Women’s Development Programme – Meet the Coaches

Meet the amazing coaches who work with British Rowing’s Performance Talent Team to make the Women’s Development days happen and develop more women across the country.

Northern (Contact: northern-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Eddie Bryant, Lead Coach

Rowing as a junior and graduating from university with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science with Physiology, Eddie took up a job as a development coach with British Rowing, involving working as a World Class Start coach with several athletes in Yorkshire. Eddie then moved to Durham School where he is now Director of Rowing and more recently Head of Boys’ Games and Director of Performance. He is a Coach Educator with British Rowing and a mentor and tutor on the Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DISE) Programme.

Karen McLoughlin, Support Coach

Karen is a former gymnast, retiring early due to injury. She has a master’s degree in International Sports Management from Northumbria University and has 5 years of experience working in sport at NGB and university level. As well as a full-time role at TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme), she is currently a Team Manager with Scottish Gymnastics. With a particular interest in performance lifestyle, Karen is looking forward to helping support women and girls develop, grow and progress on the talent pathway.

North West (Contact: north-west-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Heidi Hackett, Lead Coach

Heidi has been involved in rowing for over 30 years both as a competitor and a coach. Since moving to the NW in 2001 to start her teaching career at The Grange School, she has also developed her umpiring, becoming a World Rowing umpire in 2010. She has continued to coach juniors at all levels during that time as well as being the Regional Rep for the NW and on the Rowing Council. She has been a Coach educator and is looking forward to being a part of developing both athletes and coaches in the region.

Rachael Clay, Support Coach

Rachael is an experienced Equestrian Coach with a special interest in performance mindset and mental skills training.  She is a Centre10 Advanced Coach.   She has a passion for working with all levels of athletes to encourage and support them with their performance and goals at home and in competition.   She is excited to have the huge opportunity to be part of the Women’s Development Programme working with the Lead Coaches and to be able to use her diverse coaching skills in a new sport, to work towards empowering athletes to have the confidence to take on new challenges, develop and grow and inspire them to be their best.

Yorkshire (Contact: yorkshire-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Jess Harris, Lead Coach

Jess began rowing in Durham City, transitioning to coaching at Tyne ARC whilst studying Exercise Biomedicine at Newcastle University. She then studied postgraduate S&C whilst working as a Henley Steward’s coach in partnership with Eton College at Dorney Lake. She has worked with various projects over the years including the Indoor school’s platform and Student Development Programme.

Christopher Taylor-Cook

Chris is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer working in the electronics industry, who has always had a passion for sport. Chris was lucky enough to have had a rowing career of over 10 years, during which time he represented his school and Manchester University at a range of national events, including National Schools, BUCS and Henley Royal Regatta, before becoming a volunteer junior coach at Agecroft Rowing Club. Since moving to Sheffield Chris has been a junior rugby coach for the last 5 years at a local club where he has also successfully setup the clubs first female team. Chris is now looking forwards to using this experience to help develop the next generation of female rowers to achieve success.

West Midlands (Contact: west-midlands-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Ben Wellburn, Lead Coach

Ben learned to row in 2012 at Northampton Rowing Club. He then went on to study Sports Science at Oxford Brookes University and rowed there until he became injured. Unwilling to give up rowing, he took up a role coaching at Headington School. Upon completion of his degree, he took up a full-time post at Hereford Cathedral School. In the summer of 2019, he was the coordinator and a coach for the Welsh junior men’s squad.

Patrick Lewis, Support Coach

Pat is both a UEFA B outfield and Goalkeeper qualified Football coach as well as Level 2 Dodgeball and Rugby. He has coached at FA girls player development centres and the South West FA Regional Talent Centre for Cerebral Palsy players, Pat has also worked in Grassroots football for over 10 years. For the last 7 years, Pat has worked as an FA Coach Mentor, supporting football coaches at a range of levels and in many different environments. This position lead Pat to a Degree in Sports Coaching at Hartpury University, where he became particularly interested in positive psychology and coached the Women’s university football team.

East Midlands (Contact: east-midlands-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Nicola Hardy, Lead Coach

Nikki started rowing at Borlase in 2001 and continued competing for Exeter University BC whilst gaining a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. After representing GB and England for a number of years she transitioned to coaching in 2014 at Nottingham Rowing Club, working with athletes who aspire to compete internationally. Nikki continues to coach at Nottingham RC whilst also fulfilling her role as Head Coach at Nottingham Trent University.

