SwimMark Club

Head coach:  James Lake


The head coach is James Lake. He was a founder member of Tavistock Swimming Club when Meadowlands first opened in June 1990 and he swam competitively at national level.  He is now a Level 3 swimming coach, a triathlon coach and a Level 4 strength and conditioning coach.

He has two children, who both swim with the club.  His wife Sam also swims with us.  She's a runner too, so you may see her pounding the streets of Tavistock and beyond.  But you'll have to be quick because she's fast - she's represented England in athletics and Great Britain in aquathlon.

James won the Devon Coach of the Year award at the Devon Sports Awards in 2019.  He believes the essence of sport is "giving it a go - you never know what you can do until you try!"


Technical coach: Izzy Teague

Izzy has been a member of the club since the age of 10 and still trains regularly with the performance group.  After a few years helping the club as an assistant coach she took the step of becoming a fully qualified Swim England coach in early 2020.  Since then the club committee have wondered how they ever managed without her!  Izzy made her first foray into open water swimming recently, winning her category at the 2019 Dartmoor Open Water Swim.


Other coaches:

Amy Warnett

Gareth Davis
Emily France
Amber Francis
Ieuan Noakes
Claire Palmer  

Amy Warnett first joined the club when she was eight years old.  She swam at local galas as a child and became the girls' team captain, then took up open water swimming at the age of 16.  She has done the Plymouth Breakwater Swim twice, once in the impressive time of 46 minutes (your co-chairman took 1hr 27 minutes!)  She continued with indoor swimming during this time, and for a while held the Plymouth City Championships record for the 18 years and over 800m.  She has been involved in coaching since the age of 17 and for four years was the swim school co-ordinator at the leisure centre in Worcester.  In 2016, she moved back to Tavistock and now teaches swimming to children at Tavistock Primary School in addition to coaching for the club on Wednesday evenings.  When she is not coaching or teaching swimming, you may see her working in Wetherspoons: if you do, be sure to say hello!

Gareth Davis is a recent addition to our team.  He and his family have moved to West Devon from Cambridgeshire, where he used to volunteer as an assistant coach with St Neots Swans Swimming Club.  He enjoyed that role so much that, having moved to the area, he decided to offer his services to TSC.  We are delighted to welcome him to the club and look forward to working with him.  Initially, you'll mainly see him assisting James and Izzy at the first two Sunday evening sessions.

Emily France joined the club at the age of nine and has been a committed and valuable member ever since.  She attained her assistant coach qualification as soon as she turned 16 (the youngest permissible age) and currently balances her role as an assistant coach with being the girls' club captain.

Amber Francis also joined the club at the age of nine when her mother needed something to keep Amber and her older brother occupied.  She enjoyed competitive swimming and became girls' club captain, but soon discovered an enthusiasm for volunteering too.  In 2017 her work for the club was recognised when, in a national competition, she was named as Swim England's Young Volunteer of the Year.  As well as coaching for the club, she has worked as a swimming teacher for both Fusion (at Meadowlands) and Mount Kelly. 

Ieuan Noakes is another former club member and club captain.  He is a level 2 swimming teacher as well as an assistant coach and often helps out on Sunday evenings.  He has been known to allow his pupils to have sea-horse races!

Claire Palmer first became involved with the club when looking for a way of helping her son keep fit during the rugby off-season.  It turned out to be a serendipitous decision.  Both her children are now enthusiastic swimmers: her son is discovering a gift for distance swimming; his younger sister, when asked, says she "really, really loves" the sport.  Claire is a Level 1 Swim England Judge as well as an assistant coach.  She's also the club's "social secretary": the parties and the summer trips to Adrenaline Quarry are thanks to her hard work and organisation.  During the coronavirus pandemic, she has taken on the thankless role of Covid-19 Lead, keeping up to date with the seemingly endless (and ever-changing) restrictions and helping the club to navigate its way through them. 


Team captains:

Amy Johnson (girls' captain)
Orla Maguire (girls' vice-captain)

Sam Palmer (boys' captain)
Samuel Rice (boys' vice-captain)


President and Welfare Officer:  Sue Dunstan

Sue has been involved with children and swimming for almost 50 years, ever since obtaining a swim teacher's qualification to allow her to support primary school lessons and galas.  When the club started in 1990, she was one of the founder members and has been on the committee, either as an elected member or as President/ Vice-President, ever since, including spending three years as chairman.  This makes her an invaluable source of wisdom and experience, as well as a fount of knowledge about the club's history and evolution.  She is also the chairman and secretary of the Meadowlands User Group.  

Vice-President:  Chris Anderson

Swimming has been a large part of Chris's life since he learned to swim as a child in Kingston, and then went on to represent his county (Surrey) and the south of England from 1966 onwards.  After swimming at national level for several years, his high level representative swimming ended in the mid seventies.  However, he has maintained his links with swimming through his four children, as a masters' swimmer and through officiating.  He has been involved with TSC for over 15 years and he is a qualified Swim England Referee.

Joint-chairman:  Paul Johnson

Paul has been part of the club since 2015, when he moved to the area with his family.  He is a qualified soft tissue therapist and Dad to two hard-working and enthusiastic club swimmers.  He was a keen footballer until his participation was ended due to injury; he now devotes most of his spare time to helping the club and ferrying his daughters to and from training sessions and swim meets.  So he knows exactly what it is like to be a swim parent!  He is a Level 1 Swim England Judge.


Joint-chairman:  Caroline Furze

Caroline took up swimming when her multiple sclerosis prevented her from running.  She joined the club in 2013, hoping to get faster.  Seven years later, she is exactly the same speed but she's much fitter and has more friends.  However, please don't take it personally if she doesn't recognise you out of context: she has "face blindness" which has, on occasions, led to her blanking even members of her immediate family.

Other committee members:

Lisa France
Dawn Gatcum
Ian Higham
Sam Lake
Claire Palmer
Sarah Rice
Liam Sebag-Montefiore
Katrina Shipp
Hazel Walker

Click here for a list of who does what on the committee.
Club members can contact us here; or can email any of the committee members direct by logging-in, then going to "My Account" -> "Team Tools" ->"Coaches and Board Page".
Non-members can contact us using this form or find us on .  Or email [email protected]