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Our Coaches

In-Person Coaching Team

Our Coaching Team has been steadily growing over the years, allowing us to provide our high-quality coaching at almost all times and locations across London!
All our coaches are trained and assessed by our Head Coach Louis Parkinson to ensure their presentation & communication skills, group management skills and understanding of all the Catalyst content are up to the highest standard. Once assessed, coaches then undertake training in further modules across a wide range of topics - designed and delivered by Louis Parkinson and Neil Gresham!

To guide our students in choosing the most appropriate coach, we have recently introduced a “Coaching Level” system to reflect their experience level. Check the badges on each of the coaches’ photos to see which Level they are (and click HERE if you want to find out more about the “Coaching Level” system!)

Louis Parkinson

Former Team GB athlete, Louis has been climbing for over 17 years, and coaching for more than 10. You won't find a coach who is more positive and enthusiastic than Louis - he gets just as excited for his students' success as he does for his own, and can be heard cheering across various London gyms daily!

As Head Coach of Catalyst Climbing, he's created the Catalyst Coaching System - guaranteed to help you #TryHardHaveFun and #FallOffMore.

Imi Bagnall-Smith

A professional routesetter and high-level competitor with 16 years of climbing experience, Imi coaches the Catalyst Creatures junior team, as well as offering private sessions.

Imi loves sharing her hard-earned knowledge about performing under pressure, alongside her skills in movement & mindset. She is passionate about helping climbers of any level to improve their climbing and self-confidence!

Lea Volpe

Lea has been climbing for 5 years, and coaches the Catalyst Creatures junior team. As a member of the GB paraclimbing team with two world championship medals, Lea understands how mindset, confidence and composure help you climb at your best; and uses her analytical eye to offer advice.

Her sessions offer a supportive, inclusive and focused environment for all climbers.

Michaela Tracy

Michaela is an extremely knowledgable climber and competitor, with over 20 years experience competing at both national and international levels.

As one of the coaches for the Catalyst Creatures, she now enjoys sharing that wealth of experience with talented young climbers, to help them realise their own dreams. She has a good understanding of strength and conditioning methodology, and loves unlocking new movements with students.

Alex Prescott

Alex is a professional routesetter with 5 years experience, who coaches the Creatures Team.

Routesetting, alongside 10 years of climbing has given him a fine-tuned appreciation for the subtleties of movement, which he loves using in sessions to help people unlock moves and sequences that they have never done before.He is also passionate about discussing the strong influence of mindset on performance, promoting self-belief and positivity.

Jules Astier

Head coach of the Creatures Academy and Catalyst Critters teams, Jules has been a passionate climber and competitor for nearly a decade.

Book a session with him if you want to learn excellent body positioning and discover the wonderful world of dynamic movement. Jules is fluent in French and English, so can deliver sessions in both!

Nat Haggett

Nat has been climbing and coaching for the past 10 years, with a background in expedition guiding.

He views climbing as a problem-solving activity and likes to take his guiding mentality into coaching, using a wealth of knowlege in his approach. Nat is a big believer in guided self-discovery; teaching students to self-reflect so even when climbing in their own time they can identify key areas of improvement.

Solomon Stott

Paramedic Sol has been climbing in London for over 5 years, as well as having his eye on hard projects outdoors.

He uses an extensive knowledge of anatomy to help people understand their movement and training. A significant injury in 2020 took him out of climbing for a while, but has bolstered a love for finding alternate and adaptive ways of training for climbing! In particular, turning someone from purely static to a dyno aficionado!

Luna Williamson

As a competitive climber from a young age and past captain of the Catalyst Creatures, Luna knows the importance of keeping a clear mind under pressure.
Aided by their background in gymnastics, they love to help climbers of all levels improve their body awareness, as well as developing a strong technical foundation.

Conrad Gowland

A GB team athlete and former captain of the Catalyst Creatures , Conrad has 11 years of experience in competition and on rock, a deep understanding for technique, and strength training as an all-round climber and coach.

Conrad is also quick to make astute observations about climbing style. He enjoys helping climbers alter their technique to get the most out of their climbing!

Ransford Agyare-Kwabe

Head Coach of the Masters Team, Ransford has a strong foundation for his coaching skills through 15 years experience as a secondary school teacher!

A hugely uplifting personality, he's passionate about creating inclusive spaces - particularly for people of colour - and promoting the excitement, and health benefits that climbing can bring.

Liang-Yu Chen

Incredibly bubbly and enthusiastic, Liang is able to bring out the best in even the most shy of climbers.

At 5'2" and with the flexibility of a contortionist, Liang is also an expert in coaching people who struggle with reach - her sessions can be really eye opening!

Mahir Mahtani

Bio coming soon!


Shiggi's bouldering journey started as a fun experiment in working through PTSD from a past skiing accident.

She openly loves being a "consistently casual climber" and her coaching style is perfect for the nervous novice climber.With a background in martial arts, personal fitness training and movement, you're in safe hands!


As a fan of the phrase "there's no such thing as too much power", you can probably find TJ training or reading up on how to climb even harder. Whether you're looking to get strong for your project or prepare for an upcoming comp, he'll be happy to help.

Beyond the physical aspect, TJ knows the dangers of not developing your technique, and will make sure that you don't just get incredibly strong, you get incredibly good too.

Catalyst Online Squad Coaches

Louis Parkinson

Former Team GB athlete, Louis has been climbing for over 17 years, and coaching for more than 10. You won't find a coach who is more positive and enthusiastic than Louis - he gets just as excited for his students' success as he does for his own, and can be heard cheering across various London gyms daily!

As Head Coach of Catalyst Climbing, he's created the Catalyst Coaching System - guaranteed to help you #TryHardHaveFun and #FallOffMore.

Neil Gresham

The UK's most experienced climbing coach bar none, Neil been at the cutting edge of climbing coaching for over 2 decades.

Not just an expert coach, but a top-level climber, coaching with Neil is a chance to learn from one of the absolute best.


Emma Wood

Emma found climbing as a way to work through her own therapy but also found it fascinating in her bid to understand and support the human condition.

Paving the way with cognitive hypnotherapy and sports psychology, Emma is our mindset coach; committed to grow, mend and rebuild.

Cris Costa

Cristiano Costa is a specialist climbing physio, who has been treating climbers for over 12 years. As a climber himself, he understands the frustrations that injury can bring to a climber's mindset, let alone their body and he's quick to proffer not only treatment and a programme of exercises but also much needed reassurance to his clients (and that list of clients includes the likes of Nathan Philips, Dave Graham and Alex Honnold, to name but a few).

Tom Herbert

Tom has been supporting sport and boulder climbers with nutrition coaching, mindset strategies, and nervous system facilitation since 2016. Championing high energy availability and strategic carbohydrate intake, he encourages climbers to reevaluate their understanding of nutrition and body-composition for climbing performance.

The Catalyst Online Squad is available to anyone around the world! For as little as £2.50 per week you have access to weekly on the wall and off the wall training plans, our entire back catalogue of YouTube Wednesday Livestreams as well as past Q+A's and follow-along at home workout livestreams at your disposal. Finally you have access to all of these online squad coaches via our private member's only Catalyst Discord Server to ask your most pressing questions. We have 3 different tiers available to you - find out more by clicking the button below!