About Us

The ACE Swimming Club was established to assist and foster the development of competitive swimming. ACE has a rich history of developing talented athletes – former Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimmer Alison Fitch was an ACE swimmer in the 1990’s and continues to support the club as a life member.

The focus of the coaches and swimmers is to strive for and attain a high level of success in competitive swimming. We cater for a wide range of ages starting from the age of 6/7 depending on ability, with fully qualified coaches to support and develop the swimmers to achieve their potential. We also cater for water polo players, triathletes and slightly older swimmers that no longer wish to compete but want to retain a good level of fitness.

Our club is normally based at Waterworld, Te Rapa and we train all year round in a heated indoor pool under the watchful eye of our coaching team. All swimmers must be affiliated to the Ace Swimming Club in order to receive the benefits of the club, and to comply with the New Zealand Swimming Federation.

Interested in Joining Ace Swimming Club?

Please contact coach Paul to arrange a suitable time for assessment:

Email: aceheadcoach@gmail.com

Coaching Team

Director of Coaching: Paul Dowey

Paul Dowey was appointed in September 2017 as Director of Coaching to Ace Swimming Club.

His passion for swim coaching is spread over nearly 20 years, with success being demonstrated many times. Paul’s swimmers have collected many medals and he has produced numerous age group champions. He has led a fellow NZ Club to a top 3 team ranking and has placed swimmers onto both NZ teams and Welsh teams.

Aside from his skills and knowledge, he brings with him a real genuine enthusiasm of getting the best out of  swimmers of whatever age in a fun way. Having worked his way up from the very bottom, he has substantial experience at a learn-to-swim level that will hold your son or daughter in good stead.

Paul can be contacted via email aceheadcoach@gmail.com or by phone +64275123521


Assistant Coach: Abby Armstrong

After finishing a BSpEXSc in 2016 Abby Walsh joined Ace Swimming Club. She has completed the Teacher of Competitive Strokes Certificate and the Swim Teachers Award.

Abby Walsh, Assistant Coach, Ace Swimming Club

Abby Walsh, Assistant Coach, Ace Swimming Club

Abby believes that coaching gives her the ability to make a positive difference in someone’s life. As a young swimmer it was her own coach that seemed to be the most inspriational person in the world. “She was a powerful woman and I wanted to be just like her.

Open Water Swimming has been a big part of Abby’s life for many years. She has competed regularly in the Ocean Swim Series and won her age group several times. Clearly a highlight has been her 3 victories in the Taupo 10km event. Her endurance is clear, she still holds the record for the fastest woman to swim across the Apolima Strait in Samoa. It was made all the more impressive given that it is 22.3km point to point! 

More recently Abby has been turning her skills to learning to run and bike, admittedly like a fish out of water. “I’ve completed several half Ironman’s and recently finished my second Ironman event.”

Abby Walsh, Assistant Coach, Ace Swimming Club

Abby Walsh, Assistant Coach, Ace Swimming Club

Abby enjoys freestyle, she considers it her personal favourite…only because it is hard to do butterfly in the open water let alone 10km. However she firmly agrees with Paul Dowey (Director of Coaching) that the athletes should be taught a range of strokes and drills in training. “I don’t really have a favourite training set, but I do like 10 x 100 freestyle and kick test sets.” (Who doesn’t?!?) “I think they are good indicators whether we are on the right track from an aerobic training perspective.

Why do you coach and do what you do?

Swimming is part of who I am, as a child it gave me direction and created many opportunities in life and I hope to offer the same to others. I aim to provide a safe haven for kids to discover their athletic talents in an encouraging and supportive environment. What I enjoy most about coaching is seeing the kids do their best. Of course, everyone likes to win – but for me, the most important part of any sport is self-development. If you can learn and be better than what you were the day before then I consider that a win!

Why should swimmers listen to you especially?

My goal for our swimmers is to develop their swimming technique, commitment and self-confidence.  I aim to create an atmosphere where the swimmers continuously improve and learn through structured practice with consistent feedback, so they can not only set goals but achieve their goals.

What can swimmers bribe you with?


Favourite quote?

Anything is possible if you’re prepared to do the work!