9 New Coaches join Team England Para/Adaptive

As part of our commitment to grow our Adaptive surfing program, we are proud to introduce 9 new coaches joining the team, which will see increased opportunities for training and coaching across England.

The introduction of the term ‘para’ when we are referring to adaptive surfing, is aligned with the drive to see surfing in the Paralympics (a decision is expected by end of January 2023). We have also launched S.E.A. Crew page on Instagram, which will feature all things adaptive/para surfing!

From L-R: Hannah Brand, David Lewis, Gary Brickley, Kevin Dring, Hannah Dines, Andy Banks, Oliver Jones (with orange board), Ian Bennett, Matt Jones, Jack Patching

A huge welcome to the Coaches:

Andy Banks

Possibly the most stoked coach you will ever meet, Andy is based in North Devon, and works full time as a coach at Surf South West in Croyde. He is highly experienced in adaptive surfing, delivering sessions for the Wave Project, as well as lots of their regular surf therapy courses. He brings infectious energy to the team.

Harry Jowett-Spring

With a degree in Sports and Exercise Science, Harry has sound knowledge of sport. Impressively he wrote his dissertation on ‘The Affects of Surfing and Surf Therapy Intervention on Young People’. This is put to use in Scarborough where he has been delivering adaptive and surf therapy sessions with Wave Project since 2021. He has found his passion through these sessions, and we’re excited to see him a part of Team England.

Ian Bennett

Adaptive Lead for the Wave Project, Ian has been driving adaptive surfing in North Devon for many years. He is a highly experienced coach and brings with him extensive knowledge as a surf lifesaving trainer-assessor. Ian, with support from Surfing England and Activity Alliance, has also led on the development of a 1-day course for volunteers in adaptive surfing (set to be rolled out wider 2023 and beyond).

Jack Patching

One of the members of our Technical Panel, Jack is highly motivated to see the development of surf coaching in England, but specifically his interests are in adaptive surfing. Jack currently manages Surf South West, and coaches a lot of wave project adaptive sessions. An experienced surfer, Jack also enjoys riding different crafts and testing out the adaptive boards, to translate this through to his coaching.

Kevin Dring

Committed to supporting adaptive surfing, Kevin has been building experience coaching with Bude Surf Veterans, a club for military and blue light veterans. He is ready to take his coaching to the next stage and work with surfers on a competitive level. Kevin has clear drive to take on new challenges & is a great team member.

From L-R: Stephen Lightbrown, Andy Guy, Matt Harwood, Hannah Dines, Phil Williams, Oliver Jones, Zoe Smith, Martin Pollock, Matty Hammersley and Mark Piechulak

Melissa Reid

World Champion surfer Melissa brings insight as an elite athlete, to the surfers needs, and essential competition experience. She has vast experience coaching swimming & has now qualified as a surf coach. With a degree in Sports and Exercise science, Melissa has extensive knowledge which makes her a fantastic fit to support the team. Melissa has also been a professional GB Para Triathlete for 10 years.

Matt Harwood

Talented surfer Matt has been supporting the team for many years and is onboard as one of the coaches. Based on the Isle of Wight, Matt is immersed in the island surf scene and has good connections to Dorset. His experience at World Championship level as an adaptive coach is vital, and he is clearly one of the best coaches in the field, bringing valuable knowledge to the new coaches, as well as the team.

Matty Hammersley

Based at The Wave in Bristol, Matty knows the lake inside out, and has been coaching adaptive surfing sessions in the wave pool. His passion is surf coaching and finding innovative ways to see athletes reach their potential. With over 40 years as a surfer, and coaching experience in other sports, Matty brings good skills to the mix.

Matt Jones

Bringing extensive knowledge of the ocean environment, Matt has been surfing for over 30 years, and coaching for 15+ years. His former experience as a RNLI Area Supervisor shows his knowledge, water skills, and passion for the beach. As the Project/Adaptive Coordinator for the Wave Project in Scarborough, Matt has been fundamental to offering more adaptive surfing in the Northeast. He has also committed to volunteering at multiple adaptive championships and events in the SW. We’re honoured to welcome him to the team.

To find out more about S.E.A. Crew, click here.

Matt Jones (in red on left) and Harry Jowett-Spring (in red on right) at a Adaptive Wave Project session in Scarborough

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