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Our 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 has 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.


Aidan Roberts

One of the strongest boulderers in the world, Aidan is known for dispatching V15s with ease, and climbing the UK's first V16.

A humble and EXTREMELY talented individual, Aidan is particularly skilled at passing on his tactical & observant climbing style.

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.

Imi Bagnall-Smith

A professional routesetter, and high-level competitor with 15 years of climbing experience, Imi coaches our 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 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.

Setting, alongside 10 years of climbing has given him an appreciation for the subtleties of movement, and he loves using this 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.

Nat Haggett

Nat has been climbing and coaching for the past 10 years and coaches our adult Improvers Team.

Nat loves the problem-solving in climbing, and uses his background in expedition guiding in his coaching. Initially teaching skills and techniques, then positive reinforcement of efficient movement through climbing-specific exercises. Finally encouraging guided self-discovery so students can improve even when climbing in their own time!

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!

Dan Smallwood

A well-rounded climber with 8 years of experience climbing indoors, outdoors, sport routes, boulders and competitions.

Passionate about balancing movement and power, finding stability through conditioning, and seeing the bigger picture of climbing training to strengthen mindset, Dan has developed into an equally well rounded coach over the past 3 years.

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!

Ingrid Schröder

Ingrid is the head coach of the Catalyst Masters squad, having only started climbing in 2010 at 36. She's the current Blokfest masters champion but looking forward to being knocked off her throne by a new wave of older climbers!

Ingrid's passion is for helping fellow late-starters gain strength and confidence, and for making a mutually supportive space for masters in competitions.

Paola Petrobelli



Bio coming soon!





Ransford Agyare-Kwabe

A part of the Masters coaching 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.

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!

Shiggi Pakter

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!

Arnaud Tournier

Arnaud has been teaching science since 2016, and recently joined Catalyst in 2021.

His structured sessions are ideal for beginner and intermediate climbers to understand the physics of climbing, improve efficiency, and develop good habits.

He coaches our group sessions on Monday and Thursday mornings at VauxWest.

Chris Luk

As an animator and designer by day, Chris is all about about movement and technique. Climbing for over 6 years, he's spent a crazy amount of time indoors, outdoors and travelling around Europe for all the best climbing spots.

Chris aims to help a diverse range of people find their space within climbing, just as he did. He can be found in most of the East London gyms!


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.

Theo Goodman

Theo has been climbing for almost 6 years now, originally starting within the Vaux Squad.

Alongside this he has been working at LCC for 3 years, building up coaching experience with a whole range of abilities.
He is most experienced in teaching newer climbers how to hone their technique, and has recently been focusing on building up his performance coaching skills.