"Stockport Metro’s coaching staff have the knowledge and experience to coach technique on all strokes to a world class level."
(Bob Treffene, British Swimming Physiologist)
The dedication, experience and expertise of the coaching and support staff at Stockport Metro are second to none, and have been fundamental to the burgeoning success of the Club wherever its swimmers compete. Stockport’s highly acclaimed programme has been a success because of the people developing and delivering it, culminating in first rate Age Group and Youth results, the best results ever for the Club in an Olympic Games, and Stockport’s selection as an Intensive Training Centre.
Sean Kelly, HPC Head Coach
Multiple Olympic medal-winning coach Sean Kelly is currently serving as Head Coach at the newly formed, Stockport Metro High Performance Centre. Sean has coached at Stockport Metro since 1995, becoming Head Coach in 2001, and Director of Performance in 2012.
At the Olympic level, Sean is no stranger to success. He has coached Olympians Vicki Horner, James Goddard, Adrian Turner, Graeme Smith (bronze, Atlanta 1996) Steve Parry (bronze, Athens 2004), Michael Rock, Keri-anne Payne and Cassie Patten. Keri-anne claimed silver and Cassie bronze in the 10k event at Bejing. Sean has served on numerous British Swimming teams since 2000 and was Olympic coach in 2004 and 2008. He has been at the forefront of the development and burgeoning success in recent years of open water swimming and was GB Open Water Head Coach for the highly successful team in Beijing. He was awarded British Coach of the Year in 2004, 2007 and 2011.
Kelly is a hometown product. Born in Manchester to Irish parents in 1965, he went to school in Wythenshawe, Ardwick and Rusholme. He dallied with a number of jobs – tax officer, bank clerk, motor cycle courier, life guard and swimming teacher – before he started coaching in Sydney, Australia in 1992.
He enjoys football (MUFC), cooking, exercise, reading, behavioural psychology, walking Frank (the dog) and voluntary work, in his spare time. His favourite saying is “The best is yet to come.”
British Swimming Coach of the Year 2011 2007 2004
BSCA Coach of the year 2004 2007 2011
Splash Awards Lifetime Achievement Award (All British Aquatic Disciplines) 2011
BSCA Award of Coaching excellence 2010 2009 2008
Splash Awards Coach of the Year 2004
Athens 2004 Steve Parry Bronze 200 Fly (2 x Commonwealth Records)
Beijing 2008 Keri-anne Payne Silver 10k Open Water
Beijing 2008 Cassandra Patten Bronze 10k Open Water
2011 Keri-anne Payne 10k Open Water (Recorded as fastest ever 10k)
2009 Keri-anne Payne 10K Open Water
14 Olympic finalists (3 4th places)
2 x World Championship Silver
2006 & 2007 Cassandra Patten 10k Open Water
3 x Commonwealth Gold
2002 & 2010 James Goddard 200 Back/200 IM/200 Back (Commonwealth Record)
5 x Commonwealth Silver 2 x Commonwealth Bronze
2 x European Silver
3 x European Short Course Gold
2 x European Junior Gold
2001 James Goddard 400 IM (Senior British Record) 2001 James Goddard 200IM (European Junior record)
Swimmers have broken over 100 National records at Senior and Junior level, including 5 Commonwealth records.
Head coach of the Open Water Team Beijing 2008 (most successful team at the Olympics)
Prior to London 2012 was the only coach worldwide to have 2 swimmers beat Michael Phelps at an International meet in 200 Fly.
Sean is a Coaching level 3 ASA Tutor and is a trainee councillor.
Richard Blackshaw – Head Coach
Richard’s passion for swimming began in Sheffield where he competed at a National level for 8 years. He has now been coaching for 15 years and during that time has been involved with 4 different programmes.
Having established his credentials during as Head Age Group Coach, Richard was appointed as Stockport Metro’s Head Coach, with overall responsibility for the programme from talent identification from Grass roots to the National squads.
Richard’s experience of working with athletes at every level has led him to develop an ethos based on prioritising skill progression: laying the foundations of great technique. Nurturing this technique with hard work and attention to detail, his athletes have been successful from Regional through to International level.
Richard's athletes have been selected for a wide range of international events including Commonwealth Youth Games, European Juniors championships winning medals in many events and most recently the 1st European Games.
Richard Has coached 2 swimmers to national records both in Breaststroke, Russell Smith Broke the English Age group record in the 200 Breaststroke and most recently Martin Schwiezer Broke the senior Swiss 100 breaststroke record.
