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Our Coaching Staff


Marta Belsh

REDS Head Coach
Men's & Women's Swimming


Marta is an excellent swim coach who is committed to coaching the entire athlete. 


She has 20 years of competitive coaching experience, and earned her Second Class Swimming Coach Degree at the Academy of Physical Education in her hometown of Warsaw, Poland. Previously, Marta has worked as the Head Age Group Coach of the Barrie Trojans Swim Club, and has been Head Coach of the Fredericton Aquanaut Swim Team since 2008. 


Marta Belsh is an incredible teacher, and has offered many swimmers the opportunity to learn from her coaching expertise, both with FAST, and as a role model and mentor. She has been the Swim NB Coach of the Year in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016, and represented the province as the Head Coach for Canada Games in both 2017 and 2013. 


More impressively, Marta has a proven record of her ability to work with a broad range of swimmers, from pre-competitive, novice swimmers to Provincial, National Qualifiers, Swimmers With A Disability (PARA) and Masters Swimmers. 


Marta is a certified NCCP Level III Senior Coach, as well as a NCCP Master Coach Developer, and NCCP Coach Evaluator. Marta is an incredibly highly qualified coach, and overall an exceptional person. 


She consistently promotes an environment that fosters positive team attitudes, self-discipline, sportsmanship and responsibility. Marta Belsh is a kind woman, who inspires athletes to be compassionate, well-rounded, and passionate leaders. 


She is the leader of Saturday morning Grateful sessions, where everyone has the opportunity to express what they are grateful for. Her calm energy comes from daily yoga, which she is always willing to practice with swimmers who need a bit of zen time. 


Marta’s laugh echoes on the pool deck, even at 6 in the morning. She is constantly checking in on her swimmers, and will go the extra mile to help an athlete succeed both in and out of the pool.

Coaching PhilosophY

“I am committed to providing my athletes with opportunities to achieve personal excellence, regardless of their age or ability. By emphasizing individual challenges together with an appreciation for the values and principles of teamwork, I will help swimmers to reach their potential both in the pool and beyond. 


I advocate the spirit of honor and fair play in sport, and support to win and defeat graciously, thus teaching the swimmer to become a better person.


The setting for all team members (both athletes and staff) is one that I shape through creating a positive, pleasant environment where participants desire to be involved and dedicated to their team.”

Marta Looking.jpg


REDS Assistant Coach
Men's & Women's Swimming


Madlynn Palmer joined the UNB Reds Coaching staff in 2021.

Madlynn began her coaching career in 2010 with the Kingston Sharks Swim Club. Since then, she has coached in Waterloo, Ontario and most recently served as the Head Coach of the Gagetown Warriors Army Swim Team from 2019-2022 before taking on her role with the REDS.

Madlynn’s passion for coaching swimming stemmed from being a competitive swimmer herself. At just four years old, Madlynn’s competitive swimming journey began where she was positively surrounded by her mom as the Head Coach and five older siblings to keep up with in the pool! Madlynn continued her swimming career into post-secondary school where she swam for the University of Waterloo Warriors for five consecutive years. In her final two seasons, Madlynn became the team captain. She continues to share her love and passion for the sport of swimming with the athletes she gets to work with.

Madlynn obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation & Leisure studies from the University of Waterloo. In 2022, Madlynn completed her Masters of Education in Educational Leadership, where her studies focused on behavioral skills achieved through sport in post-secondary student-athletes. Madlynn works full time for the Canadian Armed Forces Morale and Welfares Services as the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) National Sport Coordinator where she oversees the CAF international sport program (CISM). Madlynn is an NCCP certified Coach.

Madlynn believes in the power of resilience through adversity and hopes to inspire her athletes to challenge themselves through their unique endeavors. 

Coaching PhilosophY

“ I recognize the value in developing athletes into leaders inside their sport and outside. I am committed to supporting my athletes in learning behavioral skills within their sport that can be applied into their academics, work, and life.

I believe in sharing and being part of a safe and supportive team environment where individuals feel empowered to speak, participate, and learn from those around them.

