If you need to contact any of our Coaches, please use the 'Contact us' form at the bottom of the page and remember to add the name of the coach in your message.
Bryan Clinton, EA Performance Coach. Specialising in Middle-distance/endurance/Steeplechase. Also coaches sprint and race walking
Having spent many years competing at several sports at a high level including football and rugby Bryan took to running to regain fitness following injuries but he stayed with running and eventually represented the RAF at XC and Road Running. Bryan took the opportunity to take up coaching when his children joined the Harriers, he has progressed through the England Athletics system via the coach development programme, he was brought into the National Coach Development programme several years ago. He is active for EA outside of the club where he delivers Clubrun sessions to clubs in the South West and in 2018 he was the Team Coach for an England team competing in an International road mile in Austria. He continues to be part of the development programme.
Bryan has coached several athletes who have progressed to English schools athletics championships, XC and other national age group competitions winning medals in several occasions. In 2018 Will Crisp won the national U20 Indoor 800 championships and a bronze at English Schools.
Bryan's son Nyle has recently returned from a running scholarship at Bradley College in America, in August Will Crisp will join Harvard University. Bryan has been nominated for Coach awards several times which reflects well on the Harriers.
John Dill, Foundation Group Coach, (School Years 6-9), 07949 784019
I currently manage the under 13s & under 15s in both the YDL and Wessex leagues. I run a foundation training group on a Wednesday at which I try to cover the basics of all track and field events, from which the young athletes can progress to one of the clubs Tuesday and Saturday sessions which I also help run. My aim is to make the Young Athlete be as good as they can be whilst enjoying the sport and developing as both an athlete and most importantly as a young person growing up.
What's important to me is that they come along and enjoy the training , celebrate the success and not get too down about the bad days, we all have them! I'm always happy and available to discuss and support how to make you a better athlete. I'm still an active competitive runner myself so I can feel your pain during the down days and know how you feel inside on the good ones! Never forget it's a sport we all choose to do so enjoy it!
Kevin Buttle, Middle-distance/endurance Coach
In an athletic career spanning over 40 years and with representative honours including Wiltshire, Loughborough University and British Students, I have run some 20 marathons and finished 3 IronMan triathlons. I couldn’t have done this without the help of some leading coaches.
My athletes have forged a very close group in which they support and encourage one another. My aim is to pass on my experience as an athlete and the knowledge gained from participation in the Regional Coach Development Programme and British Milers’ Club Mentoring Scheme, and from those who have coached me, to the members of the group in an environment that is both safe and fun. I want members to look back on their time with the group as one which has shaped both their lifestyle and them as people and athletes and helped them achieve their potential at each stage of their development.
The core of my group currently comprises 13 to 16 year-olds, though a commitment to the Club and the group’s philosophy is more important than age.
Steve Sparkes, Under 11 FUNdamentals Group
I'm one of the two team managers for the FUNdamentals group (ages 7 through School Year 5), overseeing a group of volunteer coaches comprised of loyal, gifted parents, some of who are our own young athletes as part of their Duke of Edinburgh programme, plus an official coach or two! We also manage our own competition squad.
I've been involved with Swindon Harriers since September 2012 and recently received my UKA Coaching Assistant licence. I qualified as a UK Athletics Coach in September 2017.
I believe in delivering sessions in a safe, organised and fun environment at all times and my reward is seeing 80+ children bouncing around of a Thursday night with smiles on their faces!
Our group is not just for the athletically-able; it is equally about children having fun keeping fit and to see increased feelings of self-worth develop and to support hidden issues such as childhood anxiety.
My long-term goal is to play my part whereby the club develops an athlete of National standing – given its demographics, Swindon and its neighbouring towns and villages are more than capable of doing so.
Martin Smith, FUNdamentals Group UK Athletics Coach
I'm one of the UK Athletics Coaches who helps Steve with the FUNdamentals group, overseeing the many children who attend the training sessions and help with their development in the various athletic events we cover.
I joined Swindon Harriers as a member, in September 2016 with my then 7 year old daughter, who is still with the FUNdamentals and is looking to make the competition squad. Since joining I've qualified as a UK Athletics Coach.
From a very early age I've had a passion for athletics and although I never made it past school sports teams, though I've ran many half marathons lately, I see the chance the children in our group have now and want to help them achieve the very best they can do. There's a real delight in seeing the joy and satisfaction on a child's face when they've mastered a technique, be it in running, jumping or throwing. Plus we like to make it fun because sport is supposed to be good for the mind as well as the body.
Craig Scott, FUNdamentals Group Coaching Assistant
Hi, I’m one of the coaching assistants who helps coach the Fundamentals group on Thursday evenings. I first came down with my son, who joined the Fundamentals group in 2015, and after a few weeks watching from the sidelines, rallied to Steve’s call for volunteers, and was soon helping at the long jump, raking the pit and organizing the kids down the runway.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the kids having fun during the sessions whilst developing both their athletic and social skills, and before I knew it, I had signed up to go on the UK Athletics Coaching Assistant course which I passed in 2016. The course covered all the basics of running, jumping and throwing as well as providing skills in organizing groups, ensuring safety, setting up and running athletic activities, and how to begin to observe, analyse and feedback on athletic movement. However, one of the most important things I learnt, was that children all develop at different rates and in their early years of sport, it is key they try out and develop skills in a wide variety of disciplines. This is why I love the fact that all the Fundamental kids are able to have a go at running, jumping and throwing events.
Having been a keen sportsman in my younger years, playing football, rugby and athletics to county level, and having been coached in the past by numerous volunteers, it is nice to be able to give something back to a sport I love.
I have been running since junior school and still go for a run on most days, but no longer compete. I have been coaching for over 40 years and have been lucky enough to coach a few International athletes. However, I don't seek athletes with those aspirations. Their success came about because they had the talent, we had similar philosophies and established a good working relationship.
I am a UK Athletics qualified coach to Level 3 for distances from 800m to Marathon. I attend the Swindon track on most Tuesday evenings. When I can't attend, I leave someone in charge with a pre-planned session.
The current group of athletes who train regularly on Tuesdays are of mixed gender, age and ability. As we move through the Winter my sessions are more endurance based, with a view to bringing out the best possible performances on track or road in the Spring and Summer of the following year. However, the sessions can be tailored to meet all needs.
My Tuesday sessions are posted on the Swindon Harriers website in 3 month blocks. I take other sessions on other days with the individual athletes I coach, but not on a regular basis, like Tuesday evenings.
If you would like to join us on a Tuesday, the session starts at 18:30, so you need to be warmed up and ready to go by then.
I have been coaching and competing for over 40 years, although less of the competing now.
In my competing days I was in the top 10 400mHurdlers for a number of years, winning many County and Area titles, and medals at National Championships. When I continued into 'Masters athletics' I became more successful. Over 400mH I won 3 World and 5 European Championships, and still hold World and European records over the distance.
When I was competing in the late 70s I was at Loughborough University but my home club was Brighton & Hove AC. This was the time of Seb Coe & Steve Ovett and to see the differences in types of training to try and obtain the same reward was very thought provoking. This has always led me to believe that all athletes are individuals, different things will suit different people. Also running in front of 15000 spectators at Crystal Palace for National championships was a great time for athletics.
When I managed the Harriers Senior Mens team in the 90s I took then from Southern League Div 3 to the British Athletics League, this was based on individuals wanting to compete for their club and having a good time as well. I have never seen the point in any athlete training hard and then not competing for their club. So athletes are encouraged to represent the club in league matches, county championships, area championships and beyond.
I have coached many athletes who have won titles at National and Area level at all ages from U15 to over 60, (events including 400m 800m, 400mH and Sprint hurdles) but from my point of view I am happy to coach any athlete who has the commitment to want to improve, to motivate them to do better.
The training group has athletes who compete in various events from 100m up to 1500m, the sessions and distances are adjusted to suit the individual athletes needs whilst still maintaining the feeling of being part of a group.
I currently coach and advise a number of Master hurdlers and have done so for a number of years - one of them currently holds world records and world titles in the W60 age group over 60m hurdles (indoor), 80m hurdles and 300 hurdles and another holds world titles in the M55 400m hurdles and 400m.
I currently run sessions on a Tuesday (track) Wednesday (circuits) Thursday (Hills or track) and Saturday or Sunday.