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Graeme Thomas

Senior Performance Squad

Coaching Qualifications/Experience

  • ASA Coach

  • ASA Club Coach

  • ASA Teacher

  • GB Skills Coach – 200 IM Programme

  • GB World Class Start & Potential Programmes – Group Coach

  • ASA SE Region Talent Camps – Group Coach

  • GB Senior & Junior Mare Nostrum Tour – Group Coach

  • Twice placed a swimmer on GB European Juniors Team

  • Coached Age & Youth Swimmers to Gold, Silver, Bronze Medals at National Championships

Years in Swimming

“I have been involved in competitive swimming for over 40 years, initially as a competitive swimmer with Reading Swimming Club, racing to National Finalist standard in 200 Back & 100 Free. My coaching Career started when I was 18.”


Coaching Background

Graeme started coaching part-time at Reading Swimming Club, initially working with Development Squads, progressing through to being the Lead Age Group Coach within 2 seasons. After working with Head Coach Steven Hill (Coach to two time Olympian and Reading Swimmer, Rebecca Cooke) he was inspired to leave his “day job” as an HR Administrator and start a full-time career in Coaching.

His first full-time appointment was in 1999 as Assistant Coach with City of Sheffield Swim Team (then under the guidance of Olympic Coach Fred Furniss). Following on from Sheffield he spent a short time at Manchester Aquatics Swim Team (based at the then newly built Commonwealth pool) as Assistant Coach, before securing his first Head Coach role at Reading Swimming Club in 2001. Graeme moved to Basingstoke in 2008 as Head Coach, a role which he has held for over 10 years, and is now the Club’s Director of Coaching.

Coaches that Inspired me

  • Ian McGregor – For giving me a great start

  • Steven Hill (Olympic Coach) – For inspiring me to make a career in coaching

  • Fred Furniss (Olympic Coach) – For giving me my first Full-time position

  • Bill Furniss (Olympic Coach to Rebecca Adlington) – Tutor & mentor

  • Harry Wild – For having the patience and resilience to coach me as a young teenager, and then also have me come back to the same club as Head Coach 15 years later!

Favourite Set

Too many to list, but if pushed it would have to be “The Beast”. If you haven’t swum it, chances are you will one day!

  • 1200m > 3 x 400

  • 900m > 3 x 300

  • 600m > 3 x 200

  • 300m > 3 x 100                                     Total 6000m

Favourite Racing Pool

Ponds Forge - Sheffield

Best Advice

Enjoy the journey your sporting career affords you, it’s usually more important than the final destination. And remember to regularly thank the ones who enable and support you in that journey in the first place, mainly your parents!

Favourite Quotes

“Decide what you want to be, then do what you have to do”


“Don’t worry about what you haven’t got in the way of talent, find out what you have”


“Winning is personal. To be a winner you have to be satisfied with your own performance. It is only of limited value if you win but swam a poor race”


“If you want something badly enough you can get it, but you must want it all year long, not just on the day”


“Deserve and Desire – Be sure you know their meaning and their difference – you are capable of what you desire, but most certainly you will achieve what you deserve”

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