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Laurel Bailey is Warrender's full-time professional Head Coach. Laurel hails from Melbourne, Australia, and after taking up the position with Warrender has quickly established herself as one of the most promising young coaches in Scotland. Laurel became Warrender's Head Coach a few years ago in recognition of her achievements and dedication to Warrender's swimmers. She now heads up the club's Elite squads and swimming programme.

Warrender is one of only a very small band of clubs who employ a full-time professional coach (in fact Warrender was the first ever club in Scotland to do this), as well as several other part-time paid coaches.

All of our coaches are highly experienced in the sport and have been coaching at the top level for many years

Kris Gilchrist has coached at the club since March 2012 and is currently working towards gaining a UKCC level 3 coaching qualification. Kris assists Laurel Bailey with the National Elite Squa. Kris retired from competitive swimming in March 2012 aged 28 having represented Scotland and GB since 2004. He is also the Director of National Squads.

Kostas Kalitsis, who hails from Greece, coaches National Girls squad. Kostas is currently studying for his PhD in the area of Swimming Biomechanics at the Centre for Aquatic Research and Education of the University of Edinburgh. His previous coaching experience (2005-2012) was with one of the leading swimming clubs in Greece (AC ARIS) where he contributed to the national and international successes of the club. Kostas was also a national level competitive swimmer for more than eight years.

Jordan Taylor heads up the National Boys squad. Jordan represented Scotland at W.I.S.E (Wales. Ireland. Scotland. England) three times and was the American Masters Champion for Breastroke. He learned how to swim when he was 10 years old and started swimming for a club when he was 11 years old. The clubs he swam for include: Hoic, Duns Otters, City of Edinburgh Performance, Heart Of Midlothian swim club, and Edinburgh University swim team.

Anne Ewing coaches our Junior National squad. Anne joined Warrender as an 8 year old and went on to swim for Scotland, captaining the Club for several years and breaking a number of East District records along the way. First a career as a lawyer and then family took Anne away from swimming for several years but she returned to Warrender as a coach in 2008, completing her UKCC Level 2 coaching qualification in 2010. Anne also returned to competition, winning three Scottish Masters titles in 2011.

Dani Villaverde holds a BSc in Sports Science from the University of Castilla La Mancha in Toledo, Spain and a Level 2 swimming coach qualification, with over 3 years teaching/coaching experience. He holds an MSc in Performance Sport.


Craig Mitchell runs the Junior Age group squad. He has been swimming since a young age and got involved in coaching with Warrender in 2010, and is a UKCC level 1 Coach (but will soon be level 2). Craig has always been keen to use his knowledge to help out coaching the higher squads and has now taken on the challenge of coaching the swimmers in Junior Age group, while also finding time to study Mechanical Engineering at Heriot Watt University.

Euan Ballantyne coaches the Wilkie Red squad. He has been swimming since he was a toddler and involved with Warrender since joining as a 10 year old. His preferred stroke is breast stroke. He is currently studying for a degree in Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh.

Jordan Dunn coaches the Wilkie White squad. As well as being a qualified coach he is also a current Warrender swimmer. His greatest swimming achievement to date is reaching the semi-finals for both the 100m and 200m Breastroke at the British Youth Championships.


Andrew Young

James McMeekin runs the Smith White squad. He came to Warrender after several years working with SwimEasy, which he joined when he came to study in Edinburgh. James is dedicated to passing on his passion for swimming and water sports to others, whether this be training the next SwimEasy teacher or now coaching with Warrender. James feels his educational background coupled with his technical swimming knowledge helps him to foster an environment that will create motivated and talented swimmers.


Kayleigh McGurk

All of our lead coaches are highly qualified and experienced in what they do.

All coaches have recognised governing body swimming coaching and teaching qualifications.

On occasion, when we bring a new coach into the club it is necessary to give them on the job training as well as ensuring they take the next required course on the coach education ladder.

Our Head Coach Laurel Bailey has coached many swimmers to Scottish and Great British level. In addition, she has coached swimmers to Olympic, World Championship and Commonwealth Games levels.

Laurel was the Head Coach of the British Open Water team at World Championships 2013 and a member of the team staff for the pool event.