Maria Crowfoot, Support Coach

Maria comes from a rugby background, having played from the age of 4. She has a degree in Sports Science and Geography from Loughborough University and is currently studying a masters at St Mary’s University in Professional Development: Rugby Specialism. She has a Level 3 in personal training as well as a level 2 in gym instructing. Maria is Head Coach at Lichfield Ladies RFC alongside being an Elite Sports Assessor at Loughborough College on the volleyball DiSE programme. She is looking forward to working with aspiring female athletes to help them reach their full potential and guide them through the programme

Eastern (Contact: eastern-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Jonathan Conder, Lead Coach

Jonathan has been involved with rowing for over forty years; first as a rower with Molesey Boat Club and Cambridge ’99 Rowing Club, then as a coach with Cambridge ’99, Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club (CUWBC) and now as Head Coach for Jesus College, Cambridge. He is also a Coach Educator for British Rowing in the Eastern Region. He enjoys working with well-motivated athletes and coaches who have the aspiration to improve.

Isabella Mahoney, Support Coach

Isabella coaches for three schools in Cambridge and rows for Cantabrigian Rowing Club as part of the senior women’s squad. Isabella is most looking forward to encouraging more female rowers to progress onto the talent ID pathway and helping them develop and grow as athletes.

Upper Thames (Contact: upper-thames-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Jonathan Cheesman, Lead Coach

Jonathan is currently splitting his coaching time between Oxford and Dorney, getting to grips with college bumps racing and helping to introduce the youngsters of Slough to rowing. He has been coaching for over 25 years, working with athletes from beginners all the way up to international level, from Bedford to Oxford via Newcastle, London and South Wales, racing all over Europe, North America and Africa.


Sarah Wyn-Jones, Support Coach

Sarah has been involved in rowing for the past five years, initially as a parent and more recently as a Coaching Assistant at Lea RC, in East London. She has also acted as a Team Manager for several events in the London Youth Games, including cycling and rowing. Having spent more than twenty years as a senior executive for a major retailer, she’s looking forward to sharing her skills to help female rowers and their coaches realise their full potential.

Lower Thames (Contact: lower-thames-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Gabor Marton, Lead Coach

Gabor started rowing at the age of 13, progressing into the Hungarian national team before moving to London and rowing with the Lea RC in Hackney. He is Head of Rowing at a girls’ school in Central London, as well as a Coach Educator and DiSE assessor with British Rowing. Gabor is looking forward to working with talented female athletes who have the aspiration to progress to the international stage, as well as their coaches.

Karen Shepherd, Support Coach

Karen is an Orthopaedic Surgeon who started rowing at University in 2002. Whilst rowing for the University of London she started coaching her fellow students and completed her first coaching qualification, the Instructors Award. Since then her interest in rowing and coaching has grown; she has gained experience in coastal rowing while in Hastings, spent time at Bewl Water and also on the River Yare in Norwich before returning to London in 2016. She currently rows with Putney Town. Karen is excited to help inspire and develop talent in athletes and coaches within her home region in the world of Women’s Rowing.

South West

Steve Clarke, Lead Coach (Contact: south-west-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Steve started rowing at Dartmouth ARC in 2004 before joining Dart Totnes ARC in 2007. Loving the sport, he decided to gain his UKCC Level 2 coaching qualification, studying Sports Coaching and Performance at University as well as gaining qualifications in personal training and strength & conditioning. In 2014, Steve started coaching at the University of Plymouth guiding them to many notable results including a gold medal at BUCS Regatta in 2018. Steve is currently working with student-athletes who are aspiring to trial for GB.

Robyn Carty, Support Coach

Robyn started coxing at Collingwood College while at University. Having competed at College level for a few years she got the opportunity to move up and cox for Durham University’s Women’s Squad in her final year. She is now splitting her time between the South West and Vesta Rowing Club in London. Robyn is excited about supporting new talent through the women’s development programme, and inspiring young athletes to achieve the best they can.

Hants & Dorset (Contact: hants-dorset-wdp@britishrowing.org) and South East (Contact: south-east-wdp@britishrowing.org)

Richard Poole, Lead Coach

As Performance Talent Coach for British Rowing, Richard enjoys supporting ambitious coaches and rowers nationally who are working towards international representation for themselves or their athletes. The coaches and athletes involved over the past two years have been great to work with and the technical development of the Women’s Development Programme content continues to be a very interesting project.


Abi Martin, Support Coach (South East)

Abi comes from an Athletics and Rugby background and currently plays for Hove women’s IXV in the Women’s Championship. She recently graduated with a degree in Sports Science from the University of Brighton and has stayed on to complete her Masters in Strength and Conditioning. Abi has a Level 2 Coaching qualification in Rugby which has allowed her to assist with the coaching of the Brighton University Women’s rugby team. She also programmes and oversees the delivery of Strength and Conditioning for Hove Women’s Rugby Club. She is most looking forward to applying her sports science background to rowing and working with athletes in the talent pathway.

Adam Greaves, Support Coach (Hants & Dorset)

As a keen sailor, Adam rose through the ranks to become a professional athlete, helping the sonar team as a training partner for the Rio Olympics. During this time, he discovered his passion for Sport Science. Having now completed a BSc and MRes in Sport and Exercise Science specialising in physiology. A qualified personal trainer, he loves to support athletes at all stages of their careers to become the best they can be.

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