uvic and taught for several years.

Avila has been working as a coach for the Island Swimming Club at Commonwealth Pool for the past 20 years (& continues to do so) mainly introducing young swimmers to the world of competitive swimming. She has competed & trained as a Masters swimmer for almost 30 years. During the summers Avila admits to dabbling in open water swims and triathlons.

Assistant Coach: Alex Cape. B Mus, B Ed, NCCP (Level 2)

I started swimming as an awkward 11 year old, with none other than Rod Carmichael as my first coach. I was not a success as a young swimmer, not at all. And while this was a discouraging time for me, I think that experience helped shape how I coach and teach others.

I first started coaching in 1995, volunteering with Victoria Special Olympics. That same year, my sister and I started a team at my high school, which is when I first worked with Avila. From 1995 to 2006, I made my way through the ranks of BC Summer Swimming, finishing my career as a Head Coach. I have coached all over BC, and have seen hundreds of kids grow up. In fact, over the years I have coached both Rod's and Avila's kids.

I studied music and education at UVic and had plans of becoming a band teacher. I ended up working with developmentally disabled adults for 3 years, and after considering more schooling for social work or nursing, I joined the Army Reserves as a medic in 2009.

Having spent more than 20 years in the pool, swimming is clearly my first love. But I also play hockey, soccer, and football, and am a qualified ski instructor. I joined Victoria Masters in 2006, and began filling in for the coaches in 2007. Being on the pool deck makes me happy, and I love watching as swimmers of all levels make improvements and work hard.

Assistant Coach: Cindy Mabee

Cindy Mabee is the newest addition to the Vic Masters coaching staff. Cindy started swimming in 1976 with the Saanich Swim Club at the Gordon Head Pool. She swam competitively until 1992, swimming at the National level (finalist and medalist) from age 13. She started coaching in 1988 to help out with the club she was swimming for, caught the bug and started coaching full-time in 1990 in Campbell River. As a certified NCCP Level III coach, Cindy has coached all over the province, and has worked with a broad range of ages and abilities. Many of the youngsters she coached have gone on to swim for Provincial and National teams, and break Provincial and National records. After 25 years of coaching, she now recognizes many of those youngsters as 40 year olds who are still swimming.

Cindy started swimming Masters in 2002 and has had a blast racing as an adult. In spite of taking breaks along the way to focus on family and coaching, she has swum personal life time best times in the last few years and has broken several World Records (around 11 at last estimate).