Coaches

Head Coach – Ian Blyth – Group 4

I’ve been coaching for the last 24 years, mainly with the Maxwell Swim Club and have coached swimmers of all levels from County champions to National age group champions. I’ve also coached disability swimmers to British and European records.

I’m keen on all sports and played most to a good standard in my time. I still swim when I can, coaching permitting.

My aim is to help as many of the swimmers to improve their personal best swimming times. I coach Group 4 but I also visit all the other groups’ training sessions on a regular basis.

Ian Blyth

Marks Simms – Group 3

I’ve been involved with Thame Swimming Club since 2010 when my daughters became members of the club. Having been involved in sport throughout my life, and seeing my daughters thrive in the sport, I decided to become a Swim England swimming coach in 2015.

I am now a Qualified J2S Swimming Official and regularly attend galas to officiate on behalf of Thame Swimming Club. I currently coach training Group 3.

My aim is to help every Thame swimmer to reach their full potential in their swimming.

Mark Simms

Damian Wakefield – Assistant Coach Group 3

Having completed a number of triathlons over the last few years, and in doing so gained an insight into the technicalities of swimming, I then fully discovered the attraction of the sport of swimming when my son joined TSC back in 2015.   Helping out as Team Manager for the club sparked my interest in coaching as I found myself becoming more involved with the teams.

I am passionate about the progression of our swimmers and love to see how they develop, not only in the pool but as individuals. As a coach I want to ensure our swimmers enjoy being part of the team, but also that they benefit from the discipline and competitive nature of the sport.

Marcus Birmingham – Assistant Coach Group 3

I have always enjoyed training both in the pool and on land which has converted into a love for the technical and coaching elements of swimming.

I started to consider coaching in 2014 while assisting Karen Powell for my Duke of Edinburgh bronze award. I achieved my level 1 in teaching and coaching shortly after in 2016 and now gain practice experience from assisting with the Group 3 Saturday morning session. I look forward to planning and partaking in the group’s development each week and it has been fantastic to see some of those swimmers now training alongside me in group 4.

Marcus Birmingham

Iain Phillips – Coach Group 2 & Group 2+

Karen Powell – Group 1+

I am married with 2 children and have been fully qualified teacher since 1994. I have lots of experience in various types of swimming lessons. I am an active person who enjoys a round of golf and I used to play league hockey.

I teach swimming lessons at Thame Leisure Centre on Monday, Tuesday, Friday & Saturday and I coach Thame Swimming Club Group 1+ on a Wednesday evening.

Karen Powell

Harry Block – Assistant Coach Group 1+ & Group 1

Having joined Thame Swimming Club in 2012, I am still actively training with Group 4 and competing at Galas, having reached South East Regionals on a couple of occasions. I am currently Vice-Club Captain.

In 2015 I attended the Swim England Young Volunteer Programme, which encourages older swimmers to get involved with other aspects of swimming, such as Officiating, First Aid and Safe Guarding.

I became a Swim England Level 1 Swim Teaching in February 2017 and now not only teach children on the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme here at Thame Leisure Centre but 1 am now coaching Group 1 and 1+ at Thame Swimming Club. I find it very rewarding to see swimmers progress through the lanes; I try to help them perfect their technique using my knowledge of both teaching and swimming.

Harry Block

Lucy North – Group 1 & Fundamentals

I have been teaching swimming lessons at Thame for over 10 years, having qualified as a swimming teacher in 2005, and so when my eldest son joined Thame Swimming Club in 2013 I volunteered as a coach.

I coach Group 1 on Friday and Sunday evenings giving a warm welcome to new swimmers who are joining the club. I also coach the Fundamentals Group on a Tuesday evening which is comprised of younger swimmers experiencing club training for the first time.

My role as Group 1 & Fundamentals coach is to ease the transition between swim school and competitive swimming, introducing the children to stamina and fitness training whilst improving technical elements of their swimming. Thame is a competitive swimming club and so I make it a priority to encourage and support the Group 1 swimmers entering their first galas.

All three of my children are now members of the club and I love being a part of the coaching team at Thame. It’s a real pleasure to see the children that I have taught from the age of 5 coming up through the ranks to become great swimmers!

Lucy North

Holly Revill – Group 1

I started swimming with Wycombe Swimming Club in 2008 and have been with Thame Swimming Club since it began in 2009. I now coach Group 1 on a Friday and Sunday evening and really enjoy seeing the younger swimmers progress up through the club.

Holly Revill

James Newton – Assistant Coach Group 1

I joined Thame Swimming Club back in 2009, have been swimming competitively for 7 years and participating in 8 Club Champs. I became a Level 1 swimming teacher in October 2015 and enjoyed teaching younger children ever since. Now I’m becoming more interested in helping older children improve more complex aspects of their technique.

James Newton

Megan Hard – Assistant Coach Group 1

My two children are in the club and my husband volunteers on the club committee so helping on poolside during training sessions was an ideal way for me to also get involved.   I have worked with children’s groups for many years in a variety of ways and I am looking forward to helping with coaching the younger members of the club.  I work full time as a manager for a local company in Thame and I am an enthusiastic, although not overly talented, triathlete and enjoy running and swimming in my spare time.

Megan Hard