Coaches

United is fortunate to have this high calibre coaching team.  Our coaches are highly skilled and professional, personable and commited to supporting our swimmers achieve their full potential in a safe and fun team enviroment.

Igor Polianski – Head Coach

Igor is United’s Head Coach and has overall responsibility for the delivery of the club’s coaching programme. His philosophy is to drive the club's success by developing both individual performance and creating a positive team environment. Igor’s approach is based on excellent technique and skills, good discipline, smart training and the enjoyment that comes with being part of the successful United team. Igor coaches the senior squads - the Opens and Age Group squads.

With his wife Larissa, Igor established the Waterlions Swim School and is experienced coaching the full swimming pathway from the Learn-to-Swim stage right through to the high performance level.  In addition to being an excellent and experienced coach, Igor achieved the ultimate level in swimming with his keys achievements including: 1988 Seoul Olympic Games (Gold 200m backstroke, Bronze 100m backstroke, 4x 100m Medley Relay) 1986 World Championships (World Champion 100m, 200m backstroke, Bronze 4x100m Medley Relay) Five World Records in 100m and 200m backstroke 1987 European Championships (Silver 200m backstroke) 1986 Goodwill games (Gold 100, 200m backstroke) 1985 European Championships Gold 100, 200m backstroke).

 

Larissa Polianskaia

Larissa coaches the Gold and Platinum Extra squads and has overall responsibility for United’s development and junior programmes. Her philosophy is to encourage and nurture interest in swimming from the early stages of development and junior swimming as the basis for progressing into advanced competitive swimming. She believes it is important to create a safe, positive and structured team environment with clear leadership and direction. Within this framework, the focus is on ensuring swimmers enjoy the process, build discipline and continually improve their skills and technique as this will best prepare them for the challenges that lay ahead, both as individuals and competitors.  

Larissa also reached world class level as a competitive swimmer and her key swimming achievements include: 1983 Russian Nationals Bronze (200m breaststroke) 1984 International Competition (multiple medalist in breaststroke events) 1985 All world Student Games (Gold 200m breaststroke, Silver 100m breaststroke) 1985 European Championships (200m breastroke, 5th) 1986 Champion of USSR and Canada Multiple USSR titles and medals in breaststroke events 


Khaled El-seaidy

Khaled coaches the Platinum, Bronze and Multi-sports squads as well as assisting with the Development and Gold squads.  He joined the United team in 2013 after coaching with Coast Swim Club and Sports Waikato.  Khaled moved to New Zealand in 2001 and started a Civil Engineering career before moving into competitive swim coaching. 

Khaled also had a distinguished competitive swimming career including swimming as part of the Egyptian national team for 7 years. He was ranked 1st in Egypt for 3 years and in the top 2 for 5 years.  He swam as a professional marathon swimmer from 1996 to 1999 and represented Egypt in the World Cup series in these years. He was 3rd in the Lac St Jean World Cup final in 1998 and was ranked in the top 8 open water professional swimmers 1997, 1998, and 1999.


 


Monique Williams (nee Rodahl)

Monique joined the United team in term 2 of 2015 and works with our junior programmes.  Her philosophy is based around “Swimming training gives you great skills for life. Take care of the small things and always do more than what's required”.   Monique returned home this year after 6 years living in Brisbane where she was part of the Commercial Swim Club, home of world champions Cate and Bronte Campbell and Christian Sprenger.  In Brisbane she was also the swim coach at her son’s school.  Monique has always been involved in swimming, including teaching and managing the Tepid Baths Swim School in Auckland where she coached school age, adults and masters squads. She was also one of the founding coaches of King’s Swim School.  

Monique is an Olympian and has an outstanding swimming career.  She is one of New Zealand’s top sportspeople and this was recognised when she was awarded the 1975 NZ Sportsperson of the Year.  She represented New Zealand at the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games at the age of 13, to date youngest ever competitor.  At the World Champs Cali, Colombia, at the age of 15, she placed 5th in the 200 Backstroke and at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games she was a finalist in the 400m IM.  Monique was selected for the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, and had a 3rd world ranking but could not attend due to the New Zealand boycott of these games.  With dual nationality, Monique moved to and competed for Norway where she won numerous Norwegian and Scandinavian titles and was awarded the Kings Cup presented by the King of Norway.  Monique held numerous Age Group and Open NZ titles and records plus holds Masters’ world titles and records.  A career highlight was at the 1976 Auckland Champs where she entered 26 possible events over Age Group, Opens and open water races and won all possible 26 gold medals.