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Swimming - 20. April 2007.

Clear Pathway in Place for British Swimming

Clear Pathway in Place for British Swimming


British Diving is redefining its structure as it looks to provide a clear pathway for athletes to fulfill their Olympic potential in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and beyond.

And key personnel have been introduced to enhance the new look by providing the support necessary as athletes prepare to qualify for next summer's games as well as continue their development in time for the London Olympics.

National Performance Director Steve Foley will oversee the development process and will be assisted by Kim White, the former Junior Olympic Programme Manager, in his new role as High Performance Manager.

"Our programme has been labelled junior and senior," explained Foley, "but under the new World Class Pathway, established by UKSport, there will only be British Diving athletes on either Podium or Development funding but under one umbrella.

"My role is to oversee the entire programme but I'll be helped by Kim White who has special responsibility for looking after our High Performance Centres in the South while I have a stronger presence at our centres in the North."

White will assist with the implementation of regular synchronised diving training in the South and work closely with elite coaches, World Class Pathway divers and a National Synchronised Diving Coach.

"White will also support me in my role as NPD by helping to define Podium and Development diver plans and preparations, managing the budget, coach education and competition and camp planning," explained Foley.

"The role will also involve having an oversight of training, sports science, sports medicine and any issues at the performance centres in Plymouth and Southampton while I can involve myself with our centres in Sheffield and Leeds. These centres will be assisted on a daily basis.

"We realise out presence is more important on the pool deck where we will be supporting and getting our hands dirty. This is something that will help us to achieve our Olympic ambitions."

Foley believes the new structure will have real benefits as divers developing within the system won't be held back by the fact they've been limited to being within a junior system.

"Whether a British Diving athlete is taking part in a junior or senior competition, it's part of a bigger picture with one pathway as we head towards Beijing and then London," said Foley.

"At the moment we have a group of 10 and 11-year-olds within the pipeline and the process is taking them towards 2012. Our programme is focused on achieving best results at both the Beijing 2008 Olympics and four years later in London as well as beyond."

British Diving will also ensure that athletes who dive as a pair in synchronised diving events have greater opportunity to train together either full time or at least three times a week to promote the understanding required in those events.

"The benefit of this is that divers create a subliminal understanding of their routines and each other," said Foley. "It promotes seamless performances and will be the difference for us in qualifying our teams for the Olympics next year.

"We have real opportunities for Olympic success with our synchro pairs but it's such a fine line between standing on an Olympic podium and not actually qualifying for the Olympics at all. It's that close at the top at the moment and we need to ensure we actually qualify first.

"It also provides an opportunity for coaches to work together. We have a great team supporting our athletes and when they get together they share their knowledge and skills and everyone benefits."

To help support the new-look programme British Diving will also be recruiting a Chinese diving coach, already identified, who will work with both centres in the south. The plan is to have them in place by October.

This person will help to coach a group of identified divers who are within the World Class Pathway and have real potential to deliver British Diving's Olympic goals.

For further details contact Dave Richards, British Swimming Media Manager, on 01509 632237, 0778 992 6136 or email [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>

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