Meet our fantastic coaching team, led by GB Olympic Coach Lisa Bates



Lisa Bates

Director of Swimming and Head Coach

Main contact for: National Performance 

[email protected]

Lisa is an experienced programme leader with exposure on GB International Teams, most recently Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. She has coached a variety of International medalists and has a proven track record with the development of Age Group swimmers to senior level (Siobhan Marie O'Connor, Aimee Willmott, Sophie Taylor).

Lisa held a variety of high profile coaching jobs before joining CWSC, including Performance Programme Head Coach at the London Aquatic Centre (2014 to 2017), Director of Swimming at Middlesbrough ASC (2011 to 2014) and University of Bath Head Age Group/Youth Coach (2006 to 2011). Throughout this time Lisa has been part of the Team GB coaching team, working with International teams at a variety of training camps and competitions both at senior level, including three Olympic Games (London, Rio and Tokyo), and with Junior teams, most recently as Team GB Head Coach at the Junior European Championships in Belgrade in July 2023. 

Lisa is very experienced across the whole Performance spectrum, in particular in integrating teams and streamlining processes and coaching methodology to deliver success.


CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80Alexander MacDonald

Assistant Head Coach

Main contact for: Regional Performance

[email protected]

Alexander has been involved with multi aspects of swimming and aquatics for the past 15 years, including competition management and organization, club management, officiating and coaching. He was previously a competitive swimmer himself in Canada and before this a competitive horseback rider.

Alexander has coached both within Canada and the UK and has seen swimmers achieve success from Age Group Level through to Elite. Previous to his work with Chelsea and Westminster, Alexander was the Assistant Head Coach of the London Aquatics Programme and has also worked with multiple clubs within the London region.

He holds the Canadian equivalent to the UK Senior coach (Level 3) and has also completed his Swim England Senior Coach Qualification (Level 3) since his time living in the UK. He is an accredited Swim England Tutor and actively delivers the Coach Qualification for Swim England and the Institute of Swimming across London, the South West and South East of the UK.

Alexander has a keen passion for travel and also volunteering especially at major events, including 2009 & 2013 Canada Games, 2016 LEN European Aquatics Championships, 2018 European Championships in Glasgow and 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Alexander is Chair of the Swim England London Swimming Committee.


CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80Tony Cronin

Performance Coach and Head of Development

Main contact for: Advanced Development and Black Hats

[email protected]

From an early age, Tony has been involved in sports such as Football, Rugby & Aquatics. This was until he injured his knee and had to take a step back from participating in sports competitively. Since his injury, Tony found ways to channel his love for sport and exercise by becoming an avid gym-goer and a swimming coach.

Tony has been coaching swimming for 7 years, having started out as a young volunteer at Hackney Aquatics Club in 2016, and worked his way up through the ranks to Head Coach. In that time he coached squads of all ages and abilities but his drive and competitive nature has led him to direct his career in coaching to the performance pathway. Even though Tony didn’t swim to a high level in his formative years, he's motivated to help others maximise their potential and get to the highest levels in Aquatics. He hopes to inspire more people from ethnic minority backgrounds to take part in the sport by breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes.


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Michele Negro

Development Squads Coordinator

Main contact for: Red, Orange, Yellow and Blue Hats

[email protected]

Michele is from Salento, a land of unspoilt landscapes and wonderful sea, in the South of Italy. Maybe that is why he has been involved in swimming since he was a child. He loves water sports and is keen on free diving.

He has taken a master’s degree in History and Philosophy at the University of Bologna. He plays the bass guitar and has performed in clubs and festivals on many occasions. He has worked as a lifeguard and a swim teacher so far.

He has a natural communicative attitude which allows him to easily get in touch with people. He has drive and enthusiasm to make learning swimming pleasant and engaging. In his educational and working experiences he has acquired the capacity of being firm and assertive but patient and helpful as well.

He is a motivator and he constantly encourages learners to improve their skills and reach high stages of competence. He likes to give his contribution to help swimmers develop their potential and get the necessary confidence to achieve their goals.


