Coach Profiles

Darren Connaghan: Lead Coach

½ way at Austria IM 2008 and still smiling

Darren is a qualified and experienced Level 2 Triathlon Coach having been trained in the UK by the British Triathlon Federation ( He describes his coaching as “an opportunity to facilitate learning, enjoyment and ultimately success in the sport of triathlon whether you are new to the sport or an experienced athlete.”
“Darren’s coaching made the absolute difference: motivating and inspiring me to commit to my training plan and see it through until race day. He managed to improve my fitness and, crucially, my confidence to attempt my first triathlon. Most importantly, his support, encouragement, expertise and skills, has made the experience of my first triathlon an utterly unforgettable one, and, perhaps most importantly, made me want to do another one!” Cecily Mills (1st time triathlete, 2010, Brighton Marina triathlon).
After competing in Olympic and sprint distance triathlon events from 1987 to 1996, and organising the first student triathlon championships in 1992, Darren took up a new challenge, formation skydiving, gaining Silver at the 2004 national championships. A passion for this sport was superseded by a long-held desire to compete in an Ironman distance triathlon which he did in 2005. With 2 young children, Darren has learned that training SMART is both the only option but also the most effective where triathlon is concerned. He has completed two further Ironman events, achieving an hour’s faster finish each race, an ideal example of the benefits of coaching.

Zeina Clare: Sports Therapist

Work and play for Zeina

Zeina Clare our Sports Massage and Soft Tissue Therapist, is a competitive runner and swimmer and belongs to Brighton’s most famous athletics and triathlon Club, Brighton Phoenix AC. Being a keen sportswoman, she understands how injury affects training and is focused on getting you back to fitness so that you can continue to achieve your sporting goals.
Most people engaged in any sporting activity get injured from time to time. Unfortunately, most of us believe that our injuries will heal themselves with ‘rest’ and abstaining from the activity. Pain is a warning sign and warnings signs, if ignored will create further problems resulting in long term damage, as the body learns to compensate for the injury, to the point where maybe more than the original issue has stopped you from enjoying your sport completely. Zeina Clare treats the body as a whole, analysing the cause of your injury, finding out where and why it actually exists; the root cause, and then provides treatment and rehabilitation advice on how to get back to fitness.
Using a wide variety of techniques from soft tissue therapy, muscle energy work, neuromuscular facilitation, medical acupuncture, passive and active stretches, taping and strapping, Zeina will get to the causation and work to break your cycle of injury. This type of treatment is robust and should not be mistaken for a ‘relaxing’ treatment. Nor is this to be confused with physiotherapy. Sport therapy works on many levels and so patient involvement and participation is required for full affect.
Get it fixed before it’s too late.
Zeina Clare: BA, LSSM Dip, Cert MA, Cert OMT IASTM; ASA Level 2 UKCC Teaching Aquatics QCF

Claire Townsend: Supporting Coach

Bournemouth International Triathlon 10.9.17

Claire qualified as a Level 2 Triathlon Coach in February 2017 and has a variety of coaching experience under her belt including gymnastics, PT, VI run guiding and archery. She has a methodical approach to coaching with a keen eye for detail and technique, we’re not all born to be super-fast but we can certainly make up some gains with good technique and attention to detail.
Her triathlon career started in 2009 with no specific kit and only a mountain bike. After reflecting on finishing close to last she came back 2 years later with a second hand road bike and a proper tri-suit and of course some more focused training. This experience got her hooked and she gradually worked her way through the ranks and types of races starting with pool swims then lakes then to sea swims. She has a particular acumen for off-road races achieving 3rd Female at Hole Park Duathlon in 2016, 3rd Female pair at Love Swimrun Llanberis 2017 and 3rd Female 5km River Adur swim and many top AG finishes at Sprint distance triathlons.
“The great thing about triathlon is the transferable skills, once you’ve mastered triathlon you can tackle anything and the possibilities are endless when you go off the beaten track.”

Cormac Davey: NLP Lead

Cormac during 2011 Brighton ½ Marathon

Cormac is a qualified Life Coach and Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner (NLP) and professional member of the International College of Holistic Medicine ( He is a trained Life Clubs host,, which is affiliated with the International Coaching Federation He describes his work as “a passion to support people to achieve their dreams and reach their greatest potential through clearer applied thinking.”
“Cormac’s greatest strength is his ability to maximise human relationships to achieve common goals. He is respectful, collaborative, analytical, strategic, committed to quality and a wonderful person to work with. The kind of colleague you remember!” Mary Healy (Line Manager, 2005-7, Trócaire).
When time allows Cormac loves nothing more than an adventure and Triathlon. Having completed his first Olympic distance Triathlon in 1987 he went on to successfully finish many more Triathlons and running events, such as the London Marathon. After a 15-year break from the sport he has re-engaged with his passion for Tri and will undertake his first Ironman distance event in 2011.

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