International Development Programmes 2018

International Development Programmes 2018 

Its been a busy few weeks, traveling across Europe. I have loved every min and have had the privilege of working with coaches and facilitators from all across the world. I have come back from Pula, Croatia with a renewed passion for my role and inspiring coaches and its a bit of time to reflect about the last few international projects I have been involved in recently.


Greece – ETU Kids Development Camp. 

USA – Para Tri  – Coach. 

 Switzerland – ITU Facilitator programme. 

St Croix – ITU Level 1 Facilitator. 

South Africa – BTF Coach Development Programme. Facilitator. 

Trinidad – BTF International Development Programme.Facilitator. 

Barbados – BTF Level 2 International Development Programme.Facilitator. 

Ireland –  ITU Tutor Training programme. Facilitator. 

Croatia –  ITU Level 2 Faciliatator. 

North West Regional Academy Coaching – 2015 – 2018

Australia –  Coach Development Course – Swimming. Facilitator and mentor. 2011 – 2019


Caribbean Coach & Athlete Development Camp a Success 2018

International Success

Earlier this month, British Triathlon, in association with Barbados Triathlon Federation (BFIT), UK Sport, CAMTRI, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) & the Association for Commonwealth Triathlon delivered a second triathlon development project in the Caribbean, building on the successful coaching course in Trinidad for the region 15 months ago in a bid to develop the sport across the continent.


A four-strong team of British Triathlon Coach Developers, Emma Brunning, Scott Murray and Shaun Green, coordinated by Paul Moss successfully delivered a project that supported 10 coaches from the region (Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados), as well as 12 local Bajan Federation athletes through the British Triathlon Level 2 qualification and a parallel athlete development camp. This enabled the coaches to work with talented individuals from the local federation during the practical elements of their course.


This initiative demonstrates British Triathlon’s commitment to ensure that the sport of triathlon thrives in emerging and developing Commonwealth countries around the world.

Ian Howard, President of British Triathlon, said: “I’m delighted to see these Commonwealth nations of the Caribbean region benefiting from the support of our coaching department at British Triathlon. The innovative format of a coach and athlete development camp is a great example of sharing knowledge and experience in an effort to grow the sport of triathlon in the region.”


Paul Evans, International Relations Manager at UK Sport, commented: “UK Sport are delighted to have been involved in this partnership to support the continued development of triathlon in the Caribbean. The programme aims to enhance the quality and quantity of triathlon coaches and build lasting partnerships between national federations. We look forward to watching the impact of this in the future.”

Paul Moss, British Triathlon’s Head of Coaching & Volunteering, said: “It was a real pleasure to be able to go back to this region, building on a similar project started in Trinidad & Tobago. It was evident the impact last year’s Level 1 course had and this was built upon; with individuals demonstrating total commitment, professionalism and excellent coaching practices while being taken out of their comfort zone multiple times throughout the week.


The coaching course was an intensive five-day programme culminating in a series of triathlon and aquathon races for the kids. Coaches will now return to their federations, reflecting and sharing their experiences from the week and will receive ongoing support from British Triathlon. Their motivation and enthusiasm for developing triathlon in the region was infectious and we are humbled that we have been able to play a small part in their development as triathlon coaches and the sport in the region.”


Paul added: “I would just like to offer our thanks and sincere appreciation to UK Sport, CAMTRI and ITU for the financial support to bringing this initiative to the Commonwealth Nations of the Caribbean and to the Barbados Triathlon Federation for making us feel very welcome and facilitating the coaches and athletes camps”.

Kara Donnelly, Cayman Islands: “It was an amazing week and I learned so much about myself as a Coach. A coach can have a wealth of technical knowledge in the sport but the skills they develop from working with the athletes both in a group and a one-on-one safe environment is what makes this a superior development program. It was a challenging and sometimes emotional week but the feedback and support I received from the athletes, my fellow coaches and the tutors have really expanded my existing knowledge and skill-set.”


