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Staff and Coaches

Robin Brew – Director of Swimming

World-class performances spanning three decades underline Robin's background as an International swimmer, athlete and coach. Robin's contribution to sporting excellence includes his GB representation at Olympic and Commonwealth Games and also, World and European Championships. Robin won a Silver medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and went on to captain the 1984 Olympic Team in Los Angeles, breaking the Olympic record in the 200m Individual Medley.

As a former Physical Training Instructor in the Royal Air Force, Robin's professional swimming coaching began in 1989 where his initial work involved consulting appointments to clubs and national associations, and the organisation and coaching of performance training camps in the UK and Europe. Appointed to the National High Performance Centre in Bath in 1998, Robin worked alongside Olympic Head Coach, Ian Turner, preparing Performance Centre swimmers for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. During this time, Robin was also responsible for the swimming coaching of GBR Modern Pentathlete, Steph Cook, who went on to win Gold at the Sydney Olympic Games.

In 2001, Robin was appointed at Kelly College as Director of Swimming, taking over the reins from his father Archie. Since Robin's appointment more than fourteen swimmers have achieved International representation, of which, two swimmers were selected for the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and another five Kelly Swim Squad members were selected for Beijing in 2008, bringing home one Olympic medal and five Paralympic medals between them. Robin's coaching background and achievements were recognised in 2006, when he received the "Outstanding contribution to Sport" award presented by the Devon County Sports Partnership, and in 2008, Robin was also nominated for the, "Sports Coach of the Year" award by Plymouth City Council. Robin's holistic approach to coaching has helped many swimmers and athletes succeed at all levels from County, Regional, National, Commonwealth, European Junior, World Championship, Olympics and Paralympic Games. In 2008, Robin completed a Masters Degree in Coaching from Loughborough University and his passion for excellence at every level of performance is even more evident today as our Junior, Youth and Senior Squads go from strength to strength

Qualifications
  • MSc Coaching
  • ASA Coach
  • ASA Club Coach
  • ASA Advanced Teacher
  • Member of the British Swimming Coaches Association
  • Member of the World Swimming Coaches Association
Coaching Background
  • Director of Swimming – Mount Kelly (Current)
  • Director of Swimming - Kelly College (2000-2014)
  • National High Performance Swimming Centre - University of Bath (1997-99)
  • Beijing Paralympic Games - Coaching Staff (2008)
  • GB Team 'European Open Water Swimming Cup' - Head Coach (Navia, Spain 2008)
  • World IPC Championships, Durban, South Africa - Coaching Staff (2006)
  • World Class Age Group Swimming Programme - Coaching staff (2005-6)
  • World Class Performance Programme - Triathlon - Consultant Coach (2000-6)
Swimming & Sports Background
  • Commonwealth Silver Medal - 200IM, Brisbane 1982
  • Olympic Record - 200m IM, Los Angeles 1984
  • European Championship Finals – 200IM, 1983,1985
  • World Record - 15hrs 35min Two way English Channel Relay Swim,1985
  • BBC Superstars UK Final - 1st 1985   
  • BBC Superstars International Final - 1st 1985   
  • European Triathlon Championships - ½ Ironman - Elite category - 7th 1990/91/92
  • European Triathlon Championships - Olympic Distance Elite Category – 5th
  • European Triathlon Series – Olympic Distance - Elite category - 2nd 1992
  •  World Triathlon Championships – Team event – 1st 1993
  •  Hawaii Ironman – Finished! 1994
  •  Masters World Records - 100m IM, 200m IM, 400m IM, 1500Freestyle 1996
  •  European Indoor Rowing Championships 45-50 age group – 1st 2012
Coaching Goals

To provide an enjoyable and challenging environment which fosters best practice and a keen desire to succeed.

  • To set realistic and attainable goals for swimmers of all abilities and to ensure that they develop the necessary technical and physiological skills in order to reach their true long-term individual potential.
  • To encourage, motivate and direct swimmers towards greater achievements by careful planning and evaluation of performances in training and racing.
  • To ensure that swimmers are receiving the very best coaching available by regularly reviewing and updating our training and coaching methods in line with current research.
  • To help produce the next generation of International and Olympic swimmers.  
 
Emma Collings-Barnes - Assistant Director of Swimming

Emma joined us in April 2012 from Rushmoor Royals Swimming Club in Aldershot where in two short years she lead 25 staff members and over 300 swimmers to become one of the strongest programmes in the South East.

Prior to this, Emma worked at Millfield School. Within the swimming programme, having spent a year working as the Director of Swimming (2007 – 2008) she played an instrumental role in helping the school produce national and international medalists. Whilst at Millfield she guided swimmers such as World Champion James Guy and Olympian James Disney-May into their continued success as well as Georgia Holderness to her Olympic qualifying time in 2008, and other British Swimmers, senior and junior such as Tristan Slater and Robert Holderness.

