Leander’s coaching staff, run by chief coach Mark Banks, are the secret to the club’s success. Our coaches are fully committed to training athletes to achieve their potential – they understand the athletes’ aim is to make the national team, and will do everything in their power to help them get there.
Most coaches are themselves former international rowers and have a vast bank of knowledge and experience they can call upon with the athletes – an invaluable tool!
To get in touch with the coaches:
T: 01491 575782
Head Men’s Coach
Matt Beechey started coaching part-time at Leander in 2009 after a very successful international rowing career spanning the period 1995 to 2008, when Matt represented Great Britain in every lightweight boat class.
After retiring from international competition, coaching for Matt seemed like a natural progression to stay involved within the sport that he loved. He said he felt a ‘duty to come back and coach at Leander to give something back for all the great coaching and support I had when I was climbing the ranks of the national team as an athlete.’
Matt’s technical ability as a lightweight rower shines through in his coaching style, which is famed for being very clear and simple for a variety of athletes to buy into. His record as a coach speaks for itself – he has coached crews to win the Prince of Wales Challenge Cup for five successive years at Henley Royal Regatta. Internationally he taken crews to the Under-23 World Championships, most notably in 2014, when his crew of Jack Beaumont and Angus Groom won a bronze in the Men’s Double Sculls. The following year he coached Jack Beaumont to fifth place in the men’s single.
Not only is Matt a technically gifted coach, but he also holds a number of professional qualifications. Matt studied sport science in university and holds strength & conditioning qualifications. He is currently on his way to completing his Level 3 Coaching qualification and is an assessor in the AASE program.
Many of Matt’s athletes have gone from being coached by him into the national team. Stewart Innes, for example, was coached at Leander by Matt for two years before entering the GB senior squad in 2015, where he stroked the coxless four at the world championships to win a bronze medal.
Head Women’s Coach
Ross or “Rossy” Hunter started coaching professionally in 2012 after a successful career as an athlete for Leander Club. After retiring from the sport, he struggled to find a profession that gave him the same satisfaction and enjoyment as he had from rowing. He therefore decided to become a rowing coach and began this career at the university team in Bristol. After coaching success at Bristol, Ross decided to take the step up and move to Leander to coach at the highest level.
Ross boasts an impressive results record already coaching both the runner-up and the winners of the Prince Of Wales Challenge Cup last year. He also coached the lightweight men’s four to bronze at the Under-23 World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
For Ross it’s not purely the results that drive him. He also wants his athletes to enjoy the sport as much as he did.
Ross’s coaching style is based on communicating a very clear model of the rowing stroke to his athletes, as well as closely monitoring their training zones, ensuring they are training at the right intensity and are ready to perform at their peak on race day.
Head Juniors Coach
James has nine years’ experience coaching junior athletes in national and international competition. He prides himself in being able to identify, nurture and develop athletes towards national and international standards. His ambition is to produce the highest standard of performance within the club junior programme.
James began his coaching career during his undergraduate degree as an assistant coach at Marlow Rowing Club. Following the completion of his undergraduate degree he was successful in securing a Henley Stewards Charitable Trust Scholarship that enabled him to work in Wales, where he selected and coached the 2011 Welsh Junior Sculling Team. James then went on to be a head coach for London Youth Rowing at Thames Rowing Club.
James likes to keep up to date using recent evidence from sport science and strength and conditioning research. Away from the training plan he aims to develop a culture of success, allowing regular input from athletes in terms of goal setting and close monitoring of their academics.
His development as a coach has been supported by his academic studies, which include a BSc in Sports Science from Brunel University and an MSc in Coaching Science from Cardiff Metropolitan University. He implements a mixed method approach to athlete development that utilises exercise physiology, nutrition, psychology, performance analysis and strength and conditioning.
James has a detailed understanding of the Great Britain junior team selection criteria and the performance standards expected from junior international athletes. He has coached British crews at both the Junior World Championships and the Coupe de la Jeunesse. James’ ambition is to win the Fawley Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta and continue to work closely with the GB junior system.
We have numerous part-time and volunteer coaches with a wealth of knowledge and experience who assist our full time coaches.
Ian Roots, who often prefers running down the towpath with his dog, instead of cycling, assists Jane Hall in the women’s squad. Karl Reid assists Matt Beechey with the heavyweight men’s sweep, Karl is also a qualified injury rehabilitation specialist and plays a key role in the gym with injury rehabilitation and prevention.
Ted Bainbridge is a lifelong member of Leander and served as Treasurer to the club for many years. Ted has an eye for spotting and developing new recruits as they start their rowing careers, and has also coached winning crews at Henley Royal Regatta.
Our coaches’ passion, determination and drive to win, matches the athletes and they are an integral part of our success on the water.
Adam Moffatt is Leander Club’s Child Welfare Officer.
To get in touch please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information can be found on the British Rowing website at: