Mingara Aquatics squad program develops our members as they progress through our Learn to Swim to becoming independent, confident swimmers who require stroke correction, practice, coaching and training. Squad is not purely for the development of elite performing swimmers. Squad swimming at Mingara Aquatics is designed to offer swimming for fitness and a healthy lifestyle and also runs squad programs for developing competitive swimmers. Mingara Aquatics values the importance of swimming in our Coastal community and to understand the importance of having squad swimming available at all levels and to coach accordingly, takes experience and knowledge.
Kylie McGlashan, Mingara Aquatics Manager commented that “sourcing the right Coach for such an integral role in our community has been a priority for Mingara Aquatics and we are delighted to that Stephen Critoph is our Head Coach.”
“I am looking forward to getting to know and develop a rapport with our swimmers and parents. I would like to see a growth in the number of swimmers enjoying swimming and encouraging them to follow a competitive pathway and see Mingara Aquatics swimmers achieve their full potential,” commented Head Coach, Stephen.

Meet Stephen Critoph


  • Studied Optometry 1976 – 1981


  • 30 years’ experience as a Head Coach
  • Coach of Australian Team members and Commonwealth and World University Games medalists
  • Coach of Country, State and National Medalists and Record holders
  • 15 yrs as ASCTA NSW Board Member
  • Australian Team Camp Coach
  • Australian Para-Camp Coach

Who has Stephen Coached?

International Medallist

Matthew Renshaw   Dual Commonwealth Gold medallist
Chloe Flutter             Bronze Medallist World University Games

Australian Team Members

Olivia Halicek                      Fina World Championship
Cameron Anderson            World University Games, Oceania Games
Andrew Weeding                Australian Youth Team
Nicholas Shackell               Olympian  Represented Great Britain
Matthew Dunn                    Olympian, Multiple Australian Open and Age Medallist and record holder (Coached Matthew as Age Group athlete)

Multiple Australian Age Medallists

Coach Australian Para Development Squad   January  2017. Two Swimmers picked on this team Jordan Harton and Trae Norbury.
Craig Morgan                World and Australian Record Holder
Emilie Miller                   Multiple Australian Open and Age Record Holder
Jordan Harton              Bronze Medallist 2017 Australian Championships

What do you love about coaching squads:

The constant daily challenge of developing programs and challenges to help every athlete and recreational swimmer reach their full potential and achieve their individual goals both in and out of the pool. Further ensuring that everyone gets to fully appreciate and enjoy the complete journey and not just the results.
I love the smile on swimmers faces when they know they have done the very best they can and achieved the things that were important to them. Whether this is an 8-year old or a 25-year old representing their country the thrill is still the same. I really like to engage with the whole person not just the athlete and help them to understand the life lessons that can be learnt from being an athlete. I especially like helping young people to discover the strengths they have inside them and how to focus this energy and power in a positive way.
The challenge to achieve the above is what has driven me out of bed on the cold dark mornings for so long. The technical balance between training the body and the mind and teaching technique will always be intriguing.

Some favourite coaching memories.

  • The firsts are always memorable.
  • Watching every swimmer Qualify to compete at State or Nationals for the first time
  • Being selected as an Australian Team Coach
  • Devising new ways to keep teenagers engaged

Share a tip for parents bringing children to squads for the first time:

Relax and enjoy the experience and take the time to enjoy the opportunities we have here to play with your children after their lessons at MIingara Aquatics.

Favourite place to swim on the Central Coast?

As a Sydney boy, I spent a lot of holiday time at Avoca, Toukley and Shelly Beaches, but no one can argue we have the best indoor facility on the whole of the Central Coast so why look any further?
More about Squad Swimming at Mingara Aquatics