National team swim coach Randy Bennett passed away on Monday, April 27.

National team swim coach Randy Bennett passed away on Monday, April 27.

Swimmers mourn loss of coach Randy Bennett

National team swim coach Randy Bennett of succumbed to cancer on Monday night, a regular at Saanich Commonwealth Place

National team swim coach Randy Bennett succumbed to cancer on Monday night.

The 51-year-old was coach of Canada’s top senior national teams at every major international competition since 2009, including the 2012 Olympic Games. He was the head coach of the High Performance Centre in Victoria since 2008, based out of Saanich Commonwealth Place. From there he led local Olympians Hilary Caldwell, Alec Page and Ryan Cochrane to name a few.

“We’ve lost a mentor, a visionary and a friend,” Cochrane said. “Randy’s ability to fight for what was right is a tenet we must all continue to uphold. Coaching was his passion and his life, and I know he has had a profound impact on my life both in and out of sport. I would not be the athlete or person I am today without him. The values and imagination Randy instilled in all of his athletes will live on.”

Bennett suffered from a malignant melanoma, only recently diagnosed, and fought it with the same tenacity with which he coached, said national team physician Steve Keeler, who acted as Bennett’s primary physician throughout the situation.

“Despite the rapid progression of his disease (Bennett) remained focused on his family and the athletes he coached. His strength through this journey was impressive,” Keeler said.

Bennett is survived by his wife Lesley and two teenage sons, Brett and Kyle.

reporter@saanichnews.com

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