British Swimming reaffirms commitment to Bath Intensive Training Centre
The University of Bath will continue to house a high-performance swimming centre until after the Rio 2016 Olympics.
British Swimming has reaffirmed its commitment to four of its five Intensive Training Centres (ITC) – including Bath - following a value for money analysis linked to performance outcomes from each of the centres since they opened in 2008.
Along with Bath, ITCs at Loughborough University, Stirling and Swansea will continue to operate under plans for a more efficient network, while investment in Stockport as an ITC will not be renewed.
British Swimming carried out a thorough analysis of the ITC network in the wake of a £3.7million reduction in funding for the 2016 Olympic cycle, announced by UK Sport in December last year.
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A decision on the future of the ITC network was made by the British Swimming Board this week and will see the University of Bath – the training base for London 2012 silver medallist Michael Jamieson and rising starlet Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, among others - and Loughborough University continue for a further four years on more cost-effective terms for British Swimming.
Stirling and Swansea will be contracted until the end of 2013, again on more cost-effective terms, and will allow British Swimming’s newly-appointed national performance director Chris Spice and head coach Bill Furniss to fully engage with the network and define longer- term strategies.
British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes commented: “Our Olympic Performance Debrief, under the guidance of Craig Hunter and in conjunction with Bob Bowman, gave a clear indication that the system under-pinning swimming is world class and the ITCs at the heart of that system are clearly important.
“However, with significant budget cuts it has been necessary to look across the sport at savings and, while we’ve achieved considerable cost reductions in a number of areas already, it was inevitable that we would have to focus our more limited resources and operate with fewer ITCs.
“It is with great reluctance that the British Swimming Board, after a careful review of all five ITCs, has decided not to renew the contract with Stockport. We will now be looking at innovative ways in which we can support Stockport as a club going forward to build on the tremendous tradition that the club has of producing world class athletes.”