Derek Daniel, Trinidad & Tobago: “Having never worked with juniors, the camp gave me an invaluable opportunity having to work with Barbados’ top junior triathletes. Throughout the week we were pushed to consistently deliver high quality coaching to the athletes and this proved to be a very rewarding experience for both myself and the athletes that I worked with”.

The project is supported by UK Sport as part of its International Partnerships Programme.

10,000 Swimmers take to the water

Top tips for the weekend – 10,000 swimmers, one stunning venue – People doing amazing things.


This weekend sees the return of The Great North Swim, where over 10,000 swimmers take to Windermere over distances of half mile, 1 mile, 2 miles, 5km and 10km.

For everyone taking part in the weekend, there are generally a lot of nerves, excitement, fun and laughter involved. Some are taking to the water for the first time, others are raising money for charity, whilst a few are looking for a personal best time within the event.


What ever event you are swimming and for whatever reason the key objective here is for you to enjoy your experience. The event has an amazing atmosphere, with so much going on both in and out the water.

However with less then a week to go, for those that are feeling a bit nervous – I wanted to give you all some last min advice before your big day.


Top Tips for the day:

1 – Plan and prepare – Eliminate any unnecessary stress.
Plan and prepare the things within your control. Make sure your journey is planned and you arrive in plenty of time, the Great Swim will have sent you out details of the day – So take a read through this as everything you need to know is in there. Make sure your wetsuit, googles, suncream, medication, food and drink are all packed and ready. Basically get all your kit together a few days before – so there is no last minute rush.

2 – Control the controllable.
Often people will spend a lot of time worrying about the weather and water conditions as well as the other people participating in the event. As you have no control on any of these factors, a top tip is to focus on yourself. Make sure you have eaten normally, drunk enough, your wetsuit is on properly and you have your googles, hat and timing chip. Then focus on the positives: the training you have done, the great experiences you have had so far and how amazing it will be whilst swimming.

3 – Postive mindset.
It is very easy to start doubting yourself on the day or a few days out from an event. Obviously nerves are normal but if we can think positively it will help keep you relaxed and will often lead to a better performance. Keep things in perspective, chunk things down. So if you are swimming a mile and it feels too much, think about swimming to the first marker buoy, then the next kayaker, then the next etc and before you know it you will have swam the course. Also focus on the little things, such as why you are doing the event, look at the stunning mountains and picture yourself at the end and how proud you will be. Find a happy place, so if you start doubting yourself, go back there and remember why you are doing the swim in the first place. Enjoy 🙂

4 – Anxiety and Breathing.
Most of us have experienced nerves, excitement and anxiety at some point in life. Whether we are seasoned athletes or new to the open water, the excitement and challenge of the distance ahead of you can create all sorts of feelings. The best thing to help control these are to focus on your breathing, you want to remain calm and take nice easy breathes in and out – Try to breathe as normally as you can, imagining you are relaxed, happy and calm. This also applies when swimming, blowing easy bubbles into the water as you exhale and then when you come to take a breathe in you can will automatically take an easy breath in without gasping. Think cause and effect. Easy in, easy out = relaxed successful swimming. Keep it simple.

5 – Pacing.
The importance of pacing…this is vital no matter who you are, or what distance you are swimming. Normally at the start of an event we all are full of energy and adrenaline, often what this means, is at the start we all head out into the open water at super speed. Then half way round we start feeling the effects of starting off too quick. A quick tip for you all is to think negative split the distance – This basically means you try and swim the first half of the distance slower then the second. If you do this you can then pick up the pace and give it your all, but you will finish strong and feel much better.

6 – Swim your own swim. Keep to the plan.
With over 10,000 people taking part in the GNS it would be easy to start thinking about the other people participating, what they are doing, their prep, what they are eating etc, how fast they may be. The important thing to remember here is – Keep to the plan, be confident in what you have chosen to eat and drink pre event, keep focused on your plan with entering the water and the speed you want to swim, basically ignore what others are doing around you. The key here is to think of all the points above: positive thinking, breathing, pacing and most importantly remembering why you are doing this. Keep to the plan.

