100 YEARS OF COLLECTIVE SWIMMING EXPERIENCE
The CKS Mako's Swim School coaching team comprises of collegiate and former University of North Carolina collegiate swimmer/coaches. Each Coach has impressive swimming and academic accolades. Members of our coaching team have competed at Worlds, National Team Member, Nationals, Collegiate, and Olympic trial sanctioned competitions. Our coaching staff has collectively over 100 years of competitive swimming and open water experience.
Head Coach & Founder - Sarah Chaires
Coach Sarah Chaires started competitive swimming at the age of seven in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and advanced to compete at club, regional and national level swimming. She was a team record holder and one the Ontario's best backstroker at a young age. She swam and rowed for Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. She has won medals/ranked highly at Provincial and National sanctioned sporting events for; competitive swimming, water polo, war canoe, rugby and rowing. She was captain and led her high school teams for swimming, water polo, cross country, track & field, and rugby every year. She was a certified competitive Swim Coach in Canada and a current USA Swimming age group coach. She is American Swimming Coaches Association and National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches certified Level 3, and level 2 USA Masters Swim Coach. She was also a physical trainer for collegiate sports teams' for Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her competitive swimming specialties were; freestyle, backstroke and medley, and she competed middle to long distances as well as open water competitions.
The confidence, leadership skills and athletic abilities that she developed through competitive swimming has mirrored into her professional endeavors. Sarah received the renowned award for greatest contribution to student life at Dalhousie University for the Medical School & Allied Health Professions combined. While obtaining her Masters in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, she twice was the recipient of the prestigious Jimmy Butts Scholarship. She has been a Nurse Practitioner for fifteen years, working at UNC Hospitals in the Emergency Department and as the Medical Consultant for Durham Academy. Coach Chaires is the Head Swim Coach for the Boys and Girls Durham Academy Swim Teams. She is the founder of Carolina Swims Foundation, a non profit that provides free swim lessons for children in foster care. Coach Sarah Chaires is a very proud wife and mother of three boys.
Current Assistant Coach - Dan O'Connor
Coach Dan O’Connor, former All American was an Olympic Trial Qualifier swimmer both 2012 and 2016 in the 400 Individual Medley, 200 Breaststroke, 400 freestyle and 1500 Freestyle.
In 2013, he placed 4th at the USA Open in the 1500 freestyle. In 2011, Coach Dan was Freshman of the year. At USA Nationals in 2014 he ranked 10th in the 1500 freestyle.
Coach Dan swam Division 1 Collegiate swimming both at UNC and Buffalo.
He is currently studying Economics at UNC. He believes that swimming is the most incredible technical sport that requires incredible aerobic fitness. He wants to give the gift of water safety to young swimmers.
Former Head Coach Competitive Swim Club - Chip Peterson
Current UNC medical student and 2010 graduate of UNC with a BS in Biology. Originally from Pine Knoll Shores, NC. Open water and distance freestyle specialist.
World Champion in 10 kilometer open water. 3-time Pan American Games medalist. 2-time Pan Pacific Games Champion. 7-time and current USA Swimming National Team member. 6-time USA Swimming National Champion. 5th FINA 25 kilometer open water Worlds.
In college, Chip was recipient of the 2010 Walter Spearman Award for the most outstanding male graduate of UNC and also the Patterson Medal, the highest honor for an athlete of the university. He was a 7-time UNC school record holder, 3-time NCAA All-American, 2-time ESPN Academic All-American and was twice named the ACC Scholar Athlete of Year.
Since college, he has continued to swim competitively and achieve success in international open water competition. Even after taking a year hiatus and having surgery, he has come back to be on this year’s USA Swimming National Team and to win the 2015 Pan American Games in the 10K. He is still training in Chapel Hill and has high hopes for the coming year.
Chip has been a USA Swimming certified coach since 2012 and has had coaching experience at age-group, high school and collegiate levels. He loves to inspire, teach and guide others
Former Head Coach Pre-Competitive Swim Program - Ben Colley
Assistant Head Swim Coach for State University of New York Cortland. Coach Ben graduated from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill in 2016 with a major in Sport Administration. While competing on the varsity swim team, he qualified for Olympic Trials and was selected to the USA National Team in 2014-2015. He also holds 6 individual and relay records at UNC.
Native of Williamsburg, VA Ben assisted his summer league coach/team for two seasons while still in high school. In North Carolina he has coached with CKS since the beginning of the 2015 season and was head coach for the Briar Chapel Barracudas during the summer.
