Dr Ross Nicholas – National Performance Director

Ross Nicholas was appointed as Swim Wales National Performance Director in April 2015. Ross is a member of the Swim Wales Senior Management Team and is responsible for leading the performance programme for aquatics in Wales from both a strategic and operational perspective, including the Swim Wales National Squad Programme and the National Coaching Team.

Ross is a graduate of Swansea University, where he studied initially for a BSc (Hons) in Sports Science, then a PhD in Sports Biomechanics. Much of his research relating to the mechanics of elite swimming has been published in international academic journals.

A former Great Britain and Wales international swimmer, before taking the role as National Performance Director, Ross was a Performance Coach for 10 years working at all levels through the National Squad. He has led the team through two Commonwealth and Olympic/Paralympic cycles, and was the Team Leader for Team Wales at the 2018 and 2022 Commonwealth Games for swimming, para-swimming and diving.

Graeme Antwhistle – National Coach

Adam Baker – Lead National High Performance Coach – Swansea

Adam Baker has dedicated more than a decade to Swim Wales, having previously served as Head Coach of City of Swansea Aquatics, before assuming the role of National High Performance Coach in 2013.

Adam has achieved notable successes throughout his successful coaching career, including coaching Team Wales athletes to medal winning performances at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, 2018, and 2022.

He has also contributed as a staff member for Aquatics GB at the European Short Course Championships in 2019 and the World Championships in 2022. Additionally, Adam has led Aquatics GB Distance camps and played a pivotal role in coaching three athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with two athletes achieving individual Olympic Finals, placing 5th and 7th respectively.

Stuart McNarry – National High Performance Coach – Swansea

Stuart joined Swim Wales in 2008 as National Talent ID coach and Head Coach for Swansea University’s performance programme. Stuart’s approach is person-centred, emphasising holistic development for optimal performance.

Evolving within Swim Wales, he now holds a key role in the High Performance Centre coaching team, focusing on creative speed and Butterfly & Backstroke events. Notable successes in recent years include guiding Alys Thomas to a Commonwealth title and Aaron Moores Paralympic Gold. Stuart coached two swimmers onto Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and remains integral to Swim Wales’ coaching team, having now coached at four consecutive Commonwealth Games including Birmingham 2022 and two Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015 & 2017.

Graham Wardell – National High Performance Coach – Cardiff

Graham has been coaching swimming for over 30 years.  In that time, he has coached many national and international swimmers, including placing swimmers at European Championships, Commonwealth Championships, World Championships and Olympic Games.

He coached World record holder Gemma Spofforth to her first senior international success, while at Portsmouth Northsea, and coached World Champion Katy Sexton to numerous international teams.  More recently, he coached Robbie Renwick to become Commonwealth Champion in 2010 and Olympic finalist in 2012.

He is currently employed as Head Coach to the City of Cardiff Swimming Club. This is a return to the club where he learnt to swim as a 9 year old and where his passion for the sport was first lit.

Spencer Fuge – Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach

Spencer Fuge is the Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for Swim Wales. His primary role is to design, implement and facilitate the strength and conditioning delivery at the Swim Wales National High Performance Centre and across the Swim Wales National squad programme.

Spencer brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the coaching team, having previously worked as a strength and conditioning coach for Aquatics GB, the Welsh Rugby Union, British Triathlon, Welsh Athletics, the Lawn Tennis Association and British Sailing. His academic record encompases Sports Rehabilitation with further studies in Strength and Conditioning.

During his time at the Swim Wales National High Performance Centre, Spencer has coached a number of high profile Welsh and British swimmers to international success including the 2012, 2016 & 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the 2010, 2014, 2018 & 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Alys Thomas – Performance Development Coach and Pathway Manager

Alys Thomas is the Performance Development Coach and Pathway Manager at Swim Wales. A former Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 200m Butterfly, Alys enjoyed an illustrious swimming career spanning over 12 years. Her achievements include competing in four Commonwealth Games, two European Championships, two World Championships, and the Olympics, with a highlight as the 200m Butterfly Commonwealth Champion in 2018.

Alys retired from competitive swimming in 2022 due to injury. She holds a BSc in Psychology from Swansea University and is currently pursuing an MSc in Sports Psychology at Cardiff Met University. In addition to her role at Swim Wales, Alys has served as an athlete mentor and team manager. She previously worked as the Development Coach for Amman Valley Swimming Club, where she led a complete restructure and development plan, significantly enhancing the club’s performance and swimmer development. Alys’s extensive experience and dedication make her an invaluable asset to Swim Wales.

Thomas Bridge – Performance Operations and Athlete Support Manager

Thomas Bridge is the Performance Operations and Athlete Support Manager at Swim Wales. He holds a BSc and MSc in Sport & Exercise Science from Cardiff Met, specialising in Physiology. Thomas began his career with Sport Wales, leading Sports Science support for Welsh Rowing. He then served as a Performance Physiologist at the University of Birmingham, working with Scholarship and TASS athletes, and as a Sports Scientist for Aston Villa Ladies.

Thomas moved to Glasgow to join the Scottish Institute of Sport, supporting women’s Hockey and Cycling before dedicating himself full-time to Scottish Cycling. Over 4.5 years, he worked with Road & Track Endurance, MTB, and Sprint squads, expanding his role to include performance analysis. He played a pivotal role in preparing for and supporting Scottish Cycling during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, providing tailored support to athletes from academy level to World, Olympic, and Paralympic medallists.