top of page

Our coaching team

At Hackney, we are proud of our experienced and dedicated coaching team. Our Headcoach, Richard Hall, joined the Club at the beginning of the 2015/16 season from Hamilton Aquatics in Dubai. He has since built a strong coaching team, bringing on some of our most talented young volunteers alongside some of our committed and highly-qualified squad coaches.

Please click on the images below to find out more about each.

Richard Hall: Head Coach


During his 5-year tenure at Hamilton Aquatics, Rick has coached swimmers to national medals in a dozen countries, including UK, Argentina, France, Czech Republic, South Africa and New Zealand.  At the last ASA National Championships, his leading 12 year old swimmer won 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.  Prior to moving to Dubai, as Assistant Head Coach at Gallica Performance Squad, Lancashire, Rick also enjoyed national and international success, including 13 national medals at the 2010 ASA National Championships.


Rick's long term vision for Hackney is to "create a team that strives for excellence at all levels – from grassroots to performance to masters –offering the highest standard of aquatics provision in London, with a focus on developing technically superb swimmers and well-rounded athletes, who know how to race and train correctly, all within a fun, innovative and competitive environment.” Rick’s qualifications include First Class BA HONS in Sports Coaching and ASA Level 3 Coach.

Dylan Cross: Lead Age Group Squads Coach

Astrid Wharton: Lead Development Squads Coach

Lynsey Hall: Head of the Hackney Academy

Lynsey originally from Preston Lancashire showed her interest in the sport when she met her husband (head coach Rick Hall) 10 years ago who was a swimmer at the time and wanted to train as a swimming teacher. Lynsey has spent the last 9 years as a swimming teacher where she spent 5 of those years over in Dubai UAE with Hamilton Aquatics teaching children from 3 years to adulthood, and progressed to become a site manager looking after a learn to swim program of 320 children and 4 teacher’s. Lynsey then returned to the UK where she worked as a swimming teacher in central London (Love Swimming) and did 1:1 lessons in the water which worked solely on technique and skills.


In January 2017 Lynsey went on to do a diploma to become an ASA level 3 swimming teacher through the Water Babies training program and is now teaching Baby swimming as her main full time roll during the week and at weekends for Water Babies Essex. Lynsey’s caring and gently approach help ease those nervous children but at the same time keeping swimming fun.


Lynsey's philosophy as Learn to Swim Manager at the club is to provide all swimmers with all the tools they need in order to have a smooth transition into our competitive squads and instilling skills at a young age.

Tony Cronin, Avian Durcan, Isabella Rose, Dhaval Gajre: Age Group Squad Coaches

Madison Taylor, Lara Tobias Tarsh, Eren Yucelkan: Junior Coaches

Tony, Avian and Harry are our first crop of Young Volunteers who are on their way to gaining formal coaching qualifications. With the help of the London Region swimming development, our Young Volunteers have a received a range of formal and informal training, and these three have decided to take it to the next level.

Naomi Depeza: ParaSwimming Coach

Naomi has been part of HAC since 2009, when her son Marlow joined the club. She started volunteering as team manager for the squads at competitions during weekends, while continuing to lecture in communication design at Winchester School of Art. During 2012, when the former Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, provided funding for sports across the borough, she took the opportunity to qualify as a swimming teacher. She now teaches the East London school children within her local community at the London Aquatics Centre.

In 2015 Naomi was awarded the Philip King Trust Special Recognition Award for her work with HAC, using it to train and qualify as a coach and is now the Head of Development. She currently coaches our C and Development Squads – in charge of introducing our younger swimmers to competition, preparing them for and excited about racing. She coaches our Junior and Senior Squads and mentors our new Young Volunteers. Naomi spends any spare time at dance classes, giving massage or talent spotting in one of London’s other pools.


Cassandra Lyall: Physiotherapist

Cassandra started out completing a Sports Therapy degree, focusing her thesis on plyometric and agility training in youth elite athletes. She then went on to working privately in some of London’s renowned clinics on Harley Street and Wimpole Street. Gaining experience with elite/professional athletes, spinal conditions as well as working in professional rugby. Cassie then went on to complete her MSc in Physiotherapy. Upon finishing she went straight into musculoskeletal physiotherapy working across central London and the city working with a variety of problems from sedentary to high-level athletes.


Cassie is well equipped to treat all musculoskeletal conditions, specializing in sports injury rehabilitation and prevention, as well as chronic musculoskeletal disorders with a special interest in spinal conditions and strength & conditioning. Now specialized in assessing and treating acute as well as chronic musculoskeletal disorders in all areas of the body she uses a holistic approach. Cassie also has her Pilates certifications and is keen to incorporate this into her approach. She has worked along side many different sporting environments to develop their strength & conditioning programs.


Cassie was a keen competitive swimmer and triathlete before progressing into high-level soccer player and has played semi-professionally for many years. She has now moved her focus to endurance events such as marathons and ultra marathons as well as long distance cycling events.  

Dani Cox: Yoga Teacher

Dani has been practising yoga for the last 10 years. Like most people, she loves yoga because it allows her to stay fit, improve her strength and flexibility. Yoga became a big part of Dani's life when she moved to Canada as there she discovered how it transformed my way of thinking for the better.

Dani is a qualified vinyasa and hatha teacher and is privileged to share this powerful practice with others. As an ex-swimmer and all round fitness fan, her teaching style has a strong physical element that aims to get students’ heart rate up and build strength. It also has a definite ‘water’ influence, involving flowing and fluid movements while encouraging attention to breathing to help calm and clear busy minds.

Dani is a passionate believer that yoga is a great tool to support daily life- whether it be complementing other sports or correcting poor posture. Her classes will work with a theme over a period of time to enable students to progress and feel the results of their work.

Jess Gribble: Yoga Teacher

Jess has been practising yoga for over a decade and is qualified to teach a variety of styles. As well as working with our other instructor to develop sequences adapted for swimming she has also developed yoga classes for rock climbers. These classes are intended to strengthen, challenge and improve flexibility, specifically supporting student's movement in the water. Jess is a keen swimmer and particularly enjoys wild swimming. She loves working with teenagers and has worked as a secondary school teacher for the past 4 years. 

Tony etc.
bottom of page