7 – Celebrate well.
The most important thing is to celebrate your success after your event, tell people about your achievements, you will not only get the support you deserve but also may motivate others along the way: Check out the Ripple effect.


Remember to smile your way around the course, it is an amazing venue, with a fantastic supportive team and no matter what… YOU are doing an wonderful thing.

Feel the fear and do it anyway, this is your day!!

Enjoy and I will see you on the finish line.

Just keep swimming


International Coach Development Programme a success

International Coach Development Programme a success

Earlier this month, British Triathlon and the International Triathlon Union joined forces with UK Sport International Development to deliver a coaching programme to the African Triathlon Union, in a bid to grow the sport across the continent

Date Published: 30 March 2016


A four-strong team of British Coach Developers, Emma Brunning, Paul Moss, Scott Murray and Shaun Green successfully delivered the programme; committed to ensuring that the sport of triathlon thrives in emerging and developing countries around the world.


Triathlon South Africa (TSA) President and ITU Executive Board Member, Dr Debbie Alexander, said: “The British Triathlon/ ITU coaching programme was amazing and it was a fantastic opportunity for all African Triathlon Union National Federation coaches. The TSA leadership were delighted to host this wonderful British Triathlon initiative supported by UK Sport, the ATU and the ITU.
“It is rare for coaches on the continent to have exposure to such expertise and to be coached by such an experienced coaching team. I wish to express our gratitude to British Triathlon and their coaches for the willingness to make a contribution to the development of our sport on the continent.”

Marisol Casado, ITU President & IOC member, added: “This is a great example of National Federations coming together to share their knowledge in an effort to grow triathlon. British Triathlon runs one of the most sophisticated coaching programs in our National Federation family.

British Triathlon National Coaching Manager, Paul Moss, added: “It was a pleasure to be able to provide this level of support to triathlon coaches in Africa. The tutors and I were impressed with the coaches’ commitment to learning and being taken out of their comfort zone at times. Their motivation and enthusiasm for developing the sport was infectious and we are glad that we have been able to play a small part in their development as triathlon coaches.

The course was intensive, covering a lot of information, so they will now go on to feedback to their federations sharing on their learnings and receiving support from their British mentors.

We thank UK sport for their financial and technical support and to the tutors who were fantastic throughout the week. They represented British Triathlon and our coaching programmes very well and I couldn’t have asked for more”.

Additional comments from the coaches:

“Thank you for a wonderful, soul searching, confidence building week. I feel like a different person; really motivated and ready to go.
Pam Fulton, Zimbabwe

Thank you to everyone involved in the inception, preparation and delivery of the British Triathlon’s International Coach Development Programme held in Bloemfontein. It was world class and a massive honour for African coaches to be educated and equipped with the knowledge and information provided. Thanks to British Triathlon and UK Sport and also to our relevant federations for the opportunity.
Steve Atwell, South Africa

This project is supported by UK Sport as part of the International Partnerships Programme.

If you are a coach and would to take advantage of our mentoring team, you can do so through the Coaches Hub.

British Triathlon supports development of triathlon coaches in Africa

British Triathlon supports development of triathlon coaches in Africa


British Triathlon, in partnership with UK Sport International Development, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and African Triathlon Union (ATU) are to travel to Africa to deliver a Coach Development Programme starting this weekend (13 March).

Date Published: 10 March 2016:

A total of 11 coaches will be represented from Mauritius, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia who will travel to Bloemfontein to receive a four-and-a-half-day residential course, covering technical modules on swimming, cycling, running, transitions, Training Science, Planning and Periodisation, Safety and Risk management, Coaching Styles and Coaching Philosophy, Nutrition, Clean Sport (anti-doping), Talent Development and Running Effective Training Camps.


