Spotlight on Can Too Coach 'Mean Machine' Matt Renshaw

29 Oct 2020

Highlights of my professional swimming career:

  • Winning two Commonwealth Games gold medals
  • Being part of the famous ‘Mean Machine’ swimming team
  • Being appointed as captain of the Australian Swimming team.

 What led me on my journey to be a swim coach:

I always liked the idea of giving back to a sport that has given me so much. The joy of enabling others to enjoy the aquatic environment. And helping people understand how to swim in the ocean.

Favourite beach:

Freshwater – as a past active member, a former nipper and club member having represented the club winning medals at state and national surf championships means a lot to me. It also has a great body wave.

Day job:

Teaching children and adults to swim for over 10 years.


Ashbury in Sydney

Why swimming?

It’s great for your health and wellbeing. It’s fantastic on your body, improves flexibility and you can do it with your mates.

Why Can Too?

I love the concept of staying healthy and raising money for cancer research. Great people, and I have been friends of the Founder, Annie Crawford and Board Director, Simon Buckingham for some years. They are inspirational leaders. I have also been touched by cancer losing my father at a young age.

 Favourite Can Too moment:

Learning new coaching techniques from World Champion Paralympic Coach Jon Bell and seeing people conquer their fears after swimming up to 2.8km+ from Palm to Whale beach every January.

 Most rewarding coaching experiences:

Helping people overcome obstacles and learning to be a stronger swimmer. Ensuring people are safer in and around the water and particularly in the ocean.

 Motivational quote:

“If you can’t go back you must go forward and if failure is not an option you will succeed.”

I’m listening to: Aussie rock.

Favourite book: 

Who moved my Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, by Spencer Johnson.

What I eat pre-ocean swim race: something light.

Go to meal post-race: just about anything.

Perfect weekend: down the beach, having a body surf or board ride with mates and family followed by coffee.

How to face your fears to conquer an ocean swim:

Get down to your local Can Too swimming pod and make sure you follow the program that has been set.

  • Make it to the Saturday morning surf sessions and talk with the Mentors and Coaches who are there to help.
  • There are no shortcuts.

Better to face your fears now than to wait until race day.

Matt will be coaching Can Too's 2km Learn to Ocean Swim program training starts on Monday 9 November 2020, you can register here