Our Coaches

The Coaching Crew

If you want to know a bit more about our coaches or you are not sure who is who, here are a few details about some of them and their paddling experience:

Julian Harris – Has been paddling since 20xx having started on a beginner course at the club. He became involved in coaching a few years later and has been Coaching Organiser for the club for a number of years. He is a qualified UKCC level 1 coach and is extremely patient, very approachable and can still remember what is was like to be an adult beginner. Now racing in Division 6 marathon, he often coaches our improver adult groups.

Alan Williams – Has been paddling for quite some time and mainly coaches people starting out in racing boats and open canadians – he must love it because he also coaches groups nearer to his home base of Cheltenham. Alan is UKCC qualified Level 2 coach and can talk to you about how to get qualified. He enjoys racing marathon and also loves his sailing holidays abroad!! Alan was our Coaching Organiser before Julian took over. He often runs taster sessions and is the first point of contact for many at the club.

Robin Powell

Robin PowellRobin has been paddling since the 1950s and having been a very active qualified coach and competitor in the past is now encouraging newer paddlers to build their endurance cruising up to Bevere and back on Saturday and Sunday Mornings (Wednesday mornings too if you don’t have to work). He also helps with improver paddling groups in the evenings. We all hope we will be paddling like Robin when we are into our 80s.

Sue Hawthorn

Sue Hawthorn

Sue’s been paddling since 1986 and is a Level 3 racing coach. She started life as a slalom paddler, progressed to WWR whilst at university then progressively moved over to marathon racing. She has a DW under her belt, a few masters medals and is proudly hanging on to coming last in Div 4 on a regular basis. She’s also tried her hand at canoe polo, sprint racing and general white water paddling. She’s been coaching regularly since her daughter was about 8, now 15 years ago and is very active in junior coaching at the club.

George Parker – George was a highly competitive junior  and has been assisting with both senior and junior coaching over the past few years. His enthusiasm is sprint racing but he can help you out with pretty much any type of paddling. A very useful man if you need a boat off a high rack as George is pretty tall and always willing to assist.

Liam Grover – Liam started paddling at the club on a beginner course around 2005. You cannot miss him as he is rather taller than anyone else and is living prof that there is no such thing as being too big to paddle. If you want advice on kit for bigger paddlers he is the ‘go to’ man. Having completed the DW several times and many Waterside races he can help you with ultra long distance racing and is a keen supporter of our junior paddlers.

Liz Young – Liz is a keen supporter of our introductory coaching. She has a wide paddling experience from Arctic Canoe Race, Devises Westminster, play boating on rivers, surf and sea to recreational cruising. If you are out for a paddle and you want a chat, Liz has plenty of stories to tell.

Claire Moran

Claire Moran – Claire was a very successful junior sprint paddler in the early 2000’s . In spite of being busy with work and being the Clubs Social Secretary, she finds time to paddle, swim and cycle, enjoying triathlons and quadrant halons as well as local canoeing marathon races. If you are lucky enough to be coached by Claire be careful not to get her mixed up with Laura her twin sister. They both paddle and Laura is our Child Protection Officer. Mind you, Laura can coach you just as effectively as Claire with the same top class paddling pedigree.

Jon Cave – Jon started paddling with scouts, so quite some time ago! He is a qualified Level 2 racing coach and his recent experience has been as a paddler in Div 5 marathon somehow avoiding promotion to Div 4 for many years, in spite of being perfectly fast enough! He has been involved in coaching juniors for many years and many paddlers will have had their first experiences in a K2 with Jon. He also brings his knowledge of martial arts and gymnastics to his coaching ideas.

Steve Green – Steve has recently started getting involved in supporting our juniors. As an ex-GB slalom C2 paddler he knows about paddling, weight training and such, and as an osteopath he knows about sports injuries and their rehabilitation.

Fess (James) Parker 

James Parker (Fess)Fess has been paddling nearly as long as Robin and is a qualified Level 2 racing coach.  He has paddled all sorts of boats over the years but his main interest now is in marathon racing including competing regularly at World Masters Championships with a few medals to his name. Along with other Worcester vets he has a string of National Championship titles at various age groups. He  runs a regular ladies session encouraging women to paddle more competitively and encourages our juniors whenever he can.

Tony Nolan

Tony Nolan


Tony loves to see people out paddling and with many years of paddling marathon boats in his background, is keen to introduce new paddlers to the sport.


Mike Hawthorn – Mike is a qualified Level 3 coach. He has paddled slalom, WWR, surf, alpine rivers, sprint and marathon and is now a regular in Div 4. Along with other Worcester vets he has a string of National Championship titles to his name.  He will happily be engaged in answering questions about kit, coaching sessions, technique etc. – just corner him before or preferably after training. He is very particular about how he fits his boat out and has had plenty of practice sorting them out for Sue and Emma, so if you need some advice you know where to go.

Nick Fowler – Nick is an ex GB Mens K4 paddler and is now a coach with the GB performance department. With 3 young boys just approaching paddling age we hope to see more of Nick over the coming years. There is no-one better to go to for the latest in technique advice. Likewise aspiring juniors who want to know more about regional and national level sprinting can’t go far wrong talking to Nick.

Mike Fudger – The club joker will keep you entertained whilst on the water. Mike has been a club paddler for a long while, has done more than one DW and is a regular K2 racer in the regional Hasler series at Div 4. With a daughter getting interested in paddling he is helping support junior paddling.

Our Faster Paddlers

Our faster paddlers support our up and coming juniors with head to head competitive sessions when they get too fast for our average club sessions. They also occasionally offer to paddle K2 with slower paddlers in club sessions, giving them a chance to feel what it’s like to have that extra speed.

Jon Bird – qualified Level 2 racing coach with slalom, sprint and marathon in his background amongst other things

Ryan Sneddon – Ex-GB sprinter and qualified physiotherapist

John Parker – Div 2 paddler with a DW success and lots of descent racing experience

Dave Pedlar – Div 2 paddler with lots of DW and descent racing experience.

Our Senior Paddlers involved in running sessions

On top of coaches we have many very experienced paddlers who are involved in club sessions and who will run sessions and offer advice. All of the following have ample experience to run sessions and offer advise.

Mike Gandy, Chris Skellern, Julian Gilbert, Simon Davies, Andy Nevitt, Jayne Moran, Mick Moran, Adrian Trickett… who have we missed?

If your name is on the list ( or it’s not and it should be), please can you send us a photo and some information so we can keep the site up-to-date.

As you can see we have a wealth of support at the club. If you you fancy becoming a coach, whatever your current level and experience we welcome your input. Contact suehawthorn@btinternet.com  who will be happy to help you get involved.

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