About Me


James’s love of sport began at a very young age, spending his youth (11-22 years) boxing, where he picked up several representative honours & titles.

His ambition was always to join the armed forces and this is where he found his love of teaching physical training. In 1992 and ’94 James embarked on training courses to become a physical training instructor (PTI L3 & L2).

James left the armed forces in 1994 to further his education and self-development. Shortly after he found a sport that required a similar level of psychological strength as boxing, with some new skills thrown in. He started triathlon as a pure novice (could not swim!) in 1995 with Thames Turbo and in 1997 he travelled to Australia to learn more about this new sport he had fallen in love with. On his return to the UK he was selected to represent GB at the World Triathlon Championships (AG) in Canada in 1999.

In 2000, he founded Optima Racing Team, his aim was to coach a group of like minded individuals within a team environment. This vision has been realised having coached both age group triathletes to medal at World, European, Ironman competition along with elite and junior elite podiums.

In 2012 James coached his first triathlete to the Olympic Games (Gillian Sanders 19th London), in only 18 months from full time lawyer. James has gone on to help Gillian to a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games 2014, top 5 in WTS Yokohama in 2015 and is currently helping Gill in her preparation for Rio 2016.

He has also helped Luke Penney and Anthony Haynes trigger British Triathlon World Class selection at 18. Both athletes started their triathlon careers very much behind the curve (regional level athletes only), with no national times in swim or run. They both ended their junior racing as two of the strongest in the country and now have embarked on the Elite U23 circuit.

In 2008 James also helped British Triathlon set up the London Regional Academy and is still currently the head coach and enjoying helping youngsters across London develop their triathlon skills and mindset.

James has been coaching triathlon now since 1998 and has made coaching his vocation, his main long-term goal “to be 80 years old with grey hair still coaching happy athletes!”


Wealth of Experience

He brings to coaching triathlon what he has learnt from:

  • Boxing & Boxing coaches
  • The endurance, discipline and drive to keep going under adversity through the armed forces
  • As a physical training instructor (Army)
  • Being a complete novice at swim, bike and run when he started triathlon in 1996 and mastering each discipline
  • BTF coaching courses
  • Competing at European and World level in triathlon (AG), along with 8 x Ironman races (including going sub 10hrs)
  • A master’s degree in sports science & other qualifications
  • On-going CPD with BTF courses/ reading & working with other coaches
  • Coaching triathlon to all abilities since 1998
  • Coaching an elite athlete from age grouper to the Olympic Games in 18 months & Commonwealth Games medal

His experience, continued results with both age-group, elite juniors and seniors elite allows James to be recognised as one of the UK’s leading high performance triathlon coaches.

Kona AG Females

Sub 9hr Ironman AG Male

Kona Qualifiers 2015