I believe great performances are based upon a foundation of hidden supporters and that being ‘process focused’ allows the athlete to optimally grow. Through both success and failure we can continue to be better and move forward long-term."



REDS Assistant Coach
Men's & Women's Swimming


Mike has been a multisport coach since 2014, currently living in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Focused on creating specific programs targeting the athlete’s goals.


This incorporates evidence-based research and mindfulness practices in programs, and also develops training and racing nutrition and recovery routines with the athlete. Mike uses biochemical testing using INSCYD and/or in-person blood lactate testing.


Mike is currently pursuing his passion by completing Masters in Kinesiology, Focusing on Mindfulness – Sport Sciences at the University of New Brunswick. Throughout his coaching career, he has earned various licenses, and certifications to enhance his coaching skills including:

  • Triathlon Canada Coaching License - Competition Coach In Training

  • CERTIFIED ITU (International Triathlon Union) COACH Levels 1 and 2


He has been coaching several athletes in different parts of the world. He also coaches several age groups and young athletes that have excelled to new heights within their sports journey.


Mike strongly believes in the importance of communication, building a personal relationship with the athlete and incorporating #Mindfulness in his coaching programs.

It involves training our attention through yoga and meditation. With consistent practice, one can reduce mind-wandering thus enhancing athletic performance by developing the ability to focus and refocus, worrying less, be more present, reduce anxiety, and increase our ability to respond and react quickly, and most importantly it can help induce and increase the quality of sleep.

Coaching PhilosophY

“ My primary goal is to create a training environment where my athletes can feel safe to learn, make mistakes, be active participants, enjoy the process, have ample room for improvement and, most importantly, have fun. I also want to ensure that each training session is a learning opportunity. To achieve this holistic training/learning environment, I rely on my three coaching pillars: Honesty, knowledge, and commitment.

I recognize that the quality of my athlete-coach relationship is based on trust; that is why I value honesty. Honesty follows transparency and integrity, which are vital components for creating trust within any team. By building trust, I can communicate effectively and create a positive change in my athlete's training perspective.

I also believe that my coaching is directly related to the quality of my technical and practical coaching knowledge, which in turn helps me coach my athletes to reach their goals effectively and efficiently. It is why I continuously strive to learn current technological trends and information. The confidence I gain through continuous learning helps me create a healthy dialogue with my athletes to help them bridge their learning curves.

Lastly, I grew up in a family where commitment is valued the most. It has instilled a positive characteristic in me that once I set a goal, I am committed to reaching it regardless of the challenges I face. I wanted to create the same commitment culture in my team, where it is accepted to pause or slow down but never to quit. I can only encourage my athletes by modelling it myself. This also shows my commitment to my athletes and ensures that I will be beside them throughout their training and learning journey to answer their queries openly; consistently guide them throughout the process. I encourage my athletes to provide regular feedback on their training and learning.

In summary, my coaching approach is to work closely with my athletes with honesty, knowledge, and commitment.  My objective is to prepare them mentally and physically during training by giving them the right amount of training stimulus to challenge them continually and ensure they strive and not to suffer and just survive during their primary races."



Strength and conditioning
CSCA Coach
Men's & Women's Swimming

About Gary

Gary Pepperell, is our team's Strength and Conditioning Coach, and brings a unique blend of holistic individualism, enjoyment, and simplicity to his training methodology. Having moved from England to Atlantic Canada, Gary's educational background, including a Bachelor's degree in Strength and Conditioning and a Master’s in Sport and Exercise Science Research from the University of Gloucestershire, equipping him with a comprehensive understanding of athlete development.


His work has shown remarkable impacts, through his seasons with the REDS. Gary’s adaptability, innovative recovery techniques, and stoic, athlete-focused coaching style foster a productive and supportive environment, aiming for success at the AUS (Atlantic University Sport) level and beyond. His philosophy of winning through collaboration and continual learning underscores his commitment to guiding both himself and his athletes towards achieving their highest potential.

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