He swam for Williamsburg Aquatic Club (WAC) and Coach Harold Baker since he was 5. Baker well known for focusing more on technique/skills rather than volume, and making sure his swimmers were enjoying the sport, Coach Ben follows a similar coaching philosophy. Coach Baker believed in having well rounded student athletes all the way through high school which allowed Ben to play basketball all the way until he went to UNC. Coach Ben decided to take his expertise to Club Kick Start because he felt that CKS embodied similar philosophies towards competitive swimming. He believes that promoting confidence and success in and out of the pool will create a well balanced athlete that will be able to succeed in all walks of life. As head coach of the pre-competitive program at CKS, the main goals are promoting passion/enjoyment towards the sport of swimming, fostering an environment that raises confidence no matter of skill or ability, and refines the technical aspect of your child’s swimming strokes.
Coach -Erin Daley
Erin Daley is from Scotland and has moved to North Carolina in August 2018 with her Mum and step Dad and her dog, Sam. She was a competitive swimmer for a top squad in Edinburgh, but is now retired due to injury. Following her passion for swimming she obtained her Level 1 Teaching Aquatics qualification in Scotland and became a swim coach and then later a lifeguard as well. Her aspiration is to become a primary school teacher, which she plans to study as a post graduate after she completes her degree in child psychology. She has been trained as a mentor in violence protection (MVP) which makes use of young people within the school to act as peer mentors who deliver MVP sessions to younger peers in the school. She is also a trained super buddy from High School where she is a buddy to children with autism and supports them through their journey in high school. Erin is now volunteering in a local animal shelter in North Carolina along with being a swim coach. She is looking into colleges to study child psychology and is deciding whether to accept her place back in the UK at Queen Margaret University next fall or to try a college here.
Former Coach - Danielle Siverling
Coach Danielle is a 2015 UNC graduate and was fortunate to compete for the Tar Heels and to serve as co-captain during her senior year. She has several UNC individual and relay records. She competed at 2012 Olympic Trials in the 100, 200, and 400 meter freestyle events. She has earned All-American honors during all four years of competition at UNC. This past season, she received the Most Outstanding Award for the UNC women’s team, as well as the Team Spirit Award. She was also named a Leader of Distinction by her teammates and coaches this past season (alongside several other senior leaders on the team). She received the Mildred McCaskill Award for Service this past spring, which is given annually to one male and one female athlete at Carolina for a combination of achievement in academics, athletic performance on a national level, and service to the Chapel Hill community.
She is originally from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, and grew up swimming for Malvern Swimming Association, a club that emphasized technique and speed training in order to prepare their athletes to reach the peak of their career in college.
She just received a middle school teaching certification, and completed her degree this past fall student teaching at Smith Middle School. She hopes to find a full-time teaching position for next school year, and in the meantime plans to substitute teach and coach at CKS. She is excited about being able to provide the swimmers with the knowledge and passion that she has for the sport, and is grateful to have the chance to stay in touch with the sport now that her own career has ended.
Former Coach & Current Collaborator - Logan Heck
UNC of Chapel Hill graduate in Exercise Sports Science.
He is an Olympic Trial Qualifier & Participant in 2012 in the following events; 100 meters & 200 meters Butterfly and 100 meter Freestyle. He set USA Swimming National Age Group records 2010-11 in the 200 meter & 400 meter Freestyle Relays. He was the 2011 USA Swimming Scholastic Swimmer of the year. He was AAA Scholastic All-American from 2010-12.
He is originally from Orlando, Florida and then Morrisville, North Carolina. He competed on the Swim Team for Lake Norman High School from 2009-2012. He also competed at the competitive swim club level with SwimMac Carolina. He was captain of the Lake Norman High School Swim Team, and as a senior he led that team to a 3A State title in 2009. He won 4A State High School Championships, winning the 50 meters and 100 meters Freestyle. He was the Lake Norman High School MVP in both 2011 and 2012. He was awarded “Athlete of the Year” his senior year at Lake Norman High School. He established five Individual Records and three Relay Records for Lake Norman High School Swim Team.
He was member of the Baddour Leadership Academy at the highest level, as a Veteran Leader. He has coached swimming for The Tennis Club and lead the Chapel Hill Country Club and Briar Chapel Barracudas.
He will combine his knowledge of Exercise Sports Science with his elite athletic expertise in the sport of competitive swimming and apply those unique skills to coach your children to success.