With extensive international coaching experience, she has mentored multiple swimmers to the European Junior Championships, World Championships, Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Emma’s experience in working with various teams, including British Swimming, over the course of her 11 years in full time coaching is equaled by her enthusiasm and passion for swimming and Mount Kelly. With her Level 3 swimming qualification, university degrees in Applied Sport Science and Fine Art and 10 years personal international swimming experience, Emma brings a multi-layered skill set to the Mount Kelly Swimming Programme. You will find Emma spending many hours working with pupils in our gym, Emma leads our dynamic and fresh Strength and Conditioning programme. 

Emma’s strong personal swimming career saw her study at the illustrious Loughborough University swimming team for 5 years and in this time, she had a number of successes, resulting in her representing GB in 5000m Open Water Swimming.

Emma also assists in the daily running of the junior boarding house, helping to support and mentor swimmers across all areas of school life.

Emma is thrilled to be accepted onto the 'UK Women into High Performance Coaching Programme' run by Sports Coach UK and in close collaboration with the England Programmes Team, British Swimming and Performance Pathway Lead. Emma has been selected as one of only three swimming coaches to take part in this prestigious programme.  

Qualifications
  • BSc Applied Sport Science – Loughborough
  • Foundation Degree Fine Art - Loughborough
  • ASA Level 3 Coach
  •  Foundation Degree in Sports Science
  • National Pool Life Guard
  • Level 1 Thump Boxing Instructor
  • Personal Trainer
  • ASA Team Manager
  • BAWLA Leader Award
Coaching Background
  • Head of Swimming for Years 9 to 13 – Mount Kelly April 2012 – Present
  • Head Coach of Rushmoor Royals Swimming Club June 2010 – April 2012
  • Swimming Coach – Millfield School January 2006 – June 2010
  • Acting Director of Swimming – Millfield 2008 – 2009
  • Hampshire Swimming Head Coach – 2011
  • Assistant Coach – Loughborough University 2004 - 2006
  • Head Age Group Coach – Pine Crest School, Florida 2005
Swimming Background
  • Swimmer with Loughborough University for 5 years
  • Open Water Great Britain International Swimmer
  • British Open Water Champion
  • European Championships Puma 4some, England 3rd
  • European Championships Puma4some, England 2nd
 
Greg King – Performance Coach

Greg joined us in September 2013 from Kingsbridge Swimming Club in South Devon, where he worked as Assistant Coach for two years. In this time, he coached a wide range of swimmers including County, Regional and National level athletes. Greg had also coached alongside Robin Brew and Emma Collings for many years’ prior during the warm weather training camps in Lanzarote.

Since working at Mount Kelly, Greg has played a key role in producing many national medalists as well as helping to advance the development of many swimmers from a regional to a national level. In addition, Greg has guided Ollie Taverner to break two British and English Age Group Records within the last 12 months. Consequently, Greg has been selected to coach for the ASA on the Phase 1 and 2 England Programme Camps as well as the AASE National Training Camp in Tenerife.

Greg also has a strong background in education and graduated from the University of St Mark and St John with a First Class Honours Degree in BEd Primary Education in June 2014, leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Therefore, Greg brings a very current knowledge and understanding of the educational system to Mount Kelly, having recently experienced the processes of 11+, grammar school education, GCSEs, A-Levels, application to university, as well as his recent studies at the university. Consequently, Greg lives on-site in Courtenay Boarding House to support and mentor swimmers across all areas of school life, including Sixth Form UCAS applications.

All these experiences have instilled a strong belief in the holistic approach to a child’s development – a feature which is key to the ongoing success of Mount Kelly Swimming. As a result, Greg is extremely passionate about continuing his career at Mount Kelly and looks forward to working with all swimmers across the programme.

Qualifications
  • BEd Primary Education – University of St Mark & St John
  • ASA Level 3 Coach
  • ASA Level 2 Coach
  • National Pool Life Guard
  • ASA Team Manager
  • ASA Level 1 Teacher
  • ASA Judge 1
Coaching Background
  • Performance Coach – Mount Kelly September 2013 - Present
  • Swim England Pathway Coach Program 2018 - 2019
  • Devon County Head Coach 2016 & 2017. Devon County Coach 2013,2014 & 2015
  • South West English Schools Coach 2015
  • AASE National Training Camp Coach 2015
  • ASA Phase 1 England Programmes Coach 2015
  • ASA Phase 2 England Programmes Coach 2015
  • Assistant Coach – Kingsbridge Swimming Club – September 2011 – August 2013
  • Devon ASA Young Volunteer of the Year 2011
Swimming Background
  • Swam with Kingsbridge Swimming Club for 10 years
  • Devon County Champion 2009 & 2010 – 1500m Freestyle
  • Member of Devon County Swimming & Management Committee 2014-2016
 

Lawrie Thomson - Performance Coach

Lawrie joins us with more than 15 years of coaching swimmers to National level.  After 8 years completing at county regional and national level, Lawrie started his coaching career at the University of Bath receiving a two year coaching scholarship. This allowed Lawrie to develop his skills under the guidance of International coaches and around Olympic athletes.