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Mitch Van Noort

Lead Physical Development Trainer and Performance Analyst

Working with National Performance, Regional Performance and Advanced Development 





CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80Marina Pollara

Performance Coach - Regional Performance

Marina has been involved in swimming from a very early age, competing at the Italian National Championships, International Meets and Pre-Olympic trials and, as a master swimmer, at the National and European Championships. She began her coaching career in Rome before taking a long break to bring up her three children. After a brief coaching spell in Japan, on her return to the UK, she joined Wandsworth Swimming Club, first as Assistant Head Coach and then Head Coach. In that role, over many years, she achieved consistent results at County and Regional Level, and taking scores of swimmers to the Nationals, with two podiums (gold and silver) at the Age Group and finalists at the Youth Championships.

In 2009 she was selected to join the British National Team as Assistant Team Manager and Interpreter at the Cyprus Camp, at the Holding Camp in Sardinia and the World Championships in Rome. In the same year, she joined the ASA Beacon Programme at Crystal Palace as Assistant Head Coach until June 2012, becoming Head Coach until the end of the Programme in 2013. In September 2013 she joined CWSC where she is working as Assistant Performance coach. She holds the ASA Club Coach Level 3 and UKCC Level 3 Certificates.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80Drew Ross-Ashby

Performance Coach - Advanced Development

After swimming Nationally in South Africa, Drew attained his coaching levels 1,2 and 3 in America (ASCA) making him CWSC’s 5th Level 3 coach!

Carrying a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Sport Psychology, Drew has applied his swimming and education skills across South Africa, most recently working at the Bond University Swim team. In 2011, Drew set up his own Swim School in South Africa called ACTIVE AQUATICS – a programme solely focused on skill development for swimmers aged 3 to adults and including open water and triathlete training. In 2014 Drew took a position at Grayston Prep school as their head of swimming, bringing his Active Aquatics programme to the school.

Since registering ACTIVE AQUATICS, Drew had 14 swimmers (aged 7 to 16) compete in Central Gauteng Aquatics (CGA) Regional competitions and Age Group Nationals with the team achieving Swimming South Africa (SSA) Level 1, Level 2, and level 3 qualifying times and one swimmer qualifying and swimming at SSA open water nationals earlier in Olympic year (2016). Derew’s swimmers have broken CGA championship records and qualified for both Junior and Youth Nationals. One of Drew’s para-swimmers qualified for senior nationals, where she won 1 Gold, 2 Silvers and a bronze medal.

Drew has a wealth of knowledge surrounding the development of Age Group swimmers into National standard swimmers.


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Mario Negro

Development Coach

Mario is from Salento in the south of Italy. He has been involved in swimming since he was a child. He loves water sports and is keen on windsurfing and sailing.

He has taken a  degree in DAMS- Drama, Art, Music Studies and Cinema at the University of Bologna. In his free time he plays the guitar and has performed in clubs and festivals with his band on many occasions.

Mario is a very experienced lifeguard and swim teacher. He is easygoing and very good with people. He is able to provide a warm and friendly learning atmosphere and instruct a motivating, informative and safe swim lesson for both youth and adult participants. He is good at engaging swimmers and ensuring proper exercise and swimming techniques. 

He is patient and assertive. He is able to make decisions quickly, acknowledge difficult situations and respond accordingly. He has high expectations about his swimmers.

Mario constantly motivates and encourages swimmers to improve their performances and develop their true potential.


CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80Geoff Roche

Lead Coach - Regional Development Squad

Geoff has been at CWSC since it was formed in 2010. His aim is to provide safe and effective instruction, combining encouragement and motivation that the squad and individuals will enjoy. Geoff strives to get the very best out of every swimmer by building a partnership between coach and swimmer, as well as providing a training programme that is challenging, varied and progressive.

As a coach, Geoff is constantly looking for new approaches which will achieve at least one of the following: 1. Change from the normal routine. 2. Challenge to work hard. 3. Improve the performance of the athlete. He also strongly believes that every swimmer, whatever their commitment to training, should have access to high quality coaching which gets the very best from their commitment.


