Meet The Team
Head Coach - Paul Robbins
I was born, educated and still live in Redbridge. I am married with three daughters.
My swimming career started when I was 9 years old, representing Sans Egal and Redbridge Borough. As a youngster, I won numerous County titles and many Southern County and National finals. I also won two English Schools titles in the 100m fly event and broke the English Schools record. Following this, I was selected to represent England against the home countries and was then selected for the World School championships. Unfortunately, my career was cut short due to injury, but my heart has always remained in the sport and that is when I started coaching. I assisted with the coaching of numerous National / International swimmers at Redbridge, and in 2004 I was lucky enough to be offered the Head Coach position.
Assistant Head Coach - Gary Inch
My competitive background came from canoeing. I used to train 5 nights a week which generaly involved padling around 20 odd miles and running around 5 miles a night. Then on weekends spending most of the weekend under canvas and racing on Sunday. I competed in the Devizes to Westminster Canoe race. 125 miles over the easter weekend, I was pleased with 7th even though my boat nearly sunk on the Thames. When I settled down I gave up competitive canoeing and started swimming to keep fit. At 30 I decided to have a go at competitive swimming and did my first masters race at Fullwell Cross. I soon found myself training 3 mornings a week and most dinner times, I competed for two seasons with some reasonable success, best events 200BK and 400, 800 and 1500FC. When I had enough of competitive swimming I started to help out teaching and soon found myself teaching 3 times a week, I remember being told, "If you're not careful swimming will take over your life". I laughed it off. 10 years later I am coaching most mornings, most evenings and if that is not enough I also teach learn to swim Saturday and Sundays. I have coached National, regional and county standard age group swimmers. Coached the East London Mini League Winners, Top club at Cambridge open, and recently won the Junior Speedo League consolation gala. I am as passionate about coaching now as I have ever been.
C Squad Coach - Grant Alvarez
You could say swimming was in my blood, my Uncle and Father both achieved international success, the former founded Sans Egal Swimming Club in Redbridge in 1951. It was there, 3 decades later I first met head coach Paul and I was proud to be Club Captain of a team that became a force to beat in the mid eighties, winning the Essex leagues several times.
Individual success came later as I was a faster swimmer in my thirties than in my teens and at masters level represented Essex on a number of occasions and took gold in the Southern Counties 100 metres butterfly.
I have taught and coached on and off for 25 years and when my daughters started to swim I found it very difficult to sit around watching. It wasn’t long before I volunteered to help was honoured to be rewarded the position of C squad Coach at the end of 2010.
Continue to run a well organised LTS program and follow the National Teaching Plan.
Identify talented youngsters at all levels and who have the potential to compete at County, District and National level.
With a progressive structure in place, encourage our top LTS swimmers to attend specific swimming competitions.
Implement a robust yearly training, competition and long course training plan.
Become more successful at District and National level.
Statement from the Head Coach
My objectives are to implement a robust structure that provides opportunities for all swimmers and develop each one to the best of their potential. An open and transparent club is what I strive towards - encouraging 3 way communication between the coach, swimmer and parent. Ongoing support for all, motivation, education, commitment from all parties is paramount.
I aim to build the club based on 3 fronts;
1) A successful learn to swim base. Key skills will be taught and progression towards competitive swimming is encouraged.
2) A Club based squad which swims for fitness but also has the opportunity to compete and develop
3) Create a highly successful competitive structure. Clear criteria must have been achieved. Success at local galas, County, Regional and National level is what I strive towards.
To build a friendly and successful environment, I require focus, commitment and enjoyment from everyone. In turn, I will support each swimmer and my teachers / coaches and provide guidance, support and advice. Over the next few years I plan to help drive up the level of swimming within Redbridge and make the Club and Borough a major force nationally. Focussing on school swimming, LTS, Club and elite swimming will ensure continued success for swimming within Redbridge.