Olympic Head Coach // Men's Squad
Paul is the Men’s Olympic Head Coach.
Paul has worked with British Rowing for over 18 years and since 2013 led the men’s sculling team to both the Rio 2016 Olympics and the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Tokyo 2020 saw the men’s quad of Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Tom Barras and Jack Beaumont win an historic silver medal, GB’s first ever Olympic medal for that boat class and the men’s double of Graeme Thomas and John Collins finish 4th making this the most successful Olympics for Men’s Sculling since 1948.
Paul’s first role with British Rowing was in 2003 when as a World Class Start coach he set up the highly successful talent ID centre in Bath. He was rewarded for his hard work and commitment to the sport by winning Performance Development Coach of 2012 at the Sportcoach UK Coaching Awards. He was also recognised with the Nick Broad Award for Emerging Talent for his work in the World Class Start Programme, which included identifying and developing Helen Glover and Heather Stanning who went on to win Olympic gold medals in both London and Rio and Vicky Thornley who won silver in Rio.
As Men’s Olympic Head Coach, Paul will lead the Olympic programme to produce Olympic Class boats with the potential to win medals at international competitions, building a world class culture within the programme that sees rowers and staff thrive both on and off the water.
On The Water
Rio Olympiad 2013 – 2016
The men’s quad steadily improved after Paul took responsibility for the project in 2013, winning bronze and silver respectively in the 2013 and 2014 World Championships. The quad finished 4th at the 2015 World Championships in Aiguebelette, just 1 second outside the medals in an encouraging end to a season hampered by illness and injury.
Although crew combinations have varied, the core of Graeme Thomas, Sam Townsend, Charles Cousins and Peter Lambert remained consistent until 2016 when Charles sadly withdrew from the programme following a back injury. Youngster Angus Groom stepped up to take the empty spot and this line-up was selected to race in Rio. Sadly Graeme Thomas was taken ill with a virus on his first day in Rio and was unable to race, so Jack Beaumont was flown out to take his place. Despite such difficult circumstances, the crew finished a very respectable 5th.
Prior to joining the GB Rowing Team, Paul was a Start coach in Bath, and is very proud of the 5 Bath Start athletes who rowed for GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He was rewarded for his hard work and commitment to the sport by winning Performance Development Coach of 2012 at the Sportcoach UK Coaching Awards, and was also recognised by the Nick Broad Award for Emerging Talent for his work in the GBRT Start Programme, identifying and developing Helen Glover and Heather Stanning which led to them winning the first women’s Olympic gold medal in London.
Paul started rowing as a youngster at Hampton School after a teacher suggested he give it a go. Almost immediately, he was hooked, and the school rugby, football and cricket he had been playing took a backseat.
Beyond the Boat
A keen gardener, Paul also enjoys shooting, DIY and spending time with his wife and two daughters. If marooned on a desert island, he says he would take with him a multitool, a water filtration unit, and a means of escape!
Paul is Lottery funded through UK Sport.