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Atkinson appointed NPD for Disability Swimming

British Disability Swimming will appoint John Atkinson to the role of National Performance Director tasked with leading Britain to the 2012 Paralympics.

British Disability Swimming will appoint John Atkinson to the role of National Performance Director tasked with leading Britain to the 2012 Paralympics.

From May, Atkinson will move into post from his current role within British Swimming as Director for World Class Programmes across daily training and national team environments.

The appointment follows in-depth analysis of the British Swimming Disability Programme and is part of a strategic restructure to help meet the challenge of the London 2012 Paralympics while looking beyond to 2016.

As National Performance Director Atkinson will drive forward the technical infrastructure of the programme within Britain as well as assuming a team leader role.

Former National Performance Director Tim Reddish will adopt the role of Executive Director for Disability Swimming where his knowledge and experience will provide strategic guidance.

Chief Executive of British Swimming David Sparkes believes the appointment will enhance opportunities while providing fresh stimulus in the run up to 2012 and beyond.

“I am delighted John [Atkinson] will transfer across from our performance swimming team to lead the disability programme,” said Sparkes.

“John will build on the solid foundations built by Tim Reddish and I am sure he will take the programme on to the next level. We will be looking for John to make a significant impact in his new role.”

Atkinson has been an integral part of British Swimming since he was appointed in 2001 to identify and nurture the next generation of elite athletes as British National Youth Coach.

In 2004 Atkinson became Director of World Class Programmes for swimming and in 2008 took specific responsibility for the daily training and national team environments.

 “I am delighted and excited by the opportunity to lead the British Disability Swimming programme as National Performance Director,” said Atkinson.

“Leading the programme and working with the athletes and their coaches in the build up to 2012 is an opportunity I relish and I believe I can have a positive impact on the success of the programme and build on the fantastic achievements to date.
“Currently in my tenth year working for British Swimming, the time was right to move into this leadership role and it is one that I am proud to undertake. I look forward to working closely with the entire disability programme in the lead up to a home Paralympics.”

Atkinson began his career as an assistant coach at Millfield School in Somerset in 1986 before moving to Australia in 1995.

During his time in Australia, Atkinson was the Head Coach at the Elizabeth Aquatic Club before assuming the position of State Coaching Director for the South Australian Swimming Association, he was head coach on the Australian National Age group camp programme for a season and latterly was appointed Head Coach of Arena Joondalup in Perth.

European Champs 2016