Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Pavel Sankovich

Associate Head Coach 

Coach Pavel is 2X World Championships medalist and three-time Olympian 2008, 2012 and 2016, and 10 times European Championships medalist.

Coach Pavel is originally from Belarus and began swimming when he was 8 years old. After 12 years of elementary, middle and then high school swimming Pavel reserved his spot on Belarus National Team at the age of 16 setting multiple National Records. He specialized in backstroke, butterfly and IM events during his long professional swimming career representing his home country in hundreds of international swim meets.

During these years Pavel had an opportunity to work with a few of the best coaches in the world, experience different cultures and various approach to the training, teaching and learning process.

Pavel and Sveta decided that they want to change this swimming community and bring their own vision and experience: “At United Swim Club we truly believe in giving our swimmers direct understanding of the purpose of each set or drill they perform, knowledge of how to set an athletic goal and reach it and, also, do’s and don’ts in, at and around the swimming pool.”

Pavel graduated from Belarusian State Pedagogical University in 2012 and Florida State University in 2014 BA in Social Science (Athletic Scholarship). He currently still holds 5 FSU records.

 7 times All-American honorable mention 2013-2014 / 4 times 2013 ACC champion / 5 times 2014 ACC champion / 2013 & 2014 ACC Swimmer of the Year and overall MVP / 2014 NCAA Silver medalist

He is the owner of United Swim Club, married to Sveta Khakhlova and has a son David.

Sviatlana Khakhlova

Head Coach 

Coach Sveta is the founder of swim school Swim Lessons Tallahassee, Head Coach and owner of United Swim Club. She is multiple times World Championships finalist and three-time Olympian, representing Belarus in 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London, and eight times European Championships medalist in 2002–2015.

As a competitor, Sveta was one of the top swimmers of Belarus and Europe: Belarus Swimming National Team Member from 2000-2016.

Throughout the career, she has been multiple times Belarusian Nationals Champion and medalist of World University Games in 2005 Izmir, 2007 Bangkok and 2009 Belgrade and winner of World Cups series in 2008.

During her preparation time for her last Olympic games in Rio, she swam under Neal Harper and Franck Bradley programs with the FSU swim team.

Sviatlana Khakhlova began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Club Seminole in 2013, then transferred to ATAC and worked with Terry Maul from 2016 to 2017 as an Assistant Coach of Pre-Senior and Senior groups.

Sveta graduated from Belarus State School of Olympic Reserve in 2001 and Belarusian State University of Physical Culture in 2006 with a degree in physical exercise. She also studied journalism at the Belarusian State University as a second degree.

She is married to Pavel Sankovich and has a son David.

Rama Benbaruch

Developmental Director & Coordinator 

Coach Rama joined United Swim Club at the very beginning, in the summer of 2017 as the Bronze, Silver and Gold groups coach. She previously worked at local swim clubs and varsity high school teams.

Coach Rama brings over 30 years of aquatics teaching and coaching experiences including swimming, sailing, kayaking, and windsurfing.  Since joining the club, Coach Rama has helped growing developmental groups tremendously as she works with children and adults of all skills and abilities.

Coach Rama was born in Chicago Illinois. She attended her high school in Morton Grove, Illinois; then attended college and received advanced training in Israel: 1. Teaching College of Israel, Physical Education Teaching degree 2. Wingate Institute for Coaching & training, College of Seminar Kibbutzim 3. American Red Cross - Lifeguard training and certification & CPR rescue.

Private and Group Swimming Instructor, Jewish Community Centers of Chicago, Northbrook, IL September 2006 to 2008. Teach children (Ages 2+) and adults to swim from beginners to advanced. Work with 75 students per week year-round. Responsible for the JCC youth swim club, creating activities to maintain their interest.

Swimming Instructor, Ramat-Aviv, Israel 1997 to 2003: Taught children and adults how to swim. Extensive experience working with handicapped – physically, emotionally, autistic –children and adults. Trained other instructors on how to teach swimming in a safe and pleasant environment. Created and ran tot-parent classes.

Aquatics Director, Tel-Aviv, Israel 1987-1997: Responsible for developing and promoting a comprehensive aquatics program for the Municipality of Tel-Aviv. Supervised a staff of 15 to 20 people. Managed pool and staff scheduling. Trained staff instructors on how to teach swimming and teaching techniques. Created a swim club for kids to keep them interested and involved in swimming.

Competitive Swimming Coach, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Tel-Aviv, Israel 1990-1993: Coached competitive team of children ages 7 – 11. Focused on technique and conditioning. Trained team and led them to swim the Sea of Galilee.

For the past few years, Coach Rama was coaching at Club Nole, conducting water aerobics classes and teaching at her “Swim School”.

An avid sailor, Coach Rama, and her husband sailed on their yacht in 2003-2006 from Israel to the United States.  She has some pretty cool stories to tell that you should definitely ask her about.

Tetyana Skrypnyk

Strength and Condition Coach

Tetyana started working with us in August and will continue to run our Dryland workout/training program. This program is an exciting opportunity for the club to ensure swimmers achieve basic ability and understanding of the connection between a land and a pool program. In fact, it helps swimmers understand the transfer of strength, force, power and flexibility from the dryland to the pool.

Tetyana Skrypnyk ( Tati ) was born in Odessa, Ukraine. Affiliated with the sport of gymnastics from young age, she achieved the Master of Sport classification title of Ukraine in High School. Next, she continued her education in Odessa’s Pedagogical Institute. After getting her master’s degree, she worked with the College Rhythmic Gymnastics Team while doing Physiology Research (studying the body recovery after sports activity) at the same time.

In 1999, she moved to Slidell, Louisiana and coached until 2013. After that, in 2018, she  moved to Tallahassee, Florida and worked for IGG (gymnastics club).  Then, in August 2019, she joined United Swim Club.

Preston Turnage

Intermediate 1 & 2 Assistant Coach

Coach Preston is an enthusiastic coach with over 7 years of experience. He loves helping swimmers learn what aspect of the sport of swimming they most enjoy and helping swimmers achieve results they never knew were possible. He is currently a junior computer engineering student at FSU. With hobbies that include disc golf, video games, and brewing kombucha.

Katherine Wegrzyn

Gold Assistant Coach 

Coach Katie is a masters student at FSU. She swam competitively through high school, specializing in middle distance freestyle. After graduating with a bachelors in 2017 she decided to continue her education and is now working on a joint masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health. Katie loves helping children improve their swimming while gaining important life skills in perseverance and wellness.

Board of Directors
Amanda Laudadio President
James Wang Vice President
Anthony Lancaster Share Nights Coordinator