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O’Brien appointed England Talent Manager

26th April 2012

The ASA has appointed Ciaran O’Brien to the position of England Talent Delivery Manager for swimming where he will adopt a vital role in providing an integrated athlete and coach development pathway.

O’Brien, who has previously worked with British Swimming, the Scottish Institute of Sport and Derwentside, will plan and manage the effective delivery of the England Talent Pathway in line with British Swimming’s strategic plan and Sport England’s Whole Sport plan.

With experience of utilising, managing and coordinating support services, O’Brien will deliver a core programme of activity as agreed with British Swimming National Performance Director Michael Scott and the GB Development Coach Mark Perry.

The role, which begins on 8th May, will ensure a systematic programme is in place to profile, monitor and evaluate athlete performance within the England Talent Pathway. A coach development and mentoring programme is also at the heart of the role.

The athlete development pathway within Britain consists of nine steps. It includes three steps within England Talent, three within the World Class Podium Potential level and three within the Podium Programme.

A core element of the role will be the provision of talent camps and competition opportunities for targeted athletes and coaches as well as the ensuring appropriate sports science and sports medicine is also available to assist in the journey along the pathway.

The role will also require helping to implement a revised Long Term Athlete Development Model in England which is currently being developed by British Swimming, Home Country Swimming Associations and the BSCA. 

O’Brien, who completed an MSc in Sport Studies at the University of Stirling in 2004, will also plan and oversee the performance component of the Beacon Programme within England while ensuring effective connectivity between the England Talent Pathway and British Swimming.

The appointment has been welcomed by British Swimming National Performance Director Michael Scott.

“This is a vital role as it manages the first three steps of a nine-step, fully integrated pathway that is both coherent and deliverable across the ASA and British Swimming,” said Scott.

“We consulted clubs and the coaching fraternity within Britain and after listening we have developed a pathway that enables them to focus on key elements of athlete development at the right time in an athlete’s growth into the sport.

“Ciaran is a graduate of the UKSport Elite Coaching Programme and in his time with swimming has proved himself to be an ideal person to lead this important England programme.”

Part of the role will focus on talent identification and O’Brien will work closely with Sport England and UKSport to identify potential Olympians of the future and then nurture them along the pathway.

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