Robin Francis
Founder and Director

Robin brings a wealth of experience with him from the international arena of coaching and performing. He competed internationally from 1995 – 2006 and swam for Great Britain in the 2004 Olympic Games. He has won individual World and European medals and has recently coached Hannah Russell to a World record and World Championship gold in Montreal, Canada, 2013.

Read Robin's full bio

During his career he excelled as a Great Britain Junior international, winning Youth Olympic and Junior European medals before bursting onto the Senior international stage receiving the Best International Newcomer award whilst dominating both the 200m and 400m Individual Medley events nationally over a period of five years setting numerous British records along the way. He competed in both individual medley events in the 2004 Olympics reaching the semi-final and won individual medals at both the European and World Championships. He swam the fastest split as part of Great Britain’s 4x200m Freestyle relay team in the 2003 World Championship finals. He has raced against Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Ian Thorpe to name a few and has had the privilege of working with some of the world’s leading coaches from Great Britain, America, Australia, South Africa and Russia. He is one of the most versatile swimmers of his generation.

Since retiring from competition in 2006, Robin turned his attention to coaching and giving back to the sport he loves. He’s fronted programmes in South Africa and the UK and for four years worked as the Performance Coach and Head of Strength and Conditioning at Kelly College during which time he produced numerous county and national level swimmers as well as international performers such as Hannah Russell, coaching her to becoming a World record holder, multi-medallist and World Champion in Montreal, 2013. He has helped triathletes and modern pentathletes improve their swimming performances and takes part in events around the country passing on his swimming expertise. This is what inspired the founding of SCUK. His vision being to maximise swimming potential offering a unique, fun and inspiring training environment with the very best level of coaching and support available for everyone wishing to improve.

Alongside SCUK, Robin runs his affiliated personal training and swim coaching business, Robin Francis Fitness, which he founded back in 2008. He is also a mentor for the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust and is truly passionate about what he does.

He is a proud dad to his daughter Daisy and black lab Jasper and he can be seen doing arduous adventure races around the country raising money for Breast Cancer Care and also the odd Masters swimming race here and there!

Robin's qualifications and career highlights

Qualifications & Training:

  • PGCE – University of Buckingham
  • BSc (Hons) in Sport, Fitness & Coaching – Open University
  • HND Coach Education & Sports Performance – University of Bath
  • Award in Coaching Studies – 1st 4 Sport / Sports Coach UK
  • Swim Coach – ASA
  • Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach – 1st 4 Sport / RFU
  • Advanced Personal Trainer – Premier Global
  • Nutritional Advisor – Premier Global
  • Kettlebell Instructor – Premier Global
  • Certified Sports Leader – British Sports Trust
  • Safeguarding and protecting children – Sports Coach UK
  • Equity in Coaching – Sports Coach UK
  • Lifeguard – RLSS
  • First Aid
  • Member of Register of Exercise Professionals – REPS

Coaching Background:

  • Director, Personal Trainer & Swimming Specialist/Coach – Robin Francis Fitness – March 2008 – present
  • Mentor – Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust – October 2013 – present
  • Performance Swimming Coach and Head of Strength & Conditioning – Kelly College – September 2009 – August 2013
  • Head Coach – Bradford on Avon Swimming Club – March 2009 – August 2009
  • Lead Age Group 2 Coach – University of Bath – September 2007 – March 2008
  • Lead Coach – Seals Swimming Club, Durban, South Africa – September 2006 – August 2007

Swimming achievements:

  • Olympic Games semi-finalist – 2004
  • World Championship Silver medallist – 2004
  • European Championship Silver medallist (x2) – 2001 & 2003
  • British Champion – 2000 – 2005
  • Multiple British Record Holder
  • European Junior Silver medallist – 1999
  • Youth Olympic Bronze medallist (x2) – 1997
  • Over 50 British National medals – 1993 – 2005
  • South African National Champion (x5) – 2006
  • British Masters National Champion (x2) – 2013
  • International Swimmer for 11 years
  • Yorkshire, England, Great Britain representative – 1995 – 2006

Awards & Honours

  • Invitation to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace – 2004
  • Best International Newcomer Trophy
  • Full Blue – University of Bath
  • Outstanding Sportsman of the Year – University of Bath

The Swim Camps UK Team

Robin Francis leads all swim camps and is in attendance throughout whole event. He is assisted by guest coaches and elite swimmers who are hand-picked by Robin himself; many of whom have competed internationally. The coaches will vary depending on the content of the individual camp, ensuring the very best coaching skills are matched to each event. In addition to the expert coaching staff, all camps are attended by a member of our pastoral care team to ensure all attendees get the very best out of their time with us.