Angus Barnes is Firbank Grammar’s Director of Swimming and leads the FAS coaching team. Angus has more than 25 years’ experience in the aquatic industry as a coach, educator, and competitor.
Angus has worked overseas and in Australia and is the current president of ASCTA Victoria. He has worked in several leading schools along with high profile swimming clubs and has coached swimmers to national records and Olympic and World Championship trial level. Angus is a highly regarded coach in the Australian aquatic industry and has High Performance Coaching accreditation, along with a Graduate Certificate in High Performance Sport, a Bachelor of Physical Education and Advanced Swimming Coach accreditation (formerly known as Silver License Swimming Coach). Angus also has extensive experience in open water swimming, having been Head Coach of the Victorian team.
Angus has previously worked with Swimming Victoria in several roles, including being a member of the Plan Ahead Committee which assisted the sport in navigating its way out of Covid and the resumption normal competitions and training. Angus is known for his enthusiasm, leadership, and elite level coaching.
Squads coached: Junior Development, Junior Gold and State Development
Years of coaching experience: 4. I was fortunate to have Jason Cooper the then Director of Swimming to mentor and guide me when I started out, his knowledge as a coach, that he was so willing to impart, was invaluable.
Greatest professional achievement: Every day I feel very lucky and privileged to coach a wide range of swimmers, including state level competitors through to those starting out on their journey and preparing for their first competition. I believe I have the skill to give young swimmers the confidence to try new things, I like convincing swimmers to do try a 50m butterfly race for the first time.
Greatest personal achievement: As an athlete my greatest personal achievement was making a final at Australian Age National Championships. I was also very proud when I participated in a fundraiser for Firbank Aquastars and swam 25km in a day when I was 14 years old.
Why do you love swimming? I love swimming because of the feeling I have moving through the water, I believe it is probably the closest thing to flying. I believe swimming competitively during my final years of school taught me the life lesson of “being busy is a good thing”. I value the friendships I made and along the way, both as a swimmer and now a coach.
How do you define success? If you can look back at the end of the timeframe you set for a goal, even when you don’t achieve the goal, and can appreciate all the things you did achieve along the way – this demonstrates great growth and learning.
Number one lesson: Don’t compare yourself to others! You are on your own journey and try to be the best you can be!