Coaching Team

Josh Jobbins

Head Coach

Swim England Senior Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Degree in Sports Science and Coaching

Coaching Practices Level 3

As Head Coach, Josh oversees all squads throughout the club and the team of coaches. He is responsible for coaching the Gold and Gold + squads and also provides coaching for Badminton School as part of the club partnership with the school.

Josh swam for 3 clubs across the South West and then for his university, where he was a British university national finalist. He joined Penguins in 2017 as a swimmer and coach before embarking on the role of Head Coach. Josh has taken age group, youth and university swimmers to national level competitions and relishes the challenge of maximising each athlete’s individual potential. During his time in charge, he has helped to lead the continued improvement in the performance of the club by ensuring that a structured, productive and enjoyable training programme is provided to all members.

Fun fact: Josh became one of America’s first flyboard instructors!

Email Josh at

David Cousins

David Cousins

Assistant Head Coach

Swim England Senior Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

PGCE in Teaching PE

Strength and Conditioning Fundamentals

In his capacity as Assistant Head Coach he works alongside Josh to oversee the other squads and coaches. David is responsible for coaching for the Silver squad.

Since 2013, he has coached swimming across the age ranges with Penguins and he has also been a Gloucester county and South West regional skills coach. He particularly enjoys seeing age group swimmers use their physical literacy to develop their skill, strength, speed and endurance. David has taught a wide range of sports for over 30 years. With his PE school teaching background he uses those skills and experiences to ensure that all members are developed as people and as swimmers.

Fun fact – David was a ski instructor in the Alps.

Email David at

John Ferguson

Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Swim England Level 2 Open Water Coach

John is responsible for coaching the Bronze and Masters squads and running the open water swimming programme.

John started his swimming journey as a club swimmer, where he first qualified as a swim teacher. Before joining Penguins, he spent several years coaching different age group squads and a para squad. John shows great technical knowledge, which he adapts to suit the needs of each individual. He has recently become an open water coach and enjoys coaching and swimming across the regions’ lakes or sea water venues.

Fun fact – In 2021, John is aiming to swim the English Channel in a relay team.

Email John at

John-Paul Holmes

John-Paul Holmes

Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

John-Paul’s main responsibility is for the Development squads and overseeing the progress of swimmers throughout the club pathway.

Known as JP, for 19 years he was a member and then coach with Portway SC, where he taught and coached swimmers across the whole age range of the club. Since Portway merged with Penguins, he has continued to focus on skill development with the junior squads and he oversees the Youth Club squads with his trademark challenges and wit. He makes sure that each swimmer progresses along their own swim journey within a team environment.

Fun fact: JP once drove all the way around Europe visiting 16 countries on route.

Email John-Paul at

Joel Howard

Assistant Coach

Swim England Level 1 Assistant Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Joel delivers coaching sessions to a variety of squads ranging from the Swim Academy through to age group squads.

Joel has been swimming since a very young age. He then progressed with that swim school to become a level 2 swimming teacher. Since joining Penguins, he has completed coaching qualifications, which he uses to support the improvement of each swimmer as he prepares them for a lifetime in aquatic sports.

Fun fact: Joel competed in European football tournaments, playing against multiple professional teams youth teams.

Email Joel at

Jason Silcox

Senior Swimming Coach

Jason works with Josh to coach the Gold and Gold + squads.

Email Jason at

Esme Llewellyn Smith

Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

We are delighted that Esme has joined the team and is now coaching of a variety of junior groups.

Email Esme at

Jessica Clements

Swimming Coach

Swim England Level 2 Swimming Teacher

Swim England Level 1 Swimming coach

British Swimming Judge J2S

Jess has recently joined the team and brings with her a wealth of experience in many areas. She works with a variety of different squads.

Email Jess at

Other swimming teachers, coaches and poolside helpers

Bristol Penguins has a large team of volunteer teachers and coaches with many years of experience who all help to deliver the extensive swimming programme.

Ben Mullen

Sue Rees

Clair Silcocks

Vashti Wyatt

Scott Tanner

Lucy Hill

Helen Giles

Reiya Lin

Polly Mullen

Harry Firebrace

Emilia Piechowska

Young Volunteers

We have a number of young volunteers who help support the club.  They do a variety of different roles and can work with us to become swim coaches and teachers once they are 16.


Ben Mullen

Chair, swimming teacher and coach

Ben has been helping out at Penguins for over 10 years. He is an enthusiastic and inspiring coach and teacher and is always looking at ways to improve Penguins further. Ben can be found at most galas and at poolside much of the week teaching at the Swim Academy or coaching the older swimmers.

Email Ben at

Polly Mullen

Swim Academy Coordinator, membership coordinator, finance support and swimming teacher and coach

Polly enjoys teaching the young swimmers in the Swim Academy and watching them grow into competent swimmers and move on into the main squads.

Email Polly at

Sue Rees

Life President, Swim England membership Coordinator, swimming teacher and coach

Many people will not know the volume of work Sue does at Penguins, but she does much behind scenes as well as coach the squads at Henbury. Sue attends most galas and either helps out on the desk or officiates. The club championships have also been organised by Sue for many years.

Email Sue at

Scott Tanner

Scott Tanner

Coach and committee member

Scott has been swimming with Penguins for many years and is a vital part of the coaching team and masters squad. He works with the committee to provide administration in his capacity as operations manager.

Email Scott at


Helen Giles

Vice Chair, treasurer, swimming teacher and coach

Helen’s children both swam with Penguins and Helen has been helping out with the club for many years. A committed volunter, Helen has several committee roles as well as teaching at the Swim Academy and coaching at Easton.

Email Helen at


Jeremy Dudley

President, Open meet coordinator,

As a pivotal member of the team, Jeremy’s hard work behind the scenes gives the opportunity for swimmers to compete in galas and many other things.

Email Jeremy at


Andrew Brown

Vice Chair


Vashti Wyatt


Email Vashti at

Ellie Bourdeaux

Welfare Officer

Email Ellie at

Deanne Fitzpatrick

Disability Swimming Coordinator

Lucy Hill

Competition Secretary

Email Lucy at

Simon Parker

Social Media

Email Simon at

Gemma Wozniak

Social Secretary

Email Gemma at