Below are reviews from swimmers who have worked with TriOpenWater


Myself and my husband Graeme decided we needed a new challenge heading into 2018, so we thought ‘Why not give open water swimming a go!’
We worked with Matthew from day one and wanted to find out what open water swimming was all about. We ‘put ourselves in at the deep end’ and decided to try and learn in an open water environment.
Matthew has been so patient with me and allowing me to take my learning at my own pace and encourages me to move on when I’m ready – his patience is unbelievable and even if I’ve started to get frustrated with myself, he always just smiles and says ‘that’s ok!’
I couldn’t swim front crawl before being with Matthew and really panicked in the water, he has enabled me to overcome my thoughts of panic and worry and now I am able to swim front crawl comfortably! My aim is to swim the Great North Swim in 2018 and with Matthew’s coaching I believe I am ready for it!



My background in sport is mainly based around Football Refereeing, of which I have taken part in for at least 10 years. I felt the need to have a change in my training routine and decided to take up more swimming. This was mainly based in a swimming pool with no coaching or direction on what needed to change, or what I could improve on.

I’ve known Matthew for quite some time and always knew he had a passion for swimming and asked for some coaching advice. The first major change that was implemented was my breathing pattern. I had always tried breathing every four strokes but was struggling to maintain a steady pace as I felt I was out of breath all the time. This was changed to a pattern of every two or three strokes which seemed to suit my style of swimming best. Matthew always made it obvious that what suits one person, doesn’t necessarily suit another person and really seemed to focus on individual needs. From then on, this then made a massive difference with my overall stroke as everything became easier and more efficient.

Once in an open water environment, I then found a further passion for swimming and needed a bigger goal! That was when I realised that I wanted to take part in a big swim – The Great North Swim 2018 was my target! I worked with Matthew all through the winter months working on various technical skills and developing aerobic endurance to ensure I found distance swimming more comfortable!
I managed the half mile swim in a time I was extremely pleased with – this has only spurred me on to learn more about open water swimming!

I cannot recommend Matthew highly enough, without his support, time and effort my goals would not have been achieved in such a short space of time. I hope to continue working with Matthew to develop into greater distances in open water events!

The 2019 target is to complete the Great North Swim 1 mile event!



Matthew is passionate about swimming and his passion passes on through his coaching. He is someone who knows the sport very well through competing and being part of local meetings to determine the future of swimming in the Teesside area.

As he is involved in such things, this adds to his credibility and he does stand out from the rest. He is very approachable and he’s happy and able to help even on the smallest of things.

Since I have been training with him, I feel my technique has come on a long way. When I’ve built up my training I can do 2.5km a session whereas before I probably struggled to do less than half of that, through getting out of breath or tiredness. I have competed in 3 great north swims all at 1 mile distance and have been fairly consistent on all, completing in just over half an hour.

As stated, Matthew still competes. He trains with the Masters squad every week. So he keeps up himself to a high standard. His coaching locations, whether it is just a normal pool or outdoor like Ellerton Lake, are also great as he can advise on slight changes to your stroke to suit the conditions.

Matthew is a great coach and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone who was interested in getting into swimming – especially open water!



I was advised by my doctor to take up swimming early in 2016 as a result of being diagnosed with an arthritic hip joint I was a complete novice and could just manage to swim 25 meters with a lot of effort it was obvious that I needed swimming lessons having first tried to gain knowledge from the internet & try to take that knowledge into the pool with me was totally unproductive. Luckily for me my daughter was about to take some swimming lessons from her friend Matthew whom was a swimming coach & he said that I was more than welcome to come along to the pool & he would help me to improve my swimming.
This turned out to be a life changing experience for me; Matthew’s coaching took me to a level of swimming in a matter of months that I thought I could never have achieved my confidence in the water was immense & I remember so looking forward to my next coaching session in the pool as Matthew’s knowledge of coaching swimming was vast. Each week he would employ different drills to help me improve my swimming technique from hand entry to catch & pull, arm recovery, head positioning & most important of all how to breath efficiently. So from swimming just 25m & gasping for air I was now swimming 500m & not even out of breath & as I said before this was all in a matter of months every question that I asked, Matthew always had the answer, Matthew’s style of coaching was very impressive as I never ever felt that I was being coached he always delivered the content of each session in a fun, relaxed style by the use of perfect demonstrations & technically designed drill work to help my development as a competent swimmer & this it certainly did, as six months later I was swimming in the great north swim an open water event at lake Windermere. I managed to complete the one mile course in thirty five minutes as a fifty six year old with an arthritic hip joint I was over joyed. Swimming has definitely changed my life as I now swim regularly in open water & at my local pool, keeping my self fit with out any impact on my joints. If it wasn’t for Matthew I would never have discovered the wonderful rewards that swimming has to offer Matthew is without doubt a brilliant & successful swimming coach who’s main skill is to not concentrate on what you” can “do but concentrate on what you “can’t ” I’ll be forever in his debt!



I decided to make a major decision heading towards my 60th birthday that I needed a challenge! I had never taken part in any competitive event of any description for the whole of my life I had been just a social swimmer for all of my life, I wanted to set myself a target of achieving an Open Water Event in the UK.

I had always swam with my head above the surface and although I could cover distance it was laborious, this was the first change that was made and I felt it made a big difference.

Since undertaking coaching with Matthew I can now swim with greater confidence and although I still struggle on occasions with my breathing technique, I accept that I have to relearn a lot and this is what I am finding the hardest, but this is definitely improving. I can feel the improvement in my technique and stamina and feel confident that I will be able to complete the Great North Swim in the future which is my definite aim.

Matthew has given me the confidence and skills to understand improvements in swimming, he breaks down the learning with a variety of techniques, one of which was crucial to understanding my development was the use of video analysis!



I first met Matthew at Cleveland triathlon club. We got chatting and in time ended up swimming together. Since then Matthew has been a great help to me with improving my stroke technique. I have progressed my 400m freestyle time in a pool from 7min 30secs to close to the 6 minute mark, all from advice and training with Matthew’s expert guidance. Anyone who understands swimming can realise that this is a huge improvement!

In time I started training with Matthew at the Middlesbrough Masters sessions, where all 4 strokes are trained (breast, back, fly, crawl). I had never swam butterfly and rarely back stroke but over time Matthew has really helped me develop these strokes from being unable to swim one length to now training at ease with them.

Matthew has also helped with my open water swimming, improving my sighting (I was a bit of a wanderer in the lake!) and learning the skills of drafting and pacing. I have found this to be of great benefit to my open water swimming both in triathlons and in the great north swim 2018.

I would absolutely recommend Matthew as a coach for any level of ability. His experience stretches to the highest level that you could want to swim at – even if you think you are a good swimmer I believe Matt would make you a better one!