top of page


We have such a range of athletes, individuals and groups from so many different areas and we thank all the people who have been part SWAA and still continue with us - thank you to all that have made positive comments about what we do.

Sonya and the team , South West Athletics Academy



We have been taking our kids to sessions at the Arena since the South West Athletics Academy started up. The sessions are brilliantly run by friendly and knowledgeable folk who delight in getting the kids involved from a very early age. The way information and training is imparted is very clever, and although they’re learning a great deal of sporting technique it’s done in such a way that they just keep coming back for more. A superb introduction to athletics.

Mr G Wilson – parent of mini athlete    MINIs

Last year, I decided that it was best for my athletic development to move to another coach. However due to a lack of coaches in my area I had to search further afield. I met Sonya on a visit to Exeter University and immediately took a liking to both her personality and her coaching style, so when she said that she runs a distancing coaching business she was the obvious choice.

Five months later and with the help of Sonya’s coaching I have just won the Scottish indoor championships U20 men’s 400m.

Robbie Stenhouse (U20 400m Scottish Indoor Champion)


I think they built up camaraderie and also broke barriers for individuals to take part in activities they previously thought they could not do. I just loved seeing everyone have fun with smiles on their faces. Personally my role is to enable a 19 year old male who has autism and limited communication skills. At first he participated little in athletic activities appearing to lack focus and also had a trait of seeking exits to facilities. However seemingly week by week he began to engage more and more with whole group and able to perform nearly all activities by the end. This included throwing shot putt when asked and he was really quick over low hurdles!

Jenna – Adult Enabler


As head coach of the University of Exeter Athletics Club Sonya Ellis takes on a huge commitment every year. Managing the training of over one hundred university students is a daunting task but one that Sonya takes in her stride. Not only is she highly professional in her coaching but also very aware of the specific needs of every athlete she works with; this dedication and attention to everything she does makes her stand out from all other coaches. Alongside this her enthusiasm and love of the sport are great assets to her, always the first to offer help or advice when needed and approaching every challenge with a positive and encouraging attitude. Being a member of the club for three years now I have witnessed many athletes benefit hugely from the coaching Sonya has given. From inspiring total beginners to compete in their first ever race through to tailoring high performance coaching programmes for a variety of disciplines. She is a remarkable woman whose coaching deserves recognition at the highest level.

Will Cullen – Club Captain of University of Exeter Athletics Club

bottom of page