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Anna Ochocinska

Development Coach

Anna has joined CWSC in 2011. She has has been involved in the sport since early age. She swam competitively for her home country, Poland, from 7 to 15 years old, taking part in national and international events. She has been a member of masters swimming club “Otter” since 2007. Anna holds a Master degree in Physical Education and ASA/UKCC Level 3 for Coaching Swimming.

Anna has 20 years experience teaching physical education and coaching swimming in both, Poland and the UK. She believes that being part of a swimming team, not only develops social skills, understanding of fair play but also gives a sense of achievement. She thinks that swimming prepares children for life, teaching them self-discipline, dedication and commitment.

Anna currently works full time in primary school in central London. Her interests include travel and photography. Her last year trip to Everest Base Camp, proved challenging, however very rewarding. 


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Jesse Vickerie

Development Coach

Jesse Is an Honours graduate in Sport, Physical Education and Development with 16 years’ experience within the swimming, competitive sports and leisure environments.  

Jesse has particular skills in athlete development and technique analysis and has worked as the Deputy Head Coach and teacher at the National London Aquatics Centre (Queen Elizabeth Olympic pool).

Jesse offers expert swimming coaching/teaching and support with exercise conditioning, endurance training, core toning, strength conditioning and diet and nutrition.

Jesse is enthusiastic and passionate about swimming. He motivates his swimmers to excel and keeps them fully engaged the training sessions and competitions.

He Holds ASA (QCF) Level 2 in Teaching Aquatics, Swim England Coaching Level 1, Safeguarding children, Emergency Pool Response, HSE First aid at work, REP’s Level 2 Fitness Instruction.


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Lianne Murphy

Development Coach

Lianne has been involved in club swimming in central London for many years with both the old Westminster Borough Squad and the Chelsea and Kensington SC. She was a National level Synchronized swimmer in her youth and currently plays a vital role in the club, providing all the ground rules of technique to the young developing competitive swimmers.

Lianne also teaches swimming with various schools around London and is the mother of two former members of the club.


CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80Ali Golchoobian

Development Coach

Ali (Navid) spent most of his childhood around swimming, watching his father coach professional swimmers.

Since relocating to the UK from his native Iran, Ali has been involved in the sport of swimming in the UK as a teacher, coach, and a swim-school manager. 

Ali is a keen sportsman himself, having played water polo with Ealing club and competing and coaching in amateur triathalons.

Ali is currently in the second year of a PhD at Oxford Brookes University, having completed a BSc in food science and nutrition and an MSc in sport nutrition. He is a fully trained professional (Applied Nutritionist registered on BDA and SENr) with a broad knowledge and experience in sports and nutritional science.  

Ali holds swim coach Level 2 / PT level 3/ swim teacher level 2 qualifications.



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Rosie Roche

Development Coach

Rosie swam for the Westminster Borough Squad since she was 9 years old, where she trained hard and enjoyed success at County and Regional levels - she was the first female County Champion in the 1500m freestyle. She worked for the club for the last 10 years coaching swimmers at every level.

Rosie enjoys developing new skills in younger swimmers and providing high-quality and challenging sessions to promote progress for every individual, irrespective of ability and stage. She wants to inspire the next generation of swimmers and encourage them to enjoy the sport, exercise and competing. Rosie is also a full time primary school teacher.



CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80Katia Braga

Development Coach

Katia swam competitively with the club from the age of 7 until 15, when she stopped swimming to focus on her GCSE studies. She eventually went on to take 4 A-Levels and graduated from the University of Westminster with a degree in Tourism and Events Management.

Whilst studying, Katia started working as a volunteer for CWSC and by the age of 19 she had achieved her ASA level 2 coaching qualification. One of her biggest regrets was leaving the club as a swimmer so her return as a coach has allowed her to reconnect with her love of swimming and share this passion and enthusiasm with the younger members in the club.