Richard experience along with the recently completed UK Sport Elite Coaching course which has enabled him to develop skills as a coach which have proved to be of significant benefit to the Stockport Metro programme and its athletes.
Lucas Connolly – National Age Group Squad
Lucas has been a member of Stockport Metro since 1993 initially as a swimmer, competing at National level, and for the past nine years as a coach. Since his move into coaching he has worked alongside some highly respected colleagues, and with some of the country’s best Age, Youth and Senior swimmers.
Lucas began his coaching career at Stockport Metro in 2002 as an assistant junior coach and spent 2 years working with the International Squad as Sean Kelly’s assistant. From there he went to University, achieving a Degree in Sports Psychology during which time he spent 3 years working on a voluntary basis as an assistant coach with Age Group swimmers.
He returned to Stockport in 2006 to coach both Junior and Senior Development Squads and raised the bar in Senior Development to produce Regional medallists and National qualifiers.
Since 2011 Lucas has been the lead coach on the National age group squad and in this time the squad has produced several individual and team national medallists and champions.
Emma Gage, Junior Development Squad, Regional Youth & Land Training Specialist
Emma swam for Stockport Metro under Sean Kelly until 2005 as a distance Freestyler, when circumstances meant she had to stop the sport earlier than anticipated. Other than swimming for 3 years for her university from 2007-2010, it wasn’t until late 2014 when she got back into the sport – at a Masters level. Emma had a number of successful Regional and National level masters events over the year and in August 2015 she attended the FINA World Masters Championships in Kazan, where she won 3 Gold and 2 Silver medals. She currently holds 3 World Masters records, 4 European Masters Records and 7 British Masters Records. Her times at the World Championships have qualified her for the Olympic Trials in 2016 and she is now back training at Stockport with Sean with the aim of qualifying for Rio! Her main events are 50m and 100m Butterfly and Freestyle. She holds a degree in Psychology from Lancaster University and currently has a full time job at QDos Fitness in Heald Green where she has worked for over 2 years.
Luke Miller-Briggs, Regional Age Squad & Junior Development Squad
Luke has been involved in swimming for many years and has worked with 'British Swimming' doing race analysis and has also been heavily involved in stroke analysis using his knowledge of biomechanics from his Sport Science degree.
Jack Hepburn – Academy Squad
Jack swam for Stockport Metro under Lucas Connolly until 2010 as a Backstroke specialist. He then went on to University in Leeds where he studied Sport Business Management and captained the University Swim Team. During his swimming career he was multiple Cheshire and North West Champion and National finalist.
Jack began his coaching as Head Coach of Leeds Beckett University in 2014 running the swimming programme. Jack has coached swimmers to British Trials finals, National medals and onto GB University teams. He has now returned to Stockport Metro in 2017 to continue his hopefully long and successful coaching career.
Sarah Dixon – Head Coach Synchro
Sara started her career as a swimming teacher at age 16 and has since worked up to the position of Aquatics Manager for the swimming lessons. Sara continued swimming for Stockport Metro Synchro throughout her education, achieving a BA Hons Degree in Psychology and Linguistics from Lancaster University . Sara coaches synchro for Stockport Metro and occasionally still competes at a Masters level.
Sara works with swimmers from novices at 12 and under through to 15-18 age groups and has qualifications as a Level 2 teacher, Level 2 synchronised swimming coach, is an Advanced and a Senior Assessor and a National Judge. Sara is also on the Synchro North West committee for Athlete Development.
Megan Crew Meaney qualifying soloist at National Championships
Sophie Freeman 3rd National Age Groups figures and solo and selected for the England Age Group Squad 2015 and selected for England Junior Squad 2016
Sophie Freeman & Ashley Pearson 2nd duet National Age Groups 2015
13/14/15 team 3rd National Age Groups 2015
Emma Connolly – Synchro Coach
Emma has been part of Stockport Metro for 24 years. She started as a competitive swimmer for 9 years and then went into teaching and coaching. Emma coached from junior coaching to the development squad and is Pool Coordinator for the swimming lessons. Emma has more recently become interested and involved in the synchronised swimming programme and has been developing her skills and qualification’s over the years. Emma is now a level 2 synchronised swimming coach, basic judge and assessor and on the athlete development committee for the North West.
Megan Crew Meaney – Synchro Coach
Megan learnt to swim in the Stockport Metro swimming lessons. She then started synchronised swimming at the age of 10, loving the sport she then became a competitive synchronised swimmer. A few years ago Megan became interested in coaching the younger swimmers, whilst still swimming at a National level herself. Megan started coaching more and more and has now got her level 2 synchronised swimming coaches qualification and basic judges.