Renate Terpstra

Professional Swim Coach and Para-Swimming Coach

Coaching Riley

Riley participated in the Para Can Am Championships in Toronto in March 2015. Every time I see Riley’s progress during trainings, it warms my heart because he’s truly living his dream.

Riley McLean with swim coach Renate Terpstra


My name is Renate Terpstra. I was born in The Netherlands.
In the summer of 2000, after a bike trip with my husband and two young sons on The Kettle Valley Railway, from Castlegar to Penticton, we decided to immigrate to Canada. On January 3rd, 2002, we moved straight from the flat country (with the world famous dykes), to Vernon, in the beautiful Okanagan.

With a Bachelor degree in Physical Education, I was operating my own Outdoor Sport School for 12 years in The Netherlands.

In Canada, I started working as a certified level 2 ski instructor and taught downhill skiing for 5 years at Silver Star Resort. I then became a NCCP level 1 certified ski coach and NCCP level 1 certified cross country coach. I both love downhill skiing and Nordic skiing. We are so lucky to live so close to beautiful Silver Star Mountain.

Swim Coaching

Swimming however, is my biggest passion. I have worked as a Head Coach for the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club for four years, and before that I was an assistant Head Coach for 3 years. I hold a certification level 3 – NCCP Swimming Senior Coach Trained.
During my time as the Head Coach of the VKSC, 100 VKSC Club Records were broken, 9 swimmers qualified for Western Canadian Championships, 9 swimmers qualified for Age Group Nationals and one swimmers qualified for Senior National Championships and World Trials. Many swimmers have won medals at Provincial Championships, Western Canadian Championships and Age Group Nationals.


In the past 7 years I have developed a strong passion for para-swimming. As a professional coach, I have worked with Sarah Mehain from Vernon, who qualified for the Para World Championships in The Netherlands in 2009 and in Montreal in 2013. In 2012 Sarah qualified for the Paralympic Games in London and she participated in the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships.
Currently, I am working with Riley McLean, who just qualified for the Para Pan American Games in Toronto this summer. Sarah and Riley are both Canadian record holders.

As you might have guessed, I am very passionate about swim coaching – I coach children and adults but I am also working with the City of Vernon as a masters swim coach and I work as a para-swimming coach.

If you have a child with a physical disability who loves to swim, or if you would like to improve your own swimming, I encourage you to contact me, as I would love to work with you.

See you in the pool?