The coaching and teaching team

We are proud to employ a completely professional coaching staff at Mid Sussex Marlins. Our staff are fully qualified with Swim England coaching and teaching certification to ensure we provide best practice, engaging sessions as well as safe effective teaching and coaching on a daily basis.

Charlie Wood – Acting Head Coach 

Charlie joined the Coaching Team in early 2017, having previously been a swimmer in the clubs Performance 1 squad. Charlie has coached swimmers to county records and county relay records as well as being assistant coach early in his coaching career to a number of national medallists. Charlie held the position of Head coach at Hailsham swimming club before returning to Mid Sussex Marlins to take lead of our Performance 2 squad.

Charlie has been the Lead Performance Coach and directly coached and currently leads our Performance 1 squad, Competitive 1 squads as well as working with a number of our other squads on the club pathway. Charlie is a qualified Level 2 coach and is currently working towards his Level 3 Coaching qualification.

Charlie was also a swimmer at Mid Sussex Marlins and during his swimming career has held county records, and been part of the Sussex league winning teams (including the Club’s first Sussex league win in 2016) as well as swimming to national level.


Rachael Bowen (Picture and Information to follow) Performance 2 and Competitive 2

Rachael currently coaches our Performance 2 and Competitive 2 squads.


Ernesto Paniccia – Competitive 3

Ernesto joined the Club in September 2015 as part of our Academy teaching team. Since that time he has achieved as a Level 2 Swimming Coach and Teacher. His extensive knowledge of teaching and coaching competitive swimming has made him an invaluable member of the teaching and coaching staff.

He is the current Lead Competitive 3 Coach, applying his skills and knowledge to progress our young talented swimmers within the Athlete Development Support Pathway towards achieving county qualifying times.


Jonathan Vernon – Pre-Competitive 1 (Picture and Information to follow)

Jonathan currently coaches our Pre-Competitive 1 squad


Nina Humphreys – Head Of Academy and Pre-Competitive 2 (Picture and Information to follow)

Nina has been a crucial member of our Coaching and Teaching team. She has been Head of Academy since September 2021, transforming the Academy Teaching program to unify our Coaching and Teaching sections in line with the Athlete Development Support Pathway.

Nina is the Lead Pre-Competitive 2 coach which is a stepping stone from Academy into Competitive swimming. This squad focuses on a blend of teaching and Learn-to-Train to start training swimmers for their progression into competitive squads.


Stuart Marshall – Lead Development 1,2,3 Coach (Picture and Information to follow)


Pauline Draper  – Disability swimming / Para swimming (Picture and further Information to follow)

Pauline Draper: As a paediatric physiotherapist at Chailey Heritage and a former swimming teacher with Burgess Hill & District SC, I was able to combine the experiences gained in both to help set up the Dolphins Squad back in September 2000. The motivation came from wanting to help those with disabilities reach their full potential in swimming, and it has been wonderful to see how the swimmers have developed over the years. One or two from the squad have reached National level but there have been others who have achieved just as much by learning to swim independently, having previously needed support from people or flotation aids. I have now retired from my role at Chailey but I shall continue to be involved with Dolphins for as long as I can.


Lucy Fox – Water Polo Coach (Picture and Information to follow)