A four-strong team of British Coach Developers, Emma Brunning, Paul Moss, Scott Murray and Shaun Green will deliver the programme; committed to ensuring that the sport of triathlon thrives in emerging and developing countries around the world.

Triathlon South Africa (TSA) president, Dr Debbie Alexander, said: “The British Triathlon/ ITU coaching programme looks amazing, it’s such a fantastic opportunity for all African Triathlon Union National Federation coaches.

“The TSA leadership are delighted to host this wonderful British Triathlon initiative supported by the ATU and ITU. It is rare for coaches on the continent to have exposure to such expertise and to be coached by such an experienced coaching team.

1935811_10154069364536095_3235336727753030933_n-2“I wish to express our gratitude to British Triathlon and their coaches for the willingness to make a contribution to the development of our sport on the continent.

Marisol Casado, ITU President, added: “This is a great example of National Federations coming together to share their knowledge in an effort to grow triathlon. British Triathlon runs one of the most sophisticated coaching programs in our National Federation family. This will be a fantastic opportunity for coaches to learn from some of the best minds in triathlon.”

Ian Howard, British Triathlon President, said: “The coming days will prove an excellent opportunity to share our coaching experience with the African Triathlon Union and help improve coaching standards globally.

“Together we can help spread best coaching practice across the continent and help develop more talented athletes”.

This project is supported by UK Sport as part of the International Partnerships Programme. British Triathlon are very grateful for the financial and technical expertise provided to help facilitate these National Federation partnerships.

12 hour swim success and a New Year

IMG_4493What an end to the year – Unfortunately the North suffered some of its worst floods ever and as a group of swimmers we decided what a better way to raise money then swim for 12 hours. The Active Blu Coaches had a team, the Active Blu squad had a team, the 315 Health club Staff had a team and also their members had a team. So thats 4 lanes swimming for 12 hours. I have to say it was a lovely thing to do for such a good cause – We ended up raising money for the people effected by the floods and also challenging ourselves and having fun along the way.


The total we all swam over the 12 hours was amazing – In fact the distance would have covered this distance the floods actually effected.

I wanted to thank everyone who donated and was involved and 315 health club for donating the lanes of the day. What a day of achievements of everyone.

Very proud coach.

12 hours in the water – swimming up stream – Raising money for those effected by the floods.


12 hours in the water – To raise money and support those effected by the floods.

As the North of the country is hit by some of the worst floods and storms it has ever experienced. Cumbria and Lancashire where Active Blu is based has been badly effected by high waters, destroyed roads and impassable bridges.


Most of the squad at Active Blu have been effected, with their homes and businesses damaged or destroyed and facing a lot of time re building or repairing their loses.


The Active Blu team wanted to do something to support the local community get back on their feet – So we have decided to do a 12 hour swim to show to show our support.


This will in no way be an easy option but not as hard as those effected by the floods. Check out what we are getting up to and pleased support us as much as you can.

Wow what a great 7 months.

Whats been happening!!


Time goes by so quickly…. its important we stop now and again to appreciate, celebrate just how much we have achieved this year, its also a good time to thank all those around us that have supported our challenges and aspirations.


Abingdon – 3 day course 2015

I realised that looking back the last time I posted was in May. Well it has been a busy 7 months, however I think as someone that likes to support and educate people I will write and share much more – at least on a monthly basis. For now lets have a quick catch up as some exciting things have been happening.

Active Blu Venue 2015


Open Water Stuff….
The 2015 Open water swimming season was a great success – Not only seeing record numbers take to the water in Active Blu sessions on Windermere, but the Great North Swim saw over 10,000 swimmers take the plunge into the Lake and events all across country saw a massive increase in popularity. A massive thank you as always to the Active Blu safety team – They are legends, supporting the swimmers so much in the water. A team that gives more then they need. Thank you.


