Russ Barber - Director of Coaching  

Russ BarberRuss BarberI started my career in coaching, as a skinny 18 year old voluntary coach in 1990 with the City of Hull Swimming Club. I stayed for 6 years working my way up to Head Coach in 1996. This was a wonderful and exciting time for me, working with some fantastic people in Hull, and I really started to gain my passion for coaching. Around this time, I started developing a philosophy of technique first, fitness second, and spent many hours studying the best swimmers in the world, teaching myself the best way to develop stroke technique.

In 1996, we merged City of Hull and Hull Olympic Swimming Clubs, forming Kingston upon Hull Swimming Club, where I coached my first National Champion. I was still a voluntary coach at this stage and knew that the only way for me to develop further in swimming, was to become a professional coach.

In 1997, my friend and mentor, Ian Greyson, offered me a coaching job at the City of Leeds Swimming Club, where I was employed as Head Age Group Coach. The club had so many fantastic coaches and swimmers, and it was a massive learning period for me. The 1988, 100m Breaststroke Olympic Champion - Adrian Moorhouse, was coached by the Head Coach at Leeds, Terry Denison, and I was lucky enough to work alongside Terry and Ian for 4 years. The combination of Ian’s unique knowledge of stroke technique, and Terry’s total commitment and immense experience in all levels of swimming, really taught me what was necessary to coach at the highest possible level, and how to run a successful swimming club.

Armed with this experience, I took the Head Coaches job at City of Sheffield in October 2001. Since that date, with the fantastic support of all of the great coaches we have in Sheffield, we have fought our way up to be one of the top clubs in GB, and are now regularly placing swimmers onto GB teams, including James Kirton onto the Olympic Team in Beijing on the 200m Breaststroke.

My philosophy has developed as a coach, but I still believe in technique first, and I always try to coach “the whole person, rather than just the swimmer.” The life that we lead is totally obsessive and very hard at times, but the highs are so fantastic, that it easily makes up for this. I feel very lucky to work with these great swimmers everyday…they deserve all the success that they get.

Because we all sacrifice so much for this sport, I believe whatever we do, should be done at 100% with no compromise, and that we should strive to do a better job than the best are doing.

My favourite quote, kind of sums it all up for me:-  “It’s the magic of risking everything, for the dream that nobody sees…but you!”



Dan Cocking

Age Group Coach

Dan CockingDan Cocking


Mike Taylor

Performance Coach

Mike TaylorMike Taylor



Wendy Figures

Masters Lead Coach and Junior Olympic 3 Assistant

Wendy FiguresWendy Figures



Luke Howdle

Junior Elite Assistant

Luke HowdleLuke Howdle


Jack Moulton

Junior Olympic 1 Assistant

Jack MoultonJack Moulton


Josh Surgeoner

Junior Olympic Development  Assistant



Charlotte Holmes

Junior Olympic Development Lead and Junior Olympic 1 Assistant

Charlotte HolmesCharlotte Holmes


Lauren Burkinshaw

Junior Olympic 2 and 3 Assistant

Lauren BurkinshawLauren Burkinshaw








Holly Burgin

Junior Olympic 3 Lead Coach

Holly BurginHolly Burgin


Any parents interested in volunteering for coaching, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who can arrange training courses and mentorship.