His expensive experience as Head Coach means he brings a variety of experience in the club environment whilst also understanding what it takes to succeed at National and International level. Lawrie has helped 3 clubs achieve success in both England and Northern Ireland where he has also been selected to coach of the respective National talent programmes. Throughout his career Lawrie has coached numerous National champions and had International representation at World school, Commonwealth and European junior level.

Lawrie has had success in the arena league, most noticeably at Haslemere where he took a village club to the National finals top 10, and many unbeaten seasons during his time at Amersham.

He has experience working in a variety of school environments too, supporting and mentoring students in Bristol and Gloucestershire over the last two years, but his passion is performance level swimming and this is highlighted by trips to Shanghai in 2007 and Australia in 2014 to work with international coaches and athletes, to learn about different training styles and techniques in a variety of elite environments.

Qualifications
  • UKCC LEVEL 3 Swimming coach – Performance level award
  • BSc Degree Sports conditioning and coaching – UWE Bristol
  • HND Coach Education and sports performance – University of Bath

Coaching Background
  • Coaching scholarship to the University of Bath 2003 – 2005
  • Head Coach positions held in England and N. Ireland from 2006 – 2017
  • England talent programme coaching staff 2007 – 2016
  • England talent programme Head Coach 2015 South East region
  • AASE coaching staff 2008 - 2010 

Sports Background
  • National level swimmers at CSWPC
  • England under 16s Waterpolo talent squad

 
Josh Norrie - Assistant Performance Coach

Josh joined the Mount Kelly Coaching team in September 2016 and graduated from the University of St Mark and St John in 2013 where he studied Applied Sport Science and Coaching (Bsc with honours) and also gained his Level 3 Personal Trainer certificate. Since this time he has worked at Dinnaton Swimming Club as the Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach and at Sparkwell Primary school as a P.E Teacher and Sports Coach across all year groups.

Having a real passion for swimming Josh was able to apply his experience and knowledge in all aspects of the swim programme and is now working through his Level 2 Swimming Coaching Qualification at Mount Kelly. 

Josh’s background in swimming, strength and conditioning, and all the sport science aspects surrounding the sport has provided him with a wealth of experience and helped him succeed with the coaching of swimmers at from County through to National level. In addition, his high level qualifications and experience in strength and conditioning across a range of performance sports, including Plymouth Argyle Youth teams, makes Josh a very rounded coach with the ability to hone in on specific needs on an individual and group basis.

Josh has been involved with performance sports from an early age having represented Plymouth school boys in football as a child. More recently he played at semi-professional level with Ivybridge Town football club and from his formative years untill late teens he trained in Tae-Kwon-do where he attained his Black belt second Dan and competed both regionally and nationally in both patterns and sparring disciplines.

Qualifications
  • Applied Sport Science and Coaching with honours BSc
  • Level 1 and Level 2 swim coaching qualification - working towards
  • Level 2 paediatric first aid
  • Body weight suspension training Level 1
  • Personal training qualification Level 3 (2013)
Coaching Background
  • Lead prep and club squad swimming coach September 2016 - Present
  • Lead strength and conditioning coach for performance potential squad. September 2016 - Present
  • Strength and conditioning on an individual basis for swimmers within the swim programme September 2016 - Present
  • Assistant youth strength and conditioning coach at Plymouth Argyle Development March 2016 - July 2016
  • Lead strength and conditioning coach at Dinnaton Swim club Sept 2013 - Sept 2016
  • Cover swim coach at Dinnaton swim club Sept 2014 -Sept 2016
  • Volunteer Sports coach for disabled adults (Active for Life) 2012-2013
  • Gym Instructor (Tone Leisure) 2012-2014
  • Mini circuits instructor Tone Leisure 2012-2016
  • Badminton coach Tone Leisure 2015
  • Football coach Tone Leisure 2013-2015
Sports Background
  • Ivybridge men's football team 2009 - Present
  • University Of St. Mark and St. John 1st 11 football team 2010 - 2013
  • Tae-kwon-do Black belt 2nd dan competing Nationally 2002 - 2008