Newcastle Staffs Swimming Club

The home of Performance Swimming In Staffordshire

SwimMark Club

Coaching Team

You can contact the coaching team by emailing [email protected]


John Davey - Head Coach & Lead Coach, National Squad

John has a senior coach qualfication (previously known as Level 3) and has been selected on to the British Swimming Performance Coaching Pathway. This is what he says about his journey so far.

"Having been in a swimming environment from the age of 5, it seemed the natural progression for me to enter into the world of coaching, albeit via an unorthodox route.

I was fortunate enough to be in a performance programme that allowed me access to high levels of coaching and resources and, ultimately, to compete at an inter-national level. The highlight being competing at both Olympic and Commonwealth trials.

For as long as I can remember, swimming has been my main pastime and I wouldn't have it any other way. When I'm not on poolside delivering sessions, I'm researching new ideas and planning future sessions to further enhance my knowledge and benefit the swimmers in the club.

I try to use my own experiences to help the development of those around me and to give them the best possible chance to have a fruitful swimming journey. The thrill of seeing the continued development is a big motivation of mine, as well as being able to ensure that the next generation has as much fun and enjoyment in the swimming pool as I do.

I have coached athletes at all levels, from county qualifiers to national champions and the thrill of seeing the big smiles and happiness never fails to hit home.

I am a firm believer that a happy swimmer is a fast swimmer!"


Tom Bloor - Lead Coach, Regional Squad

If Tom were cut in half, he would have swimming running through his body like a stick of Blackpool rock. He started swimming comparatively late (age 14) but developed quickly and has swum at national level consistenly for a number of years now. He has recently made the transition to Lead Coach, Regional Squad after ending his enormously successful swimming career with a personal best time at the Spanish National Championships. He brings a wealth of experience and new ideas with him having trained for the last few years at Loughborough University.


Phil Roe - Coach, Development Squad

Whilst Tom Bloor develops the annual plan for Development Squad and is Lead Coach for the squad, he shares the coaching on deck with Phil Roe. Like John and Tom, Phil is another swim badger and would give up his day job tomorrow to coach all day long, if he could. Having teenagers of his own, he is great at building rapport with the swimmers and never misses an opportunity to share his enthusiasm for the sport wiith both swimmers and parents. He is a stickler for technique but has a lovely relaxed manner (and a dry sense of humour) which means the swimmers are engaged and learning in a fun environment.


Poppy Higgins - Lead Coach, Junior Squad

Poppy was a successful and talented age group swimmer so understands the importance of embedding great technique at an early age. As a poolside volunteer, it soon became clear that Poppy had all the qualities to become a great coach. Her bubbly but commanding nature brings respect from her swimmers, whilst having fun in her sessions. She is also a Level 2 swim teacher which is enormously valuable when instructing our young swimmers. Alongside coaching, Poppy teaches swim lessons at Jubilee 2 where she is able to nurture new talent. Poppy is a brilliant role model for other senior swimmers looking to make the move from swimmer to coach.


James Ibbs - Coach

"I was a Regional level age group swimmer in my youth (including some time as a member of Newcastle Swimming Club) and then took a break from swimming when I went to university. I definitely recommend NOT to take a long break like this as it was really hard to get back into it later in life. I also competed in modern pentathlon and achieved a silver medal at national level. Swimming competitively opened up new channels for me such as pentathlon and triathlon.

I would really encourage young swimmers to maintain an interest in the sport throughout their life. Not only is it a great source of fitness and fun, it also opens up many opportunities later in life, such as triathlon and open water swimming. I'm also a great believer in the idea that 'every swimmer has their day'. Even if you're not winning now, there will come a point when you will start to do well and succeed. Keep turning up to training, keep putting the effort in and you will reap the rewards. Hard work beats talent any day!"


Sarah Buckley - Lead Coach, Stroke Improvers

Sarah is a level 2 qualified coach with a passion for developing great technique in young swimmers, equipping them with the foundation skills needed to progress through the squads. As a mum, she is well aware of how to get the best out of young swimmers and has many years experience as a Junior Squad coach. 


Meg Jamieson - Assistant Swim Coach

Like Poppy, Meg has also been a senior swimmer with a passion for developing her coaching skills. Unlike Poppy, Meg is still swimming and competing so fits coaching in where she can. She is a great asset to the coaching team and is currently working as Assistant Coach to the Development squad swimmers. Credit to Meg that she manages to juggle training, coaching and studying - something that swimmers seem to be very good at, with organisational qualities that will stand her in good stead in life.


Adam Brigham - Land Training/Strength & Conditioning Coach

Adam has worked within the fitness industry since 2018. He has experience working within professional sport, amateur sport and with the general public. His qualifications include a BSc in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Staffordshire University and a MSc in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Loughborough University which involved designing an exercise protocol to cause muscle damage and using this to examine the impact of Omega-3 on reducing muscular inflammation.

During this time he worked with the Leicester Tiger Rugby Academy to carry out nutritional support and body composition assessment; then, with Port Vale FC where he provided a range of sport science support including strength and conditioning, nutritional programming and supplement support (a promotion winning season). He spent the next few years working within education, earning his PGCE, planning and delivering health-based courses and running exercise classes before moving back into health and fitness full-time.

Adam has experience in the design, successful implementation and review of strength & conditioning programmes within professional and academy football, academy rugby union, national and regional gymnastics trampolining, school netball and rugby.

The definition of S&C according to the UK Strength & Conditioning Association is:

"The specialist area encompassing the physical preparation of athletes for performance in sport, while aiming to prevent or minimise the risk of injury. It encompasses the planning and implementation of physical preparation programmes which include, though not exclusively, strength, speed, power, endurance, agility and flexibility. Effective programming in S&C presents the best synergistic combination for optimum development whilst preventing the risk of injury."


Callum Hurst - Sports Psychologist