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Coaching Staff

Coaching Staff
Joseph Stanford Director of Coaching


Since joining Nova in 2014, the knowledge that every challenge, learning opportunity and success the day brings will be shared, supported and celebrated by the entire team, whether in the water or on poolside, is what makes my role as Director of Coaching a privilege and a pleasure.

I see my role as one which develops the skill, speed, and style of swimmers, which will enable them to approach ambitious athletic goals with confident determination. But, much more than that, I see my role to provide support that looks at the whole person, not just their current performance level: this is what motivates me and makes me proud to be a part of Nova.

During my earlier career, I learnt the importance of teamwork for the individual and the squad they are in. The Board of Nottinghamshire ASA, coaching staff, Sports Science support professionals, parents and volunteers are all essential components in this fantastic program and I really do see success as something which is achieved together.  

As Director of Coaching, I believe it is important to lead by example. Some, mistakenly, see me as being ‘laid-back’. For those who look closer, they will see someone whose focus is exclusively directed towards what matters most and is highly motivated to achieve the best for each swimmer and the squad as a whole.  

One of the things I value highly is learning. In order to increase the understanding of coaching within sport and improve the standard of coaching both personally, within the squad and nationally, I am currently undertaking post-graduate research. I work hard and I expect the swimmers to work hard. Understanding the pressures athletes are under in their lives beyond the pool is important in developing the vital trust which leads athletes along the pathway to success. I believe in creating a strong professional relationship which will enable everyone to emerge triumphant in the pursuit of their individual goals.

Paul Imrie Assistant Head Coach


I've been with the County Swim Squad and NOVA Centurion since early 2022 and have been a full-time coach since March 2023. I've never been involved in competitive swimming myself, however one day I was asked to help out poolside at my daughter's swimming club and ever since that day coaching has been my passion!  After being in the building trade for 20 years, I decided that it was time to follow my heart and take up the Assistant Head Coach position.

It has been better than I could ever have imagined. Joining the coaching team has been my biggest professional achievement. I gain so much fulfillment out of working with the amazing and talented swimmers we have here.  I only wish that I had found my way into coaching earlier as I love that no two days are ever the same and every days is an opportunity to improve. Getting to work with all the talent from our development squads all the way up to some of the nation's best swimmers in the performance squad is a massive privilege.

I would describe my coaching style as firm but fair and I always enjoy finding new ways to engage the swimmers and think it is important that I help them find positives in everything they do - that's a fundamental part of my coaching style. One thing the swimmers do not know about me though is that I was a band sergeant in a marching flute band for five years!

My final words before I sign off for my swimmers are always aim for the stars and don't accept the moon!

Callum Lawson Mansfield Head Coach
Michelle Preston Nottingham B1 Coach
Tom O'Reilly Nottingham B2 Coach
Alishia Palmer Nottingham Development Coach