Coaching Team

Black Lion is lucky enough to have one of the largest and most experienced groups of coaches. We place a great importance in supporting our coaches by enhancing their experience and qualifications, In 2015 we arranged our own in-house ASA Level Two coaches training course.  With a mix of professional coaches, qualified volunteers and a number of enthusiastic assistants, our ongoing training program ensures our swimmers receive the best possible coaching.

coaching team

Alan Londesbrough

Growing up in the North, I was at City of Leeds SC where we did swimming, lifesaving, diving and played waterpolo. I represented them at county, regional and national level at swimming. I continued to swim once I joined the Army, representing both them, and Combined Services at swimming and waterpolo. When my eldest daughter, Katie joined BLSC in 2007, I decided that rather than just watch I should get involved, so qualified as both an aquatics teacher and coach. I am now a level 2 qualified aquatics teacher and level 2 coach. When my younger daughter Amy also joined, I continued to coach at all levels within the club, and have just accepted the Head Coach role.

Other interests, when I have the time, are officiating rugby and open water swimming.

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Level 1 Teacher
ASA Level 2 Teacher
ASA Level 1 Coaching
ASA Level 2 Coaching

Jay Parsons

I have been involved in teaching and coaching for nearly 20 years. I pride myself on delivery a good standard to teaching and coaching and trying to get the swimmer to think about why and what they are doing. I was a swimmer with BLSC from the age of 11. I was a late swimmer in relation to most. I soon worked my way through the squads and eventually into the Elite Squad. I only managed to get to county level.
I started coaching when I was 16 assisting with the BLSC Masters. I got the taste and went on to coach my own squad and work alongside a number of coaches while at BLSC, eventually assisting the Head coach with the Elite squad. During my time at BLSC I coached a number of swimmers to County and District Level plus helping 2 swimmers achieve their NQT.
I later became assistant coach at Beaver Swimming club at Hoo, helping them go from 8th in Medway to 3rd within 2 years. Other key achievements were, 1st County Champions and taking 3 swimmers to Southern’s and narrowly missing out on a NQT. After that I joined Gravesend and Northfleet 2004 and Spent 18 months as their Head coach. Swimmers to county and District Level, before leaving due to work commitments.

After rejoining BLSC, I currently oversee the smooth running of the BLSC LTS programme making sure swimmers are assessed correctly and are achieving the high teaching standards BLSC aim for. I oversee a small team of teachers and assistants and help mentor their development and nurturing the future swimmers of the club.

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Assistant Teacher
ASA Level 2 Teacher
Sports coach UK – Fitness & training
Sports coach UK – Injury prevention & Management
National Coaching Foundation – Coaching Children
Fellow of the Institute of Swimming (FIOS)

Paul Caller

I was first introduced into swimming when I joined Gillingham Swimming Club at the age of 7 where we trained at the Strand open air poolWhen the Black Lion pool was built and the club relocated.I swam at various levels throughout my time and competed at district, County and Regional levels, I gave up swimming at age of 18 and then rejoined the club when I was 26 where I joined the masters section, during my time in the masters I competed again at district, County, Regional and National level achieving various PB’s along the way, topping this off with swimming in the World masters at Ponds Forge Sheffield.
I started helping at BLSC with the land training which were held on a Sunday night and then got into coaching some of the Masters sessions before taking over the Gold squad lead coach position some 3years ago and also jointly coaching the master.

DBS/CRB Checked
RLSS Rescue Test – Life Saving
ASA Level 1 Coaching
ASA Level 2 Coaching
Official J2S (level 2 judge + Starter)

Steve Howard

I originally got into swimming as a child - ironically having nearly drowned at Black Lion sports centre. As a teenager I swam for another local swimming club and took the first of several swimming courses to become a swimming teacher. University and life generally then got in the way before my daughter Lilly joined Black Lion 18 months ago, at which point I decided there must be something better I could do with my evening than Candy Crush Saga whilst watching. Two coaching courses and an officials course later - I’m still here. It’s my belief that with swimming coaching it is the experience and approach that count as much as the qualifications, and so to that end I always make an effort to go and observe (and where they will let me, assist) other experienced coaches around the South East. You can never know enough! I currently coach with the Development and Gold squads, and elsewhere as and when required, as well as assisting with the management of the club.

DBS/ CRB Checked
Educare Child Protection Programme Certificate
ASA Club Instructor
ASA Preliminary Teacher
ASA Level 1 Coaching
ASA Level 2 Coaching
ASA Official J1 (Level one judge)
Fellow of the Institute of Swimming (FIOS)

James Marshall

Started teaching in my early teens at the same club which had become bae systems social club. By my late teens I was writing most of the training sets/programs and started coaching and A level in sports science. I remember doing some asa and rlss courses during those 8 years but couldn't tell you how far I got. I stopped everything when I went to university.
I started teaching at bae club again 4 years ago when my daughter stared lessons the last two years of which I was also head coach before the pool owners went out of business and the club had to stop.I started coaching at black lion a few months ago.

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Level 1 Teacher

 

Neil Castle

I have been coaching/teaching swimming for past seven years started at Sittingbourne & Milton SC.Moved to Black Lion when my eldest son was invited to swim for the club.since then I have been assisting Alan with both Elite and performance squad's. In the past I was a coach with a local football club Iwade Herons were I both assisted and coached a football team from the age of 8 until they reached 12years when I stopped due to my eldest sons commitment to his swimming and as he was proving to be a far better swimmer than a football player I needed to give him my full commitment.
In my early days at school I played football,squash & badminton also ran cross country for the school.

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Level 1 Teaching Aquatics
Level 2 Football coaching
First aid in sport with the Football association
Child protection with both the ASA & FA

Richard Marsden

I swum for Black Lion for eleven years, from the age of 5, until I left Elite squad at the age of 16. I reached Regional level myself and was part of a relay team that made Nationals. I'm keen to pass on as much of much swimming knowledge as I can to swimmers across the club - and at the moment have been helping to develop our Youth Development squad, almost doubling their numbers in just a few months. I am helping across the other squads where needed, particularly with technical stroke corrections, that only the 'sixth sense' of a swimmer can see. My daughter has just started with Learn to Swim at Hoo, and I am assisting there too.

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Level 1 Teacher
Level Two First Aid Trained

Glen Isaacs

Coming from a swimming family where both parents swam for Plymouth swimming clubs, I joined Gillingham Swimming Club, prior to the move and name change to the Black Lion Swimming Club.
I believe swimming is a life skill, to be enjoyed up to the latest possible years! So I am still active in Masters National and International competitions as well as open water and triathlon events. Current multiple Kent record holder, and FANS member
Having swum under several Head coaches, I became a coach then Assistant Head coach developing skills in phycology, stroke mechanics, and the importance of land training, studying through YMCA courses in the 90's, developing multiple National level swimmers .Its pleasing to see today American University teams using land techniques successfully utilized here at the club!
Now with my own children again working their way through the club, I am able to help the club again achieve success at all levels

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Level 1 Coaching
ASA Level 2 Coaching

Neil Parker

Bio to follow...

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Level 1 Coaching
ASA Level 2 Coaching

Danielle Spain

Bio to follow...

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Level 1 Teacher
ASA Level 2 Teacher
ASA Level 1 Coaching
ASA Level 2 Coaching

 

Sharon Watson

Bio to follow...

DBS/CRB Checked
ASA Level 1 Teacher

ASA Level 1 Coaching
ASA Level 2 Coaching

Jenny Colwell

Bio to follow....

ASA Level 1 Teacher