Former Coach - Chris Gondek
Named to ACC Academic Honor Roll and 2012 Dean's List Honoree. Three time Junior Classical League Latin National Honor Society Honoree. Majoring in Economics. Chris is a CREED Mentor and part of the Rising Stars Program within the Carolina Leadership Academy.
Career best: 20.71 in the 50-yard freestyle; 45.47 in the 100-yard freestyle; 1:39.71 in the 200-yard freestyle.
Swam for North Carolina Aquatic Club (NCAC) since the age of seven. Four-year Letterman at Carrboro High, swimming all distances of freestyle events and acquired multiple conference, region and state awards. He was the 2012 Carolina 12 Conference Swimmer of the Year. He was 2011-2012 Carrboro Jaguars Senior Team Captain and won the 2011 1A-2A State Championship in 200-yard Freestyle. Two-time MVP of Carrboro High Team. He led the Jaguars to three consecutive NCAC 1A-2A state team championships in 2010-2012. He was the anchor of the NCAC 1A-2A state record holding 200 and 400 freestyle relays. Chris holds five Carrboro High School records (100 free, 200 free, 200 and 400 free relays, 200 medley relay.
He has coached club competitive swimming for NCAC. He lead the coaching staff for the Chapel Hill Country Club to the best season since 2006. He was one of the first Club Kick Start coaches.
Former Coach - Hellen Moffitt
World College Games winner and graduate from University of North Carolina. Current U.S.A. National Team Swim Member
She has broken 9 College all time records for fly and backstroke events short and long course. She qualified and placed in the semi-final heat at Olympic Swim Trials in 2016. She is a College all time top 10 in the 100 yard Butterfly, 200 yard Backstroke, and 100 yard Backstroke. She is a 2-Olympic Trial Qualifier 2012 for the 100 & 200 Backstroke, 2-time ACC Team Member, Senior Nationals qualifier in the 100 & 200 Backstroke, 100 Butterfly & 50 Freestyle. She was also a USA Swimming National Finalist in the 100 Butterfly. She was Virginia State runner-up in the 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke 2012-13, anchored State Championship 200 Freestyle Relay Team, 7-time High School All-America Selection, regional record holder in the 100 Butterfly. She was also named to the Washington Post All-Met Girls Swimming Team for multiple years.
She is originally from Alexandria, Virginia where she attended West Potomac High School and swam for Machine Aquatics. She was captain of her High School Swim Team and was awarded West Potomac’s most valuable athlete accolades on multiple occasions. She was National Honor Society member, AP Scholar with distinction, honor roll student and 4-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American.
She is a current member of the Rising Stars program in the Carolina Leadership Academy. She has coached for Mansion House Club Swim Team in Alexandria for many years and has volunteered for the Nadar Por Vida Program.
She is energetic & lovely! She is excited for the opportunity to share her expert knowledge & love of the competitive swimming sport with your children.
Former Coach - Graham Williams
Graduate of University of North Carolina Sports Administration with interest in sports management. Former member of the UNC Tarheel Men's Swim Team.
He is originally from Hickory, North Carolina and graduated from Hickory High School.
Career Best Times: 1.39.74 in the 200-yard Freestyle; 4:30.33 in the 500-yard Freestyle; 9:12.73 in the 1650-yard Freestyle; 15:23.02 in the 1600-yard Freestyle.
He graduated from the Richard A. Baddour Rising Star Program and Veteran Leader. He is also a CREED Mentor.
He swam for Jon Jolley at the YMCA Seahorse Swim Team and Hickory High School. He was the Hickory High School Team Captain from his sophomore year through to his senior year.
He won 200-yard and 500-yard Freestyle events at the High School State Championship both his junior and then senior years. Voted MVP at the High School State Championship his junior year. He was the YMCA National Champion in the 1500-yard Freestyle in 2011. He held two North Carolina State Records for the 15-16 year old age group for the 1000-yard Freestyle and the 1650-yard Freestyle events.
Two-time Scholastic All-American.
He has coached at the Alexander Family YMCA Swim Team.
Rising sophomore. In his freshman year he was named All-American and he broke College records. He medalled at ACC competitions and was named to the All-ACC Team. He holds both Olympic Trial and U.S.A. Swimming Senior National cuts. His speciality is middle to long distance in Freestyle, Individual Medley and Butterfly events.
