Martin Brooks – Head Coach

As a competitive swimmer, I was privileged enough to train with Graeme Smith, Stephen Parry and James Goddard in the lead-up to the Athens Olympics; I believe this helped me become a National Youth Champion in 2003 and gave me the understanding of what it takes to reach the highest levels.

After a small-time away from swimming, I began coaching in 2008 at Stockport Metro and soon discovered a real passion for the sport again and knew this was the career I wanted to pursue.

During my eight years of coaching at Stockport, I led the Junior Development program for five years overseeing 200 swimmers. I coached two age group squads that went on to be the top club at the National Age Groups in 2011. I have been able to assist Sean Kelly with International athletes, as well as coaching and assisting with the ITC and Head coach over many seasons. I also had a youth/ senior group in which I coached a British and English Senior nationals champion.

In my first season at Wirral Metro, the club has had swimmers final at British Champs / British, English and Scottish nationals, achieve medal success at the Deaflympics and World Dwarf games, as well as having swimmers selected for the Mare Nostrum series and Scottish National squad.

I believe all swimmers, regardless of ability, should be given an equal opportunity to excel for them to reach the highest standard they are capable of. I am a firm believer that every swimmer is an individual; all athletes are unique and develop at different rates. Therefore no two athletes can be coached the same, which for me is what makes this job so rewarding and consistently challenging.

I know that my experience of working at all levels will allow me to cater for all abilities within the Wirral Performance Scheme and make Wirral Metro a great success.

Finally, I am a great believer that if the culture is professional, where we are striving to make small gains each day, then success is inevitable.

Craig Pickering – Coach

Craig’s passion for swimming originated in 2008 when he began supporting his son through the competitive swim pathway from local club up to national level.
After moving to Wirral Metro in 2009, Craig began to get more involved as Open Meets began to take over. Deciding he didn’t want to just sit in the stands at swimming meets, he quickly progressed to a qualified swimming official, gaining his J1, J2 and J2s qualifications, as well as being trained as a Level 1 Open Water official. On top of this, he is a qualified Level 2 Team Manager and is responsible for organising the 4 Open Meets Wirral Metro currently run per season.

In 2014, Craig decided he wanted to add to his officials’ whites and started volunteering at Hoylake ASC as a coach. Achieving Level 1 and 2 Coaching qualifications between 2014 and 2015. He felt he wanted to make a difference at Hoylake ASC and change the direction the club was heading. He invested many hours into planning and organised training cycles, sessions, and competition calendars. His hard work and dedication were rewarded as the club went on to be extremely successful during his time there. They saw more home-grown county qualifiers and medallists, as well as more swimmers being able to qualify for Regional Championships year on year. He ended his tenure at the club by helping them achieve promotion to the Northwest Premier Division of the Arena League. He really enjoyed his time at Hoylake and is proud of where he was able to leave the club. 

During his time at Hoylake, he actively promoted Wirral Metro to swimmers he believed had the ability and drive for the sport. His unique perspective from parent to official to coach meant he was able to see first-hand the difference that can be made allowing children with talent and ambition the opportunity to thrive on the competitive pathway. Enabling a great many swimmers to surpass their goals. This is something he is very proud to have been able to do.  

Craig is an extremely valued member of our coaching team; he is a huge advocate for our swimmers on poolside at galas and home.  

Craig strongly believes all swimmers should have the chance to be the best they can be through hard work, the opportunities swimming can offer and that training equips them with valuable life skills beyond the pool.