Repton School Appoints New Director of Swimming

Repton School in Derbyshire, England has announced the appointment of Scott Talbot, Olympian and international coach, as its new Director of Swimming from September 2020.

Founded in 1557, Repton is an independent, co-educational school that caters for both boarders and day pupils, aged 13-18.  The School is dedicated to providing the best possible facilities, staff and opportunities to ensure that its pupils flourish during their lives at school and go on to enjoy success post-graduation.  It has an impressive record in sport in particular – former pupils include Harold Abrahams of ‘Chariots of Fire’ fame, Wimbledon finalist Bunny Austin and members of the GB women’s hockey team that took gold at Rio – and the recent appointment of Scott Talbot signals its ambition to achieve similar heights in swimming.

Joining the Team

Talbot, who is originally from Australia, has spent the last two decades competing internationally and coaching other top-level athletes, and these years of experience and expertise make him ideally suited to take on the role as Repton’s new Director of Swimming.  The sport is in his blood: Scott is the son of Jan Cameron, former New Zealand head coach and Australian 1964 Tokyo Olympics silver medalist, and Don Talbot, former Australian head coach.  He is best known as a two-time Olympian, having competed in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004, and he holds the New Zealand national record for backstroke.  But in an international career that spanned a decade Talbot competed around the globe from 1997 to 2006 and notable performances include: 1997 Oceania Swimming Championships, 1999 Short Course Worlds, 1999 Pan Pacs, 2000 Oceania Swimming Championships, 2002 Pan Pacs, 2003 World Student Games, 2004 Oceania Swimming Championships, 2004 Summer Olympics, 2005 World Championships, and the 2006 Commonwealth Games.  

In 2003 Scott started coaching at North Shore Club and was the New Zealand national swimming coach at their High-Performance Centre, based in the Millennium Institute in Auckland. Since then he has coached multiple swimmers preparing to compete at the Beijing, London, and Rio Olympic Games, and was honoured in 2010 with the New Zealand Swimming Coach of the Year award.  In 2013 he began working with the Australian national team and as High-Performance coach for the Nunawading Swimming Club in Melbourne.

Mark Semmence, Headmaster of Repton, commented on Scott joining the Repton family: “We are absolutely delighted to have appointed a coach of Scott’s outstanding calibre, and his experience of working with some of the top swimmers in the world will be an inspiration to our young athletes.  He brings a wealth of coaching expertise, which will allow us to realise our shared vision of building a community club and aspiring to national and international success.”

A Growing Future for Repton School

Scott’s appointment follows the announcement of an ambitious new swimming programme at Repton, which will see the School positioning itself as a nationally-ranked performance centre and community club, and the scheme has already a significant number of promising young swimmers from across the country and beyond.  Andrew Cook, the School’s Chief Development and Commercial Officer comments: “We are entering an exciting and important phase for Repton swimming, demonstrated by our ability to offer a full programme provided entirely by the School.  It is not a step that we have taken lightly but we hope that many will share our vision of the exciting opportunity this represents for pupils and the local community alike. As we look to the future, we are confident that our first swimmers will set the bar for national and international success and position Repton Swimming Club at the heart of the sport in the UK.”

Repton has recently completed an extensive redevelopment of its Sports Centre.  Improvements included a new sports hall (large enough for national-level indoor hockey), a strength and conditioning gym, squash ball courts, changing rooms, and conference and café facilities. These have extended the existing facilities, which comprise two sports halls, fitness suite, a 25-metre pool, water and sand-based AstroTurf fields, and indoor tennis courts, as well as a generous number of outdoor fields and courts.  The building was officially opened in November 2019 by Adam Peaty – Olympic, World, European, and Commonwealth Champion – who trained in the Repton pool with his coach Mel Marshall for a number of years prior to winning gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The investment made is testament to the School’s commitment to providing its talented athletes with the best facilities and the very best coaching expertise, and it provides Scott with an outstanding opportunity to build the programme at Repton. He is very enthusiastic about his future role, saying: “It is a great honour to have this opportunity to work at Repton. I am really excited by the School’s vision and ambition, and by the challenge of creating a leading performance and community swimming programme.  There is so much that we can achieve as a team of athletes, staff and coaches, and as a family we are very much looking forward to our move to the UK and to Derbyshire.”