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. Emma was the Assistant Director of Swimming at Mount Kelly for 6 years before being promoted to the role of Director of Swimming in September 2018.
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.
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 5,000m Open Water Swimming.
Emma is currently in the cohort for Swim England’s Coach 2024 programme. This programme is being run for 15 of the best coaches across the country who aspire to excellence and coaching at world class levels. Previously, Emma has been selected as one of only three swimming coaches to take part in the prestigious '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.
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 as well as coaching alongside Emma Collings-Barnes for many years’ prior to joining Mount Kelly during their warm weather training camps in Lanzarote.
Since working at Mount Kelly, Greg has played an integral role in shaping the swimming programme, with a specific focus on nurturing the next generation of national and international athletes at Mount Kelly. He has coached multiple national champions and medalists; guiding swimmers to break both British and English Age Group Records in the process. Consequently, Greg has been selected to coach for Swim England on both Phase 1 and 2 England Talent Camps as well as the AASE National Training Camp in Tenerife. In January 2018, Greg was invited to be part of the Swim England Coach Pathway Programme and has since gone on to coach at the World School Games in Morocco.
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 B.Ed. 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+ and grammar school education, GCSEs, A Levels, application to university, as well as his recent studies at degree level. Consequently, Greg also works closely with many of our athletes; supporting and mentoring swimmers across all aspects of school life at Mount Kelly.
Greg became Assistant Director of Swimming in September 2018 and is incredibly passionate about continuing his career at Mount Kelly. Greg’s performance coaching and teaching experience 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.
Neil joined us in April 2019 from Plymouth Leander swimming club, where he spent the previous 3 years. During these 3 years Neil has been the Head of Junior Programmes and more recently, the Head of Regional and National Age Group. During this time Neil spent time coaching with a wide range of swimmers across the Junior set up and has helped them progress through County, Regional and National level. In 2016, during his first year, Neil helped guide the Plymouth Leander Junior team to third place in the National Junior League final.
Prior to this, Neil was at Oldbury swimming club based in Birmingham from 2012-2016. Neil’s coaching career started here at Oldbury, initially as an assistant coach, before adding the role of Junior squad coach. After 3 years in these two roles, Neil was appointed the clubs first ever full time head coach in 2015. During his time at Oldbury, Neil helped the club progress to their best finish in Arena league and achieve their highest number of regional qualifiers. Neil’s own swimming journey began in Bedfordshire, where he grew up, swimming for Modernian swimming club. After leaving swimming at the age of 18, Neil started to compete again in his mid-twenties, achieving regional times and last year won 3 medals at National Masters held in Plymouth. Neil can now be found swimming regularly in open water training and events.
Outside of the club environment Neil has previously been selected to the West Midlands coaching development programme, Devon County ASA talent pathway as a skills coach and the South West talent pathway as a group coach.
Aside from his swimming background, Neil has a strong experience of working in a school educational environment. In 2011 Neil completed a PGCE in Primary Education from Birmingham City University. Also, whilst coaching at Oldbury part time, Neil’s full time job was a sports coach responsible for swimming within a primary school. These two areas of Neil’s development give him a strong grounding to join the Mount Kelly school environment and help benefit the welfare and wellbeing of all children.
Joel joins us after 15 years of swimming experience, with the last two years working exclusively with 9-12 year olds across two different clubs in the South East. This experience has allowed him to refine his practice and be in the best position to really influence the prep side of swimming here at Mount Kelly. Joel’s key values in his coaching stem back to values that he holds from his time swimming, where discipline and work ethic were fundamental.
Joel believes in the perfect formula of careful attention to a technical base and then building the content on top - finding the place for hard work in with the constant attention to detail.
He spent his entire secondary education at Millfield School, and has grown up in the boarding environment and learnt to balance education with an intense activity programme across several sports. The experience Joel gained at Millfield allowed him to understand the importance of lifestyle balance and dealing with performance lifestyle, with breaking his first British record during the build up to his GCSEs, and his second just weeks after, where he won the 1500m freestyle at the European Youth Olympic Festival. Joel is keen to become a positive mentor for the swimmers at Mount Kelly and be able to share his recent experiences of racing at that level and share the life lessons learnt by going through the process.
Since beginning his coaching career, he was the top age group coach at the Hampshire counties in his first year, with the top 11 year old boy. He was also a member of the Hampshire Talent camp 2017 and then on the Berks and South Bucks Talent Programme 2018. He has worked with the best swimmers and coaches across both these counties during the process to stimulate his development further.
Joel had a fantastic Junior swimming career whilst being coached by our very own Emma Collings-Barnes. Joel excelled in the 800m and 1500m freestyle, medalling at Nationals every year between the ages of 11 and 19. At the age of 14, Joel won his first National titles, claiming Gold in the 800m freestyle, open water and in 3 relay teams. Joel also currently holds the 1500m freestyle British age group record (15 Years).
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.