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Stroke Basics (Fred Furniss):

In April 2018 we were extremely lucky to welcome Fred Furniss to Evesham Swimming club who was kind enough to share all of the information below with us. It was a really important presentation for Evesham Swimming Club, to help members understand the direction that the club needed to take. 

Unfortunately, Fred passed away in July 2018. We are so grateful and feel blessed that Fred was able to help the club on a more successful pathway. 

Swim England tribute to Fred:

"Fred began his illustrious 45-year career in swimming at Rotherham before moving to Kirklees in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His coaching credentials even in these early stages of his career were plain to see, nurturing multiple junior international representatives and British record holders.


His talents weren’t confined to junior swimming during this early coaching period, but evident upwards and throughout the pathway to include five senior international swimmers. These early successes were testament to the hard work and enthusiasm he displayed for his role, and a lesson to all young coaches in the sport he was so passionate about.

Fred moved eastwards in the mid 1980s in the first of two stints in Norwich, before returning again in 2002 to help Norwich Penguins and the University of East Anglia become one of the most successful performance-focused environments in the country.


Regular top club finishes at Nationals, Speedo League Finals and GB Club Team Championships, as well as placing swimmers on international teams up to and including the World Championships and Commonwealth Games, saw Fred cement his reputation as one of the leading coaches in the country.


This was evident during arguably his most successful period in coaching in Sheffield during the 1990s. Fred built the foundations for the current juggernaut that is City of Sheffield swimming. He continually demonstrated his love of the sport, and raw ability to identify and nurture swimmers and coaches alike. He was instrumental in setting in place a production line of international swimmers coming out of Sheffield during that time; Alan Rapley, Karen Mellor and Janko Gojkovic were just some of the successes,  all Olympians all coached by Fred.

In 2006, under the guidance of Bill Sweetenham and working with colleagues Fred Kirby, Mick Hepwood and Martyn Woodroffe, Fred moved off the pool deck to begin his first stint in mentorship. 


Forming a formidable partnership, this team provided an enormous amount of advice and guidance to many coaches and clubs throughout the country. Fred’s natural ability to ‘coach coaches’ in a warm but no-nonsense manner proved a hit with all. His reputation and credibility were well and truly entrenched within the British Swimming coaching fraternity.


Changes in the system allowed Fred to return to his first love of coaching in 2009 at Lincoln Vulcans Swimming Club. Within three years, Fred once again had swimmers on international junior and senior teams, and the Vulcans were thriving at National League finals."

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