Statement from new Head Coach

Firstly, I would like to thank the club for giving me this opportunity to become Head Coach. I have dreamed that one day I might get the chance to lead the club as Head Coach and am now very excited about the challenge ahead. Of course the news is bitter-sweet for me, coming as it does because my friend and predecessor Rob Turóczy has decided to return to Hungary. I have been asked to step up into the role of Head Coach and will give it the very best of my attention. I’m really pleased that Rob will be around until summer to continue working with our swimmers, to pass on some of his experience to me and to help to develop my coaching and teaching team.

During this last year the club has been working hard to modernise itself and has taken steps recently to look at its structures and values. This is very important and I intend to work hard with the committee to get this right, so we can provide the very best opportunities we can for ALL swimmers in the club. It is my job to help every swimmer reach their goals and be the best swimmer they possibly can be.

What can you expect from me?
I will lead a team of committed, friendly, approachable and skilled coaches and teachers. With them, I will design the structure of the squads and the swimming programmes so that the development needs of our swimmers are met, and ensure that the club is competitive enough in our training, squad selection and racing to be able to push the most able swimmers on with their careers. I will be approachable, fair and transparent in how I work with our swimmers, parents and my team.

What do I expect from you, our swimmers?
Well, hard work and a determined approach to your swimming development. Take ownership of your own decisions about how hard you try and how committed you are to training. Quite simply it is your hard work and commitment that will decide whether you will achieve your potential. Like any sport, the more you put in, the more you get out! And the more my team and I enjoy coaching you!

Who am I?
I would like to give you a little background about me so that you can put a face to the name if you don’t know me already and understand a little about how I have ended up in this position.

I was born in Portsmouth in 1972 and lived there with my parents until I finished school. During this time I filled most of my spare time swimming at the old Victoria Swimming Pool with Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club and playing football.

In 1989 I joined the Army. I was quickly identified as a competitive swimmer and was fortunate to spend several months most years training with different teams depending on where I was at the time. I completed a cross channel relay and won distance races in Lake Bala in North Wales.

I began to enjoy Water Polo and eventually this became my main sport. For more than 15 years I represented the Army and the Combined Services and was incredible lucky to be flown around the world to compete at different inter-service events (back when the Forces’ budget was a bit healthier). I also took on some coaching of the soldiers who were not very strong swimmers and enjoyed helping them to become confident in the water. From there I began working with and coaching the competitive squads I had previously swum in.

Towards the end of my Army career Michelle and I decided to make a home for ourselves and our then four year-old twins, Ellie and George, in Hampshire. We introduced the twins to learn to swim lessons at the Taro Leisure Centre in Petersfield and were then pointed in the direction of Alton & District Swimming Club by a couple of young coaches at the time. I attended the AGM to listen and learn about the club and then ended up joining the teaching team in 2010. Since then I have worked with every squad at some stage until I was asked to join Top Squad as a Squad Coach. I continued to work with the teaching groups and last year stepped up one more level to become the Assistant Head Coach. During the last year I have completed the ASA Level 3 Coaching Swimming course, which has been incredible demanding, fascinating and motivating, which brings me to today, the latest chapter in my journey and one which I am very much looking forward to.

Quite simply, I am here to help our swimmers become the best they can be. Please contact me, any time, using the Head Coach email address:

I look forward to working with you all.