More about Coach Matt Waters

Since joining the British Army, I have been exposed to all kinds of sports which goes hand in hand with military life. Unfortunately, I didn’t find cycling at this stage, rather finding sports such as Cross Country Running, Football, Rugby and Skiing. Being a reasonably good runner in my younger days and representing my old schools at running I found myself naturally directed towards that sport. Although I did try and play football and rugby where possible.

As overseas exercises started to increase, and the marriage to my wife Gemma became a priority, sport started to take a back seat more, especially after finding out that I was going to be a father. It was at this time that I received some bad news which would dent my top end fitness level for the remainder of my life. In August 1998 I was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer which was confirmed to be aggressive. Luckily for me I was in Cyprus and had some incredibly skilled military surgeons at my disposal. Within days the tumour had been removed and I was back in the UK undergoing follow up treatment which continued over a period of 5 years. This period was a struggle for me as I had been so active prior to being diagnosed.

However not one to dwell I slowly started getting back to physical highs in my running, although I noticed a lack of ability from where I had been before. After receiving the all clear,  and deploying on a few operations around the world and attending career courses in the Brecon Beacons, I was hungry to find a sport that would satisfy my desire to get back what I had lost.

In 2010, and whilst watching that year’s Tour de France, I decided to buy my first road bike and wanted to do what the Pro’s were doing on the TV. This was clearly easier said than done and in my first few months of trying to push the distance up towards 100 miles, I often found myself hitting the wall and pedalling squares trying to get back home. Eventually I found others in the same boat as me and as a small group we were naturally drawn towards riding as many Cycle Sportives as we could get to up and down the country. This slowly got me endurance fit and in 2011 I attended my first competitive set of races at the Army Road Race Championships.

 Due to the fact I had no real experience I entered as a novice racer and hung on for as long as I could do during every race. Unbeknown to me at the time the organisers were also running a General Classification overall scoring method during the week, which we didn’t get to see until the final presentation. During the week, I was finishing races within the top 10, top 5 at a push, and felt reasonably happy with my performance throughout. So, when I was invited to take the top step of the podium for three separate awards, I was over the moon. The very next day I decided that bike racing was what I wanted to do and after years of running torturing my knees, road cycling would be my new sport.

 From that day forward I submersed myself in everything road cycling/racing and slowly started understanding what did and didn’t work on and off the bike. As I attended more and more races, inside the Army and also British Cycling races, I started to understand what it was I could be good at. At first I wanted to be a good climber and worked hard at long power efforts but for some reason I could never stay at threshold if a gradient was more than 8%. I asked many military medical staff why this might be and apart from age they confirmed that being treated for Cancer was the contradicting factor to my dip in peak fitness performance.  Not to be undone by this I started to think about sprinting as I would only need to rely on it at the end of a race. How wrong was I!


Anyone who races knows that you can find yourself “chasing on” and “going into the red” during any part of a race and learning how to survive this and exploit the closing stages of races took me a little while and plenty of training to master. Slowly results started to come and whereas before I would just get into the top 10 of a civilian 2/3/4 Cat race, I was starting to get inside the top 5.

Again, unbeknown to me I was being noticed by the powers that be, who selected the Team Army riders and during the off season I received a phone call asking me if I could represent the Army Development Team at road races up and down the country. This to me was a great honour and I spent every day, bar rest days, putting as much time as I could to prepare for road races. My week mostly consisted of the following races; Monday; BC Ludgershall Crit, Tuesday; BC Thruxton Circuit Crit. Wednesday; Army Cycling Road Race Series, Thursday; Castle Combe Circuit Crit, Friday; Mountbatten Circuit Crit, Saturday; Rest day, Sunday; Attend a road race for Army Dev Team. Basically, I was racing myself fit and the exposure was paying off. In the end my Army work wanted repaying back for the time they had allowed me to go off and race, and racing became less and less only entering a few races a month rather than six a week.

After securing a new job which moved me closer to my family home, I decided to start up a cycling club for the town and the surrounding cycling communities. This was probably one of the hardest tasks that I set myself as it took me a long time to find the right people to help me and to establish a group of like-minded people who shared the same dream as me. Within this dream, I also wanted to become a qualified coach so that I could help people become better at cycling and to maybe find the next “Wiggo”.

In January 2015 Chatteris Cycling Club became a fully affiliated cycling club and in April 2017 I became a fully qualified British Cycling Level 2 Coach.  This is just the start to the club and especially my coaching career.

One of my biggest ideas was to get kids on their bikes and to give them structured cycling sessions that they would benefit from. So, I created my Coaching Kids into Cycling sessions which has now seen me deliver a number of courses varying from ages 4 to 10 year old’s. Coaching adults on the Wattbike or out on the road is satisfying, but there is nothing more satisfying than seeing children finally understand what you are trying to teach them.

In 2018 I was again selected to represent the Army but this time with the CycloCross Team. I spent 2017 either teaching myself the skills after reading books and watching videos on the internet, or competing in my local league races, ether way I knew that it was awesome and I wanted more. CycloCross has become my passion on the bike and one that I wished I'd found earlier in my life. The training and racing is hard but so rewarding and the cross community contains some of the friendliest people I have ever met.

I also consider myself to be very lucky to have people around me that support me which clearly starts with my wife and two sons. They have traveled with me when I was racing and know how passionate I am about the sport. I want to give that passion to those who I now coach as well as the youths in my local area who are looking to start cycling. After all, fresh air is free and everyone should want to experience it on two wheels!


Below are my qualifications to date;


  • National Standard Cycling Instructor (Bikeability)

  • British Cycling Level 2 CycloCross, Road & Time Trial Coach

  • British Cycling Level 2 Core Cycle Coach

  • Wattbike Advanced Technician 

  • Enhanced DBS Certificate

  • Child Protection in Sport & Active Leisure Level 2



  • Public Liability & Professional Indemnity Insurance for Cycling Coaches, Leaders & Cycle Training Instructors

  • Fully Security Cleared

  • Full, clean driving licence