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Mel Marshall hails Coach Membership packages as ‘really important and needed’

Mel Marshall is one of Great Britain’s most successful swimming coaches – guiding Adam Peaty to multiple titles and playing a key role in Olympic and Commonwealth teams.

Here, Mel explains why she believes the new Swim England Coach Membership packages are positive and important to the coaching community.

Mel Marshall has been there and done that when it comes to her career as a swimming coach.

The lead national coach of British Swimming’s Loughborough National Centre, Mel went from being an elite swimmer who picked up a host of international medals to coaching at City of Derby Swimming Club.

Reflecting on her first coaching role, Marshall admits the new Swim England Coach Membership scheme is much needed and would have been key in accessing vital information to support her in her coaching journey.

There are two Coach Membership packages available – Coach and Coach Plus.

It is the first coach-specific membership offer to be developed by the national governing body and includes £20m public liability insurance cover, personal accident and loss of revenue or business interruption cover benefits plus a a range of exclusive discounts and access to a learning and development hub.

Marshall said “For me, the Coach Membership scheme is a really positive thing.

“First of all, for our coaching community, anything whereby you can increase platforms and you can have education, you can have that almost like contact time with your community of coaching is really, really important.

“The second one, which is probably really important moving forward, is that protection piece. 

“It’s really important that you have cover as a coach in terms of from an insurance and a legal perspective. 

“And I think for me, the final one is around the education.

“I think there’ll be lots of opportunities there to upskill in certain areas, to have space, to go on Zooms, to just really reach out and find out what the most up to date and current information is in our area of sport.

“I think anything that allows coaches to get together, to connect, to stay connected, is imperative for the sport. 

“And I think this is a great platform and a great opportunity to be able to do that.”

Really needed

Marshall says the membership scheme will be a key for those starting out as coaches – both in terms of support and advice as well as career development.

She said: “I retired from being an elite athlete, signing autographs and started out as a club coach at the City of Derby.

“I felt very exposed in terms of I didn’t know what I was looking for. Also I didn’t have a lot of resource to reach out to help me find the answers.

“So I just think it gives you that space to be able to ask the questions before you go out and present in your club. 

“But for me, it was very lonely at the start A – because I didn’t have the resources, B – because I didn’t have the people and C – because I didn’t have the connections. 

“I think this platform offers all those opportunities.

“I think this is a hugely important part of the infrastructure and the ecosystem that we’re in.

“Particularly now, everything’s online, isn’t it? So I think there’s that, but also that face-to-face opportunity to stay again connected but also just to reach out.

“What are the most up-to-date resources, what are the things that I’m missing in my sport, in my programme, whether it be from a welfare perspective or a high level performance perspective?

“Just having that opportunity will certainly help shape things better moving forward.

“I think this is just the beginning. It’s now got a platform, it’s got an opportunity and I think it will grow legs and momentum as time moves forward.

“I think that I trust in the product and I trust in the direction but I also trust in how well it’s going to grow as well. 

“So I think it’s really needed. 

“The more platforms like this that are thorough, well thought out and current, are really important.”

To sign up for the Swim England Coach Membership scheme, please click here.