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Coaches selected for Pathway Coach Development Programme 2018

Swim England Coach Development Programme 2018 Cohort

A group of 17 coaches have been selected for the Swim England Pathway Coach Development Programme for 2018.

These include high fliers Rachel Aldington (Millfield), Marc Williams (Bristol Aquatics), Emily Dart (Truro) and James Richards (City of Gloucester).

The aim of the programme is for coaches of age group athletes (10-14yrs) to get together, share best practice and develop their technical and soft skills. They will then be able to take what they have learned, and use it to benefit their swimmers. They will also pass the knowledge on to other coaches in their club, and the local club network.

About the Pathway Coach Development Programme

The Swim England Pathway Coach Development Programme will feature five one-day workshops over a 14 month period. peer mentoring sessions and performance programme observation visits.

The content delivered through the workshops and mentoring sessions will be a blend of technical and soft skill delivery and include:
  • Self-awareness and reflective practice
  • Coach athlete relationships and getting to know each other
  • ‘World Class’ starts, turns and underwaters
  • ‘World Class’ planning principles for long term gain
  • Staying connected; communication and leadership styles

Coaches will be expected to attend and contribute to up to three ‘Peer Coaching Mentoring’ sessions. There will also be opportunities to observe and participate in coaching sessions at Performance Swimming Environments across England.

Swim England Coach Development Manager Joanna Jones (joanna.jones@swimming.org / 07583 065254) said: “We view the Pathway Coach Development programme as an integral part of our coach development pathway. This programme will provide the opportunity for coaches to discover, discuss and develop their coaching philosophy and practice within their coaching and competition environments amongst their peers.

“It will also give an awareness of the important issues that we need to address to enable us to have a successful and sustainable talent development system within England and Great Britain which we hope ultimately will lead to national team success.”

2018 cohort excited to start

Rachel Aldington who heads up the Junior Female squad at Millfield School said: "It was a thought provoking session this week - environment, beliefs, behaviours, internal / external perceptions, characteristics ... but additionally some great peer group conversations. Thank you Swim England!" Rachel's mantra of doing the simple things well, having high expectations and finding the next improvements have struck the right notes with swimmers on our 2017 County Development Camps. Rachel represented Backwell and the City of Salford as a competitive swimmer before moving to Cyprus to teach swimming. A degree in Sports Rehabilitation led her to pitchside at Manchester Rugby Club and for Scotland under 21's but she remained active on poolside throughout. Her career has seen her work as a North Somerset Community Swimming Coach and then produce great performances as Head Coach of Weston-super-Mare Swimming Club before taking on her current role.

City of Bristol's Marc Williams said "I enjoyed the [first] day and am looking forward to the rest of the workshops / programme. It's going to be great developing my coaching over the next 12 months! A lot of self reflection!". Bristol Aquatics gave Marc his dream job and among many development opportunities last season, he coached on South West development and Phase 1 camps which he will also be doing again this year. Matt also got the opportunity to coach on the National Junior Camp held in Aberdeen which was a great experience working with some top coaches and athletes. 

Truro City Head Coach Emily Dart is one of the few Level 4 Performance Coaches in the country and her career to date has seen her coach at Plymouth Leander, Devonport Royal, Torquay Leander, Kelly College and as a freelance in Gloucestershire.

City of Leeds Lead Regional Age Group Coach Kevin Schofield commented on his selection: “I am very excited and a little overwhelmed to be one of the 17 coaches selected for the programme. It came as a bit of a shock. I hope to take the skills learned over the course of the programme back to my home club and share it with the other coaches and swimmers. I’ve been part of City of Leeds SC for 12 years and never had the opportunity to interact with coaches from other clubs in an environment like this. I think I will learn a lot about myself and develop the tools I need to be a successful coach.”

Greg King, Mount Kelly Performance Swim Coach, has been working with the Swim England Talent Pathway for a number of years. He said: “I was very pleased to be selected onto the 2018 Pathway Coach Development Programme. I am particularly looking forward to developing my self-awareness as well as connecting with and learning from a variety of coaching peers from around the country. The opportunity to increase my technical knowledge alongside the development of my soft skill set will be invaluable in improving my day-to-day coaching.”

Lesley Batson, Head Coach at Putteridge SC, said: “I feel extremely privileged to be chosen to join the programme. I’m really excited by the prospect, and feeling slighting nervous by what will come. I hope to gain more knowledge of coaching practices that I can pass on to my swimmers and club coaches. This should also help to develop my confidence and belief in myself as a senior coach. I am also looking forward to working with other, like-minded coaches.”

Full list of coaches selected for 2018

Marc Foster (Ellesmere SC)
Chris Littler (City of Birmingham SC)
Joshua Atkins (Wycombe)
Matthew Smithurst (Sevenoaks SC)
Rachel Aldington (Millfield School)
Greg King (Mount Kelly)
James Richards (City of Gloucester SC)
Catalina Arasa (City of Leicester SC)
Jess Wilkie (Preston SC)
Karen Pinniger (City of Norwich SC)
Matthew Williams (Hillingdon SC)
Gavin Povall (Waltham Forest)
Kevin Schofield (Leeds)
Marc Williams (Bristol)
Lesley Batson (Putteridge)
Emily Dart (Truro)
Craig Oliver (Aylesbury)

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