Director of Swimming & Performance Coaches

Director of Swimming & Head Coach

Andy Sharp

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I have been involved in the sport of swimming since the 980s  when my parents took me to swimming lessons at Daventry Leisure Centre. I was a competitive swimmer at Daventry Dolphins in the early stage of my career and then moved part time to Northampton Swimming  Club(NSC) in 1999 before moving full time in 2001.The highlight of my swimming career was  competing at the Olympic trials back in 2000.

My teaching and coaching career began in 2005 when I passed my ASA level 2 teachers   qualification and started teaching within the NSC teaching programme and volunteering at   squad sessions. In September 2005 I became a part time assistant coach at NSC working  with Junior Olympic Squad, development squads and also continued teaching lessons. In 2008 I was promoted to Head Coach mainly working with Performance 2 squad. 2008-2021 I   coached multiple regional and national champions and medallists and also guided Ellie  Robinson to a Paralympic Gold and Bronze medal in Rio 2016. In 2018 I was part of the   coaching team that saw NSC finish top of the medals table at the 2018 British Summer   Championships. In 2021 I was successful in applying for the position of Director of Swimming   and Head Coach where I now oversee the NSC programme.

During my relatively short coaching career so far I have developed my skills in the disciplines of pool swimming, open water swimming and para swimming. I am lucky enough to have travelled the world with this exciting sport across Europe and north and south America.

I am a firm believer in always focussing on the long-term development of athletes in all sports. Short term success doesn’t always equal achieving long term goals. Swimmers need to develop good habits in and out of the pool to develop a love for the sport. By working towards 200m and 400m IM events plus distance freestyle development will lay the foundations for swimmers to have a wide range of skills in a wide range of events and distances when they are older.

During my youth I was a keen sportsman across many sports and these days I enjoy watching a variety of sports but especially football (Spurs fan), swimming, cricket and Formula 1 motor racing.

Away from the pool I am a keen chef on the BBQ and want to try cooking new foods with lots of flavour each year. To help me relax I am going to focus on improving my garden at home with lots of bright coloured flowers and plants.

Assistant Head Coach

Liam Noonan

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I started in the sport in the early 2000’s as my parents wanted me to swim like most parents, they wanted to be safe in the water. I transferred to competitive swimming when I was 10 when I moved to City of Lincoln Pentaqua SC where I swam and competed to the age of 14. From there I made the move across to Lincoln Vulcans which is where I would stay until my late teens/ early twenties.

Once I hung up the goggles in 2016, I made the transition from being in the pool onto Poolside where I would support the senior coaches. My first coaching role would be masters coach for City of Lincoln Pentaqua SC but also continue my supporting role of the top squad and working alongside head coach Ian Turner.

In 2018 I made the decision to move to Northampton SC to coach and develop my coaching knowledge and coaching style further working alongside Jacquie Marshall and Andy sharp. I coached Competitive Performance (CP) squad to Multiple County and Regional qualifiers and medallists while working with the Learn to Swim programme and Junior squads. I recently made the move to coach the performance 2 (P2) squad and have been working with the younger swimmers in the squad to develop their skills.

During my short career I have worked with multiple regional/national and international swimmers throughout my time here with the club and believe that working with these swimmers has developed my know ledge of the sport even more.

My philosophy is that success does not happen overnight, and it is a long-term development of the individual. I believe that swimmers that work towards the longer distance events plus the 200 and 400 IM can lay down some good foundations for their swimming career and will offer a wider range of event for when they are older.

You often find that when I am not on poolside, I am usually at a football stadium supporting my local team (Lincoln city).

Squad Coach

Thomas Boyt

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I have been around the sport of swimming since I was 6 years old, when I first learnt to swim a Felixstowe Swimming Club. Since this time, I have competed for Felixstowe Swimming Club, the University of Northampton, and Suffolk ASA; in countless open meets and National level competition. The most enjoyable time I have had whilst competing was during the ASA National County Teams Championships in 2016, where I competed for Suffolk in the A Finals.

I first started my role in swimming teaching when I was 16, when I completed my ASA level 1 teaching qualification, and soon after completed my ASA level 1 coaching qualification. I volunteered for a number of years at my home club of Felixstowe Swimming Club, where I taught some of the younger children and also coached some of the older swimmers. During my time at university my coaching and teaching was put on hold whilst I completed my studies. In November 2021 I became the coach of Competitive Performance at NSC, where I was able to refresh my coaching skills at NSC, where I was able to learn of the more experienced coaching staff around me at NSC. In the short time I have been the main coach for Competitive Performance I have coached many Regional and County levels swimmers, with some pushing British and Home Nation Championships.

In the short time I have spent coaching the sport of swimming I have been able to enhance my understanding of the “art of coaching”, and how to achieve the best of the swimmers while ensuring they enjoy their time swimming. I have also enjoyed collaborating my studies at university with the training and science behind swimming. At university I have achieved a BSc Sport and Exercise Science and a MSc Strength and Conditioning, with the major focus of my studies being on swimmers.

Still to this day I try to swim myself and I train when I can. I am still comfortably able to compete at a regional level, although, I have naturally developed into a sprint swimmer due the reduced training volume. Away from swimming, I compete to a relatively good standard of Cricket, where I am top order batsmen, who like all batsmen, think I can bowl too! I enjoy watching most sports (apart from football!), with the main focuses being on cricket and motor racing, especially Formula 1 and MotoGP.  

Squad Coach

Jackson O'Rourke

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I have been involved in the sport of swimming from a very young age starting with swimming lessons at Towcester leisure centre. From there I was asked to come for a session at south northants swim squad which started my progression in the sport. I then moved up through the squads at NSC working with lots of different coaches and competing from age nine at development galas through to age twenty representing England and Great Britain winning medals at county, regional and national level and competing around the world. Also being part of the 3rd place national junior league final team and the Arena league national A final team and holding multiple county records in my swimming career.

I started my teaching and coaching career assisting in the teaching programme and in 2020/2021 completed my level 1 & 2 teaching qualification and began teaching a few hours a week at NSC. And now working with the development squads and within the competitive squads. 

As a swimmer I was taught to swim every event to leave my options open for long term success when I was older and I agree with this philosophy to work towards the 400m freestyle and 400m IM events and distance freestyle events like 800/1500 and open water to give a strong foundation for younger swimmers to build on when they are older. 

Although my coaching career is only just starting I am excited to pass on my knowledge to the athletes I will be working with. 

Lead Teacher & Lesson Co-ordinator

Sophie Ings

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Sophie  has been teaching within the club Teaching Programme for a number of months and will be starting her full-time position in January. Sophie has many years of teaching experience behind her at all levels.

She has a 2:1 honours degree in Sports Studies and Business Entrepreneurship from the University of Northampton and will be taking on the role of Lead Teacher and Lesson Coordinator. Sophie will be working within the Teaching Programme and also with Bronze and Silver squads in the Development Programme.