Developing the next generation of elite swimming coaches

Eighteen of the country’s most promising coaches have begun a 14-month learning journey as part of Swim England’s Coach 2024 programme. 

This national flagship programme, which launched on 30 October, aims to support and mentor coaches who are working at the upper level of the England Talent Pathway. 

More than 50 coaches applied for the scheme, which covers a wide range of topics that aim to enhance technical knowledge, personal and interpersonal skills and enable them to better support their athletes. 

Guildford City’s head coach, Lee Spindlow, is looking forward to better supporting his athletes. 

He said: “I’m honoured to be selected alongside some of the best coaches in the country and excited for the opportunity to be challenged to improve my own coaching practices. 

“I’m looking forward to sharing ideas, trying new approaches and learning from like-minded professionals.”

Mandy Bell, City of Derby’s head coach, added: “I am pleased to have been selected for the programme and look forward to gaining another level of experience in my coach development. 

“The workshops will challenge me to be a better coach and I’m excited by the opportunity to learn over the next 14 months.”

Coaches proud to be selected

Derventio Excel’s head coach, Jamie Main, recognises that Coach 2024 “is a fantastic learning opportunity”. 

He adds: “I feel very proud to be selected for such a prestigious programme. I’m looking forward to working with the Swim England team to expand my coaching network and knowledge to best support the swimmers under my guidance.”

And City of Bristol Aquatics’ head coach, Lisa Atkinson, is also looking forward to the enhancing her coaching skills.

She said: “I’m really excited to have been selected for the Coach 2024 programme, and am looking forward to the challenges and development opportunities ahead. 

“I’m particularly looking forward to enhancing my individualisation skills within a club programme.”

Joanna Jones, Swim England coach development manager, said: “Swim England received an unprecedented level of interest and number of applications, which we are really encouraged by.   

“Over the past few months we have spent time reviewing and refining the content and delivery format for this programme and are excited about the changes we are making to the 2018-2019 programme.”

On what the coaches can expect, Joanna added: “Coaches will be tested and challenged, embedding behaviour changes and technical improvements. During the course, participants will be able to confidently self-reflect and critically review their coaching practice and behaviour.

“The relationship between the coach and the assigned mentor is a key component to the programme and will maximise learning opportunities. We wish them all the best of luck on their learning journey.”

The successful Coach 2024 applicants:

  • John Adye (Hillingdon SC)
  • Chris Alderton (Team Bath AS)
  • Robin Armayan (Plymouth Leander, Plymouth College)
  • Lisa Atkinson (City of Bristol Aquatics)
  • Mandy Bell (City of Derby)
  • Gregory Buck (City of Milton Keynes)
  • Emma Collings-Barnes (Mount Kelly)
  • Graham Davidson (Taunton Dean SC)
  • Jamie Evans (City of Leicester)
  • Carl Grosvenor (City of Birmingham)
  • Paul Lloyd (Maidenhead Marlins)
  • Jamie Main (Derventio Excel)
  • Chris Reekie (Tynemouth ASC)
  • Mark Rose (City of Manchester)
  • Adam Ruckwood (City of Coventry)
  • Lee Spindlow (Guildford City)
  • Mark Tanner (Chesterfield SC)
  • David Vine (Leatherhead SC)