Laurel Bailey – Interview


Laurel Bailey is the Head Coach at British Swimming Club Warrender Baths Club, U.K.  Originally from Australia, Laurel has had a very successful coaching career so far and has 3 athletes heading to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, including Olympic Silver medallist from the Beijing Games and 4th finisher form London 2012, Kerri-Anne Payne.

Our FCN Rio Reporter Charlotte Beckett interview Laurel about her career, her excitement for Rio and her ambitions for the future…



I have had so many amazing moments so far! My best moments have come from watching an athlete who has struggled to achieve their goal or dream for a long time and done absolutely everything in their power to make it happen. Watching them achieve that is amazing. I have been lucky to have athletes reach their dream at Olympic level, but likewise I have been just as proud of a swimmer who makes their first National Qualifying time or wins their first National medal, who I know has put in just as much effort and commitment.

Although always on the increase, you are one of the few women coaches at the Olympics this year. Does this change the way you coach and or inspire you to get more women involved in coaching?

I don?t really think about how many coaches are male or female. The culture has definitely changed though and is much more accepting of female coaches. In the time I have been coaching in Britain, the number of female coaches in swimming has increased significantly and it is nice to go away with the British team and have someone to share a room with rather than being on my own.


And finally, having already been such a successful coach at a young age, what are you ambitions for the future? 

I am going to refocus myself a little after the Olympics this year. I am the Head Coach of Scotland’s biggest and most successful swimming club, Warrender Baths Club and for the next period of time I will focus on the development of the club programme and mentoring my coaching staff in order to help them get the best out of themselves. We will see where that leads!


Author: Charlotte Beckett is a centre court netball player at the University of York studying English and History. She plays a variety of college sport alongside netball?from tag rugby to volleyball as well as organising sporting events at the university and running the Amsterdam Marathon 2015. Charlotte is glued to the media during the two week olympic game period and was lucky enough to watch London 2012 in her home country. Her aim?is to visit the games in another country one day, combining sport and travel!