Our Team

CHERIE MCCLEERY – Executive Officer

e – cherie@swimmingwaikato.co.nz
m – 021 994 585

Cherie McCleery was appointed as Executive Officer for Swimming Waikato in July 2014.

Cherie has a strong background in sports management and administration, having served as Executive Officer for Midlands Hockey since 2010. In 2013/14, she completed a Sport Management qualification at Wintec which has supported to knowledge in this area. Prior to her role at Midlands Hockey, Cherie oversaw the marketing and communications of the Perry Foundation and brings with her a broad range of experience and skills.

Cherie has lived in Hamilton most of her life. She’s an avid sports fan and admits to having spent some years undertaking swimming training at the Hillcrest Swimming Club.

Cherie is married to Mike and their two children, Ellie and Keenan, are well into their young adult years!


DARREN WARD – Regional Hub Coach

e – darren@swimmingwaikato.co.nz
m – 027 776 6787

Of Scottish decent, Darren started Swimming Waikato as our Regional Hub Coach in January 2018.

He holds a MSc Honours in Performance Coaching which he attained at the University of Stirling, as well as a MA Honours in Scottish History from the University of Edinburgh, both in the United Kingdom. He has developed and implemented a long term athlete development pathway in Budapest, working alongside the high profile Shane Tusup and Olympian Katinka Hosszu. He has held the role of Senior Elite Coach for Hamilton Aquatics (Dubai), coached with the Serbian National Team, and carried out a Development and Coaching role for Portobello ASC in Edinburgh.

He’s supported world class athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 Kazan World Championships, and the 2016 European Champs as one of the Serbian team’s Coaches, and has also qualified swimmers for many other international meets – I’ve included a full list below for your interest. We understand that he was a pretty talented swimmer himself too!

• Team Serbia Coach, Olympic Games (Rio, 2016)
• Team Serbia Coach, European Championships (London, 2016)
• Team Serbia Coach, World Championships (Kazan, 2015)
• Coaching swimmer to double European Long Course Championship Gold (Berlin, 2014)
• Coaching swimmer to Bronze Medal at World Short Course Championships (Doha, 2014)
• Placing swimmer on the Serbian Olympic Team (Rio 2016)
• Three qualified swimmers for the European Long Course Championships (London, 2016)
• Placing five swimmers into the World Long Course Championships (Kazan, 2015)
• Placing three swimmers into the European Short Course Championships (Netanya, 2015)
• Placing two swimmers onto Team Europe for Duel in the Pool (Glasgow, 2014)
• Placing three swimmers into the European Long Course Championships (Berlin, 2014)
• Placing five swimmers into World Short Course Championships (Doha 2014)
• Coaching two swimmers onto their respective national Commonwealth Games Squads (Glasgow, 2014)
• Coaching swimmer to Asian Games (Incheon, 2014)
• Scottish District Regional Program Coach 2012
• Scottish National Swim Team Member
• Scottish Junior Swimmer of the Year
• Double British Junior Record Holder
• Multiple Scottish Senior and Junior Record Holder

More recently, Darren has been working alongside Swim Ireland’s Education Department where he has designed and presented Coaching Resources for use by the National body.