Meet the Interns
Name: Amanda Booth
“It is fantastic to be given this opportunity to work with the senior swimmers. I am very grateful and proud to be selected.”
Mentor Coach: Grant Robbins
Games Responsibilities: Amanda will be an integral part of the Swim England coaching team for Gold Coast. As assigned prep coach, she will lead on coaching athletes not competing on the day and will work with the team coaches to ensure the swimmers are prepared appropriately.
Current Occupation: Head coach, City of Oxford Swimming Club
Athletic Background: Amanda was a backstroker and began swimming at the age of nine.
Coaching: Amanda decided on a coaching career because she loves the sport, enjoys working with people and being part of a team, and felt she could do a good job coaching others. She has been coaching for over 30 years. In the earlier years, there was little support for coach development, and full-time jobs were difficult to find and paid poorly so she coached part-time and qualified as a physiotherapist. To gain international experience, she travelled with teams as a physiotherapist. [Australian coach] Bill Sweetman was the first national performance director to encourage coach education and development. He and John Atkinson gave Amanda the opportunity the head the World Class Start programmes as a coach. The most beneficial initiative has been Swim England’s Coach 2024 programme. a 14-month development opportunity for swimming coaches working within the England Talent Pathway. She aspires to develop a senior programme in Oxford, place swimmers o international teams, and coach at the senior international level.
“As a divorced mother of two teenage boys, I must balance looking after them with my coaching career. Some judge that I cannot be fully committed or as successful as a coach because I am a mother, which can be frustrating. All I need is understanding of my circumstances and being given sufficient time to organise and prepare in advance.”
Diploma in Sports Coaching
Graduate diploma in Sport Medicine
Coach 2024 – England Talent Coach Development Programme
Importance of the WCIP: The WCIP will enable Amanda to progress her ambition of becoming a fully-fledged Olympic coach in either 2020 or 2024. “It is fantastic to be given this opportunity to work with the senior swimmers. I am very grateful and proud to be selected … I am looking forward to sharing my experiences with the swimmers, other women coaches, and in my work next season as a coach advisor.
“I have been fortunate to work in many programmes over the years with experienced international male coaches and this has always been beneficial. Through the 2024 programme, I have had the opportunity of working with a female coaching mentor, which has challenged and encouraged me to reflect on my own coaching practice. I have developed better links with other coaches and with the Swim England staff; this has been invaluable.”
After Gold Coast: Amanda will return to full-time coaching as head coach of the City of Oxford Swimming Club, will work part-time for Swim England as a coaching advisor/mentor, and will become part of the Elite Coach Development Programme.
Commonwealth Connections: “The Commonwealth Sport Movement is known for being friendly but competitive. It provides invaluable experience at a multi-sports championship helping prepare staff and athletes for the Olympic Games. Being a coach at the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a fantastic opportunity …''
Meet the Mentors
Name: Grant Robins
“Amanda aspires to become a fully-fledged senior coach, has the ability to contribute to the team, work with our best, and implement key development areas upon her return.”
Current Occupation: Swim England Programme Team Leader
Athletic History: Grant was an international swimmer specialising in 200m and 400m individual medley, and 200m backstroke. He was a competitor at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand.
Coaching History: Grant chose a coaching career because he loves his sport and felt he could make a contribution. He has also been an administrator and school teacher. As head of talent for Swim England, he consistently mentors coaches on a daily basis.
Importance of the WCIP: Grant describes the mentor role as being a supporter, a challenger, and an encourager. “This is an opportunity to improve our workforce … Amanda aspires to become a fully-fledged senior coach, has the ability to contribute to the team, work with our best, and implement key development areas upon her return.” Grant will support Amanda by involving her within the coach meetings and management meetings where appropriate. While he considers coaching to be a viable career for women, he describes opportunity and lifestyle as barriers.
Commonwealth Connections: “The Commonwealth Games provide a tough environment with friendly outcomes. I am privileged and honoured to be a coach at the Gold Coast Games.”