He has been a competitive swimmer for 12 years. In High School he also played lacrosse and was a midfielder. He volunteered throughout his High School years for the Medical Missionaries for Health. His Mother is an accomplished Nurse Practitioner.
He has been a competition swimmer for 12 years. He is originally from Manassas Virginia. He is from a family of eight children. His brother graduated and swam for the U.S.A. Naval Academy. His Grandfather played professional soccer for Ireland. His father is currently stationed in Afghanistan.
Former Coach - Matt
In 2012 at the Olympic Trials in Canada he won the bronze metal in the 200 meter Individual Medley. He has won three bronze metals in the past three years at Canadian Senior Nationals. At the 2010 Canadian Summer Nationals he was third in 400 meter Individual Medley. In 2011 at the Canadian Spring Nationals he was third in the 200 meter Individual Medley.
In 2009 he was first named to The Canadian Junior National team. He has competed at multiple International competitions and tours. He was awarded the honor of being named The Canadian Junior National Team Swimmer of the year in 2010. In 2009/2010 he represented the Winter Canadian Tour Team in Australia. Then in the winter of 2010/2011 he represented Canada on the Tour Team in England. In 2010 he was named to the Pan Pacs Team and competed in Maui, Hawaii, in which he was a finalist in the 400 Individual Medley. Then in 2011 he competed in Peru at the Junior World Championships and earned finalist status in the 200 individual Medley.
He graduated with Exercise and Sports Science degree from UNC. He was born in Chicago. He graduated from Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School in London, Canada. He swam for 10 years at the London Aquatic Club. He specializes in 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 Back, and 200 Breast. He represented Team Ontario at the Canada Games in 2009 in Nova Scotia.
Former Coach - Jesse Mendes
Coach Jesse, M.D surgery resident. Coach Jesse Mendes was Co-captain of the 2011-12 University of North Carolina Tar Heels Men's Swim Team. He was the 2010-11 Swim Team Academic Captain. He was the Top flight distance freestyler and Open Water Specialist. Coach Jesse Mendes swam for North Carolina Aquatic Club (NCAC) and four years for Chapel Hill High School (CHHS) swim team. He had a four year undefeated dual meet career as part of CHHS swim team, finishing 29-0 over that time. He was Team Captain his senior high school year and helped lead the 2007-08 team to the North Carolina 4A State High School Championships.
Coach Jesse Mendes was two-time U.S.A. Swimming Scholastic All American Honoree. He had 14 different citations on his High School's All-Conference Team. He was the runner up in the 2008 State Championships in the 200 yard Free. He was the North Carolina State Champion in the 500, 1000, 1650 yard Freestyle in 2008. He was also the North Carolina Open Water Male Swimmer of the year in 2011,
Coach Jesse Mendes is the Aquatic Director, Head Swim Coach for the Chapel Hill Country Club since 2013 and Club Kick Start. His leadership skills and love of the sport are contagious!!!
Graduate of University of North Carolina. He specialized in sprint freestyle and breastroke. Participated in the ACC Championships both his freshman and sophomore years. Has been a competitive swimmer for over 13 years. He also played golf and basketball as a high schooler. He is involved in the Rising Stars Leadership Program at Carolina. Was a high school All-American in three events and broke state records in two relays at the 2013 State Championships.
He is originally from Greenville, North Carolina. His dad and two sisters all swam at Virginia. His father is an Orthopedic Surgeon in Greenville and his mother is a nurse there. One of his sisters is in dental school at UNC and the other won a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics in the 800 freestyle relay. He is double majoring in "Peace, War, & Defense" and "Political Science" with a concentration in Intelligence studies. Is a member of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies.
Coach JT graduate from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He is originally from Greenville, North Carolina where he swam for East Carolina Aquatic Club and J.H. Rose High School.
He specializes in sprint freestyle and swims the 50(20.42), 100(45.08), and 200(1:39.15) freestyle races. In High School he was a two-time Academic All-American and a one time Athletic All-American. He received multiple awards at the conference, regional, and state level. He was a four time letter winner and captain of the swim team his senior year. He was apart of the 4A State record holding relay at High School States. He also received the Sportsmanship Award during his senior year at High School States.
James is also a current member of the Baddour Leadership Academy in the Rising Stars Academy that teaches the importance of Leadership and how to become effective leaders in everything they do. He is a certified lifeguard and has worked with kids from ages 2-12 years old for swim lessons.
He loves the sport of swimming and wants to help guide and teach others to enjoy it and to grow in their abilities as much as possible.