Courtesy: Swimming Canada
VANCOUVER – Swimming Canada is bringing a strong Canadian coach back home to bolster the staff at the High Performance Centre – Vancouver.
Mandy Bell will join the centre as its new assistant coach in the new year, returning from several years coaching in England to add to Canada’s overall coaching depth.
A 2013 graduate of the University of Calgary Kinesiology program, Bell began her coaching career with the University of Calgary Swim Club before moving to England in 2016 to coach at the City of Derby Swimming Club. After three successful years as head coach of the program, she moved on to become the Head of Performance Swimming at Stockport Metro in 2019.
During her time in England, Bell has coached record-breaking national champions and international level athletes, and been selected to Team GB, British Swimming and Swim England organized camps and competitions. She was part of the Swim England Coach 2024 Program, an intensive 14-month learning journey for swimming coaches who aspire to excellence and coaching at world class levels.
“I am delighted with Mandy’s appointment. She is a very well-regarded coach in the UK and it is an exciting opportunity to have her return to Canada for the next phase of her career.” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson.
“She will bring a great perspective and relevant experience into the position. We see Mandy as a person who can further enhance the training environment for athletes at the HPC-Vancouver to help develop our NextGen programming, as well as our senior national programs.”
Bell will be working with Head Coach Brad Dingey as the centre looks to build into Paris 2024 and beyond.
“I am most looking forward to working with Brad and the swimmers at the centre,” Bell said. “I have always thought highly of Brad and very much look forward to working with and learning from him. “
Bell said she is known for being “quite calm and collected” on the pool deck.
“I would like to be known as being a coach who makes a positive impact on the athletes I work with,” she said. “Whether that be the young swimmer walking through the doors on their first day, or the seasoned professional at the prime moment of their swimming journey.”
The move is a return to roots for Bell, who grew up in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland region.
“A lot of my early memories and involvement in the sport are from competing and attending training camps in Vancouver,” she said. “After living in the UK for over 5 years now, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic about moving back and contributing to the success of swimming in Canada.”
Bell will be filling the role vacated by Ben Keast, who has accepted a new position coaching in Charlotte, N.C.
“Ben has been a dedicated and valued staff member to Swimming Canada and coach to the HPC team in Vancouver since 2017,” Atkinson said. “We would like to thank Ben for all his hard work and dedication over the past four years. We wish him all the best as he takes on this exciting new position and we look forward to seeing him on the deck again soon.”