Exciting news for coaches – British Triathlon and Swim Smooth designed the New Open Water CPD which we are just finishing in the next few month – This will support newly qualified and existing level 2 and 3 coaches to gain valuable experience and answer any questions you may have about coaching in the OW. This will go live in summer 2016. Watch this space.


Chicago Worlds – 2015

USA Trip….
Chicago – I was lucky enough to head out to Chicago in Sept for a month to spent time at the ITU worlds supporting the USA para dare 2 tri team team. It was an amazing trip and I was inspired daily by the individuals that competed from individuals using a race chair for the first time to those that have qualified for Rio and are training hard to see what can happen in 7 months time. I got to work with some amazing athletes and they certainly taught me many things about my coaching and the power of a supportive team, they are a great charity / organisation – Worth having a look at what they do. I am still wondering how I use what I have learnt back here in the UK, but I am certain I would like to do more in this area.

Level 3….
Exciting personal news – I started my level 3 in January 2015 and last week I heard I had finished all my work and completed it – So I am delighted to announce I am now a level 3 British Triathlon coach. I would like to thank all the tutors and specialists that made the course so worth while.


Coach Ed days – Lancaster

Active Blu….
The coaching team at Active Blu just keeps getting bigger. We Now have Paddy and Sarah that do an amazing job of coaching the squads when I am away from base. We have Tom that also helps with the squads but has started doing Video Analysis too – If interested to book in with Tom check this out. Toms Video Analysis I must thank these 3 amazing coaches as with out them I would be able to keep developing and learning and leaving the squads in such great hands – Thank you.

Swim Smooth Coach Education Manager. I have had this position now for just under a year and this allows me to train, support and mentor coaches across the world as they train to be certified coaches. I have meet some amazing coaches in Perth this year – who are soon to be announced as new Swim Smooth coaches and I fly back out to Perth in Jan to run the certification programme for 12 more international coaches.


Swim Smooth Coaches CPD– In Nov all the certified coaches across Europe came together in London for a day to develop and share practise. It was a great day not only to meet everyone again, but as Paul had come over from Aus and Adam was also there we looked at new methods of coaching, business development and shared lots of stories and findings from the pool deck and open water. Thanks to all the coaches for attending.


Abingdon Coaches – 3 day course
2 x 3 Day Swim Smooth Coach Education Courses. This year we ran 2 coach ed courses one in Oxford at Abingdon and the other in the North at 315 Health Club, Lancaster. They both saw 100s of coaches apply and 20 coaches selected for each of the courses. They were both very successful and the caliber of coaching was a pleasure to see. It certainly was a fun few weeks.


Active Blu Squads – Well what can I say and I may be biased – But they are amazing, not just because they continue to make improvements with their swim times and efficiency, but because of how supportive they are to one another. It is truly an wonderful group of people, I feel so privileged to be part of it. Geeky CSS facts – We have seem some of the biggest losers dropping 17 sec per 100m for 1500m over a 10 week period… WOW !! But then having done this over the following 10 weeks they dropped a further 12 sec per 100m ….what a year and thats just one example – Well done team and I look forward to celebrating your success at xmas. 🙂 Remember to book your place fro 2016 squads – New swimmers / Triathletes welcome.


Going forward…Come get involved or if you are stuck for a pressies for a loved one this xmas…here are a few ideas:

In the new year we have NEW Squads, Clinics and Video Analysis Date LIVE NOW:
2016 Swim Day clinics
Thursday 6.15am
Sunday 5.15pm
Sunday 6.30pm
Video Analysis with Emma
Video Analysis with Tom

What ever you have been up to this year – Make sure you celebrate your achievements and if you have dreams and goals for next year make sure you make them happen. I would love to hear what you have planned. Exciting times.

For now take good care and Just keep Swimming

Best Wishes


USA – ITU Chicago worlds

I was lucky enough to be invited out to Chicago to help at the worlds with some amazing people from around the USA. All Para athletes completing in triathlon in the beautiful city.

Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club works with athletes of all ability levels from beginner to elite. Dare2tri serves youth, adults, and injured service members who have a physical disability such as amputation, spinal cord injury, stroke, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and those with visual impairments and blindness.

I have been lucky enough to get to know their athletes and learn a lot about para athletes and support their racing and training.

After 2 and a half weeks I will head back to the UK with so much more understanding, compassion and knowledge.

British Triathlon – Open Water CDP – Review

Open Water Pilot Review

Active Blu
As part of the continued development of British Triathlons coach education and development programme we have been working on a number of coaching CPD workshops. With the continued growth of triathlon and open water swimming, supporting coaches in the delivery of open water sessions has been highlighted as a priority. Working alongside Swimsmooth we have developed and piloted a one day CPD workshop.

BTF Coaches

The ethos for the workshop was to make it as interactive and practical as possible, and to deliver the workshop with high quality tutoring and resources to create a supportive and reflective learning environment for those attending.

A total of 18 coaches attended the two pilot workshops, one in the North West and the other in the East Midlands. The group were a mix of level 2 and 3 coaches with a wide range of experience coaching, and coaching specifically open water sessions. Both workshops were delivered by Emma Brunning, a Triathlon England tutor and the swim smooth Coach Development Manager.

The days were split into morning and afternoon sessions, with morning being focused on the what of open water coaching and the afternoon being the how.

Active Blu Venue

In the morning session the coaches covered topics that included

What types of activities can go into an open water session and how to integrate these into a session plan
The health and safety of open water coaching and what to look for in a venue
Session planning for the afternoons
Meeting the safety team and gaining an insight how to best work with them.

The afternoon was all about practical coaching. With the coaches working in small groups to deliver their sessions to a number of swimmers across a range of abilities. To finish the day of the coaches spent some time getting feedback from the group they coached and then a peer feedback and reflection session closed the day off.

Active Blu - OW Day 2015


After the workshop we asked the coaches for feedback, below are some of their comments. Please note these were made anomalously via an online feedback system.

“I haven’t had the opportunity to do much open water coaching but the workshop has given me confidence to do it and the necessary training to be able to coach open water swimming for triathlon”

“Even though I class myself as a more experienced coach in relation to others throughout the day, having the opportunity to talk and discuss topics was invaluable. The information given throughout the day was thorough and informative, also reassuring”

“The workshop was invaluable in every way. To see how a professional set up works and the lengths they go to ensure it does, but how we must all as coaches have a responsibility to make all OW sites professional and effective”

“It was just a very well put together course, and has helped me a lot , so I will defo put together my own OW session with on my club”

“Ensuring that these workshops are delivered by individuals like Emma are invaluable, this not only encourages other coaches but gives the whole workshop huge credibility and kudos. This is imperative to maintain this and only utilise coaches such as Emma rather than others who are less experienced and knowledgeable”

“I would have liked more resources on the coaches’ hub as in skills and drills videos to enhance my coaching.”

“I feel some of the resources are still quite basic in that an experienced L2 coach will already be utilising. I appreciate that this is aimed at developing L2, so perhaps give additional/further information for other coaches to work from”

“This CPD, has reinforced my confidence to now move forward and deliver my own OW session, as before I was feeling unsure and nervous”

Feedback overall has been positive and highlights the importance and value of brining coaches together as this often provides the best learning environment. It has also highlighted the importance of having quality tutors delivering the session.

An area that needs further development is the resources provided for the workshop. We are working with swim smooth to develop newer resources that will be spread across online platforms as well as providing better physical resources on the day.

Next Steps

The British Triathlon Open Water coaching CPD workshop is due to be launched nationwide from May 2016 onwards. Before we do this we will be doing the following.

Developing better resources for future workshops. A mixture of on-line and physical.
Train tutors to deliver the workshop.
Work with regions to establish venues to run the workshop next year.