Bristol Penguin Olympic Swimming Club

Meet the Team

Coaching Team

Josh Jobbins

Head Coach

Swim England Senior Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Degree in Sports Science and Coaching

Coaching Practices Level 3

As Head Coach, Josh oversees all squads throughout the club and the team of coaches. He is responsible for coaching the Gold and Gold + squads and also provides coaching for Badminton School as part of the club partnership with the school.

Josh swam for 3 clubs across the South West and then for his university, where he was a British university national finalist. He joined Penguins in 2017 as a swimmer and coach before embarking on the role of Head Coach. Josh has taken age group, youth and university swimmers to national level competitions and relishes the challenge of maximising each athlete’s individual potential. During his time in charge, he has helped to lead the continued improvement in the performance of the club by ensuring that a structured, productive and enjoyable training programme is provided to all members.

Fun fact: Josh became one of America’s first flyboard instructors!

Email Josh at [email protected]

David Cousins

Assistant Head Coach

Swim England Senior Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

PGCE in Teaching PE

Strength and Conditioning Fundamentals

British Swimming Judge J2

In his capacity as Assistant Head Coach he works alongside Josh to oversee the other squads and coaches. David is responsible for coaching for the Silver squad.

Since 2013, he has coached swimming across the age ranges with Penguins and he has also been a Gloucester county and South West regional skills coach. He particularly enjoys seeing age group swimmers use their physical literacy to develop their skill, strength, speed and endurance. David has taught a wide range of sports for over 30 years. With his PE school teaching background he uses those skills and experiences to ensure that all members are developed as people and as swimmers.

Fun fact – David was a ski instructor in the Alps.

Email David at [email protected]

Sarah Cozens

Senior Swimming Coach

Swim England Senior Swimming Coach

UKCC Level 3 Swimming Coach (Performance)

UKCC Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Degree in Sports Performance

Sarah started swimming from an early age and quickly developed a love for the sport. As a swimmer, she represented Australia internationally, including at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the 2004 Olympic Games. 

Sarah moved to the UK in 2006 to train and study at the University of Bath, where she began teaching and coaching swimming. Sarah has worked with swimmers of all abilities from learn to swim right through to international level. Sarah enjoys helping swimmers to realise their full potential and developing their love for the sport.

Email Sarah at [email protected]

John Ferguson

Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Swim England Level 2 Open Water Coach

John is responsible for Development 3 Squad, Masters, Para swimming and running the open water swimming programme.

John started his swimming journey as a club swimmer, where he first qualified as a swim teacher. Before joining Penguins, he spent several years coaching different age group squads and a para squad. John shows great technical knowledge, which he adapts to suit the needs of each individual. He has recently become an open water coach and enjoys coaching and swimming across the regions’ lakes or sea water venues.

Fun fact – John is aiming to swim the English Channel in a relay team.

Email John at [email protected]

John-Paul Holmes

Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

John-Paul’s main responsibility is for the Development squads and overseeing the progress of swimmers throughout the club pathway.

Known as JP, for 19 years he was a member and then coach with Portway SC, where he taught and coached swimmers across the whole age range of the club. Since Portway merged with Penguins, he has continued to focus on skill development with the junior squads and he oversees the Youth Club squads with his trademark challenges and wit. He makes sure that each swimmer progresses along their own swim journey within a team environment.

Fun fact: JP once drove all the way around Europe visiting 16 countries on route.

Email John-Paul at [email protected]

Jessica Clements

Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Swim England Level 2 Open Water Coach

British Swimming Judge J2S

Jess overseeses Development 1 and Youth Club squads. 

Jess  joined the team and brings with her a wealth of experience in many areas. She previously coached at another club in Bristol and now teaches and coaches a variety of different squads from the Development squads through to Youth Club. She is also a British Swimming qualified Starter, so is often seen poolside in her official’s whites, setting off races at a range of licenced meets and championships.

Email Jess at [email protected]

Sophia Staddon

Swimming Teacher

Swim England Level 1 Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Sophia has been a part of the Penguins coaching team since 2021. She is a former club swimmer and she is delivering to the Swim Academy, Development squads, and Club Pathway squads. She really enjoys progressing our younger swimmers as she develops their skills in preparation for competition and higher level swimming.

Email Sophia at [email protected]

Other swimming teachers, coaches and poolside helpers

Bristol Penguins has a large team of volunteer teachers and coaches with many years of experience who all help to deliver the extensive swimming programme.

Ben Mullen

Sue Rees

Clair Silcocks

Vashti Wyatt

Helen Giles

Jason Silcox

Polly Mullen

Alex Cox

Esme Llewellyn Smith

Young Volunteers

We have a number of young volunteers who help support the club on a weekly basis.  The two ways for teenagers to formally help is either by signing up to the Swim England Young Volunteers programme or through the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme which is commonly run by many schools. They do a variety of different supported roles poolside and can work with us to become swim coaches and teachers once they are 16.


Ben Mullen

Chair, swimming teacher and coach

Ben has been helping out at Penguins for over 10 years. He is an enthusiastic and inspiring teacher and coach and is always looking at ways to improve Penguins further. Ben can be found at most galas and at poolside much of the week teaching at the Swim Academy or coaching the older swimmers.

Email Ben at [email protected]

Polly Mullen

Penguins Membership Coordinator, finance support and swimming teacher and coach

Polly enjoys teaching the junior swimmers and watching them grow into competent swimmers and move on into the main squads.

Email Polly at [email protected]

Sue Rees

Life President, Swim England membership coordinator, swimming teacher and coach

Many people will not know the volume of work Sue does at Penguins, but she does much behind scenes as well as coach the squads at Henbury. Sue attends most galas and either helps out on the desk or officiates. The club championships have also been organised by Sue for many years.

Email Sue at [email protected]

Helen Giles

Treasurer, swimming teacher and coach

Helen’s children both swam with Penguins and Helen has been helping out with the club for many years. A committed volunter, Helen has several committee roles as well as teaching at the Swim Academy and coaching at Easton.

Email Helen at [email protected]

Jeremy Dudley

President, Open meet coordinator

As a pivotal member of the team, Jeremy’s hard work behind the scenes gives the opportunity for swimmers to compete in galas and many other things.

Email Jeremy at [email protected]

Vashti Wyatt


Email Vashti at [email protected]

Deanne Fitzpatrick

Disability Swimming Coordinator