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OUR Club Coaches

Deb Kempe - Coach in residence

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Deb's foray into triathlon began with a Novice Course at the start of the Tri season in 2009. That was the start of a career as a Triathlete and now as a Coach. Deb's been able to travel the world and learned so much more than just how to Swim, Bike and Run. She's embraced the sport and all that it offered, completing every distance from Enticer to Ironman and becoming an inaugural member of Pursuit Coaching’s Blackfin Squad.

Deb's love of Triathlon and passion as an educator led her to formalize her coaching qualifications through accreditation as a Triathlon Australia Development Coach (2015), by attending the Training Peaks University (2018) and in 2021 completing the “Woman Are Not Small Men” course conducted by Dr Stacy Sims. Deb says, I was an Assistant Coach at Pursuit Coaching for 5 years, began my own bespoke coaching service and now enjoying the role of “Coach in Residence” at Perth Tri Club.

Some of Deb's career highlights include achieving third place for Australia in the 2012 Challenge Wanaka (NZ) and winning the International Triathlon Union’s (ITU) World Long Course Bronze medal in 2013. She became a World Duathlon Champion competing in Spain in the ITU World Championships and then defended that title the following year in Adelaide, gaining a silver medal.

In 70.3 Ironman triathlons, she had wins in Busselton, Mandurah and was a National Age group champion at the Triathlon Championships in Geelong.

In 2021, she expanded her cycling repertoire and entered SEVEN, an off-road Endurance Race held in Nannup, where she earnt a coveted Golden belt buckle. She's heading back to Nannup this May where she hopes to qualify for the UCI World Gravel Championships to be held in Italy in Sept 2022.



nicole papas- development coach

Nicole's foray into triathlon started in 2010 after a friend convinced her it would be "fun". Given she didn't own a bike and hadn't swum since primary school, she wasn't so sure! 

Signing up for a novice course in 2011 to learn the ropes, she didn't come out the other end the next "Chrissie Wellington" but did manage to complete her first sprint triathlon, make some amazing friends and develop an addiction for triathlon. 

Nicole has since gone on to bigger and better things, completing 10 x 70.3 half Ironman events, including the World Championships in 2017, and a full Ironman. 

After having a baby in November 2018, Nicole turned her focus to coaching as a way to remain involved in the sport and to give back to her club and community. She was also keen to help introduce a new wave of athletes to this wonderful sport - especially to the post-training breakfast! 

Nicole is currently looking after the PTC 70.3 program and you can find her at the pool on Wednesday mornings and club Brick sessions on Saturdays.


Karen Woods - foundation coach

Karen was introduced to triathlon in 2007 when she competed in the BRW Corporate Sprint Triathlon. Her husband’s work had a spot in a team which they couldn’t fill, so she put her hand up and has never looked back.


Having competed nearly every year since 2012 at both Karri Valley and Busso 70.3,  she has quite a bit of knowledge to impart to those new to the sport.

Karen has also been club president since 2018 and in 2021 she took her passion further and completed the foundation coaching course. An experienced teacher for many years, Karen has good organizational and communication skills. 


 Karen believes the most important part of her role is encouraging and supporting new club members, to show them the health and wellbeing benefits of training with the Perth Triathlon Club.  

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Liam Mccoach - foundation coach

Liam has been around the sport of triathlon since he was a kid. He's competed professionally and as part of the Australian National Squad where he spent some time training up in Queensland on the Gold Coast. Liam has raced overseas and is keen to continue this in the future. He's been on the podium many times but some of his most memorable races are:

First Place - 2019 Lianyungang ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup | Elite Men

Second Place -  2017 Perth OTU Triathlon Junior Oceania Championships | Junior Men

Fifth Place - 2018 Murakami NTT ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup | Elite Me


We've joined forces with swimclan

We have joined forces with Swimclan to offer our members the best swimming experience in WA. 

Sam from Swimclan joins us on a Monday evening at Bold Park and Wednesday morning at Cottesloe to help prepare for any racing  distance. Sam gives regular feedback about technique and provides a good set of drills to help us improve speed and confidence in the water.  

Our beginner coaches

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Vici Richards - Level 2 running coach

Vici is a level 2 run coach, currently coaching with Tony Smith Run Coaching and has been running for over 20 years.

Vici is no stranger to triathlon, completing Busselton Ironman 2019 before returning her focus to running.

Vici has competed in all distances for 5k to ultras, including 13 marathons.

Vici's passion for the sport is driven by a desire to chase her goals but she also places great importance on running to help manage the stresses of everyday life.

Career Achievements -

Busselton Marathon 2020: 3:20

Perth Half Marathon 2020: 1.34

Fremantle 10k 2020: 43.15

Best 5k: 20.19

Busselton Ironman 2019: 13:15

Janina Ritschel

Janina embraced triathlon in 2015 when she joined a novice course. Both the course and the first race were great fun, so she continued training with the local triathlon club. Janina made great friendships, learned to swim freestyle from scratch and participated in a number of triathlons. Consequently, after arriving from Germany with her partner Stephan two years ago, finding a triathlon club was a top priority. Luckily they chose PTC!


Michelle Beckett (Development Coach)

Mish grew up in South Africa but settled in Perth about 12 years ago. As a way to meet new people, she decided to sign up for a ‘Novice Triathlon’ course. In 2014, she signed up for Busselton 70.3 half ironman and the sport of triathlon really took hold on her. Mish decided to become a coach so that she could give back to the club and help others become inspired and involved in the sport of triathlon like she was.

Caroline Spencer 

Caroline started triathlon after joining a women’s-only beginners course soon after her son was born. The first season, she trained by herself but then a friend introduced her to the Perth Triathlon Club and she has not looked back. Caroline has graced the podium many times over the years but her favourite triathlon memory is representing Australia at the sprint world championships on the Gold Coast in 2018. She was also on the podium a number of times in the most recent Tour of Margaret River obtaining 1st place in most of the events over the 4 day race. 



Michael Donnelly

Michael's triathlon adventure started on a sunny Saturday in early October 2015 when he rocked up for the inaugural PTC novice course. Little did he know what he was getting himself into. Amazingly, most of those who enrolled made it through the Summer Sprint series and a couple of the group even got as far as Busso 70.3 in May 2016.

Years later Michael's still doing triathlon and still part of the PTC family. The PB’s and shiny medals are great but it’s the way of life, the weekends away and the friends for life you meet on the journey that make it all worthwhile. With PTC and the wider tri community I’ve met lots of inspirational and good people from different backgrounds with a sprinkle of some crazies along the way. Triathlon has spawned an interest in other endurance events including a bike ride from Alice Springs to Darwin to raise funds for cancer in 2016, multiple marathons all over the world, adventure racing and even a foray into the mtb world with Seven. Michael has just completed the 80km Ultra Marathon in Margaret River to add to his list of endurance races.

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