Bicester Blue Fins

Swimming Club (Est. 1950)

SwimMark Club

 Head Coach - Neil Blunstone


I have been working with Bicester since April 2013 as Assistant Head Coach and over that time I have and continue to work with all sections, Academy, Squads, and Masters. In August 2023 I was appointed Head Coach in my 10th year with BBF. 

I was inspired to start coaching by my family and coach and officially started in 2009, although I was teaching children and adults how to swim much earlier. Prior to moving to Bicester Blue Fins, I worked with Maxwell swimming club and helped establish the Buckingham section, which provided a new pathway into performance swimming for a wave of young athletes.

I am often asked why I coach, there are many reasons; fundamentally though it is the sense of enjoyment you get when an athlete/team achieves a new skill (in and out of the pool), watching our athletes grow and achieve their goals. Coaches inspire but are also inspired – it’s a reciprocal relationship.

As most of the swimmers know I love sport, it’s not uncommon for me to be seen running before or after a training session. However, I also enjoy road and off-road cycling, climbing, horse riding, and the list goes on. 

One of my favorite quotes is – "the challenge is to make winning a habit, its not just about achieving a PB, or beating your competitors. Your greatest adversary is yourself."

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all-time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Coaching Highlights:

  • Setting up Maxwell Buckingham with the help of Kevin Brooks, enabling swimmers to perform at a higher level. 
  • Developing multiple swimmers who have gone on to medal at both British and English Nationals.
  • Learning and working with some of the most talented coaches across the County and Region.