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Coaches selected to work with 'best and brightest' on National Event Camps

Coaches selected for Swim England’s National Event Camp have said they are ‘privileged and honoured’ to be working with the ‘best and brightest’ talent in the country.

Phase 2 athlete selections were announced in January and named Emma Collings-Barnes, Dan Pilbrow and Marc Foster as respective head coaches for the freestyle, medley and open water events.

Speaking on her selection, Collings-Barnes said: “It is always a pleasure and a privilege to be selected as part of the Swim England National Event Camp and I’m very much looking forward to working with staff and swimmers.

“Having a few days working with some of the best and brightest young talent in the country is always an exciting time. I hope to gain some valuable insights into each individual and look to offer as much as I can to help further their development.

“​A face-to-face camp is exactly what is needed for the swimmers on this pathway after a long drought due to Covid.

“I hope each swimmer prioritises enjoyment and the learning opportunities that are being provided to them from a talented coaching workforce.”

‘Opportunity to learn’

Pilbrow echoed his colleague’s feelings, adding: “Getting the opportunity to work with a great group of coaches and practitioners, both through the online camp and in-person events, will be a fantastic opportunity to help further develop myself and my coaching.

“Any time that you get an opportunity to work with athletes outside of your home programme is always an opportunity to learn, especially at this level.

“After the initial online workshop, I’m really looking forward to meeting these swimmers in person, building a positive working relationship with them and seeing where we can help the selected athletes on their journey through the sport.”

Pilbrow added that he hopes swimmers who previously took part in an online camp in November 2021 have put their learnings into practice over the past three months.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what skills the swimmers have taken from the online camp and put into practice over the last three months.

“I am hoping that they can take away something from every aspect of the NEC programme to further their development both mentally and physically, as a person, athlete and performer over the coming season and in the future.”

‘Pass on knowledge and experience’

Boldmere head coach, Foster, joins the coaching staff as an open water coach and will work closely with athletes who specialise in those events.

He said: “Having the opportunity to work with a team of great staff members and driven swimmers to share thoughts and ideas is always an exciting opportunity.

“As a coach,  I hope that I can help motivate or reignite some swimmer’s fires and love for swimming if they have wavered over the last two years.

“I’d like to pass on my knowledge and experiences to help all of the swimmers selected to have a great face-to-face camp, help them with their development, and go on to achieve success later on in the season and future.”

Foster added that he is ‘very excited’ for the next event camps which will take place in February in Birmingham, adding: “I would also like the athletes to experience a great team atmosphere and togetherness on the national camp as a face-to-face camp is something that we have not been able to do for such a long time.”

Skills coaches

Form and medley camp:

  • Mark McKenna, Leicester Sharks
  • Gavin Povall, Epping Forest
  • Neil Shire, Exeter City
  • Rick Hall, City of Oxford
  • Claudia Clements, Guildford City
  • Jan Hutchings, Poole
  • Rob Vaughan, City of Leicester
  • Paul Wilson, City of Coventry

Freestyle camp:

  • Lesley Batson, Putteridge
  • Martin Brooks, Wirral Metro
  • Adam Parfitt, Portsmouth
  • Lewis Dunford, Guildford City
  • Matt Turner, City of Manchester
  • Zoe Stemp, Havant & Waterlooville

Open water camp:

  • Gerry Gillispie, Enfield

Support staff:

  • Strength and conditioning: Dan Waddingham, Gemma Hathaway
  • Physiotherapists: Rebecca Rhodes, Steve Batchelor, Karen Jordan, Ryan Caulfield
  • Nutritionist: Jasmine Campbell
  • Psychologist: Hannah Stoyel
  • Sports Scientists: Craig Robertson, Luke Buxton