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Sheffield confirmed as venue for sixth National Performance Centre

Sheffield has been confirmed as the venue for a sixth Swim England National Performance Centre.

Swim England is working in partnership with swimming clubs and universities across the country to give talented young swimmers the opportunity to stay in the sport, achieve academic excellence and perform to the highest standards.

Five National Performance Centres were launched in High Wycombe, Leeds, Guildford, Manchester and Nottingham in 2018 but Swim England talent officers had also been working closely with City of Sheffield Swimming Club at that time.

Now it has been officially announced that City of Sheffield Swim Squad, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield are working in partnership as the sixth National Performance Centre.

Grant Robins, Head of Talent for Swimming at Swim England, said: “We’re delighted City of Sheffield Swim Squad, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield are working closely with us to help develop young swimmers

“The National Performance Centres are already proving to be a valuable resource and we’re pleased with the progress shown by those swimmers who are currently on the programme.”

Swim England created the National Performance Centres after identifying a gap that meant talented young swimmers had to face a choice of continuing with their studies or aim to progress on the swimming talent programme.

Grant added: “The Swim England Talent Team provide support to the National Performance Centres through funding, coaching and technical advice.

“Sheffield is well-known on the swimming map due to Ponds Forge and it is an ideal location for up-and-coming young swimmers to be able to continue their academic studies and carry on training. 

Thrilled and excited

“The infrastructure that Sheffield swimming already displays will add to our offer for young up-and-coming swimmers to stay and train in this country. It will be so exciting working in partnership.

“Hopefully we’ll see more English athletes push through to the British Swimming World Class Programme from these centres.”

Mark Conroy, chairman of City of Sheffield Swim Squad, said: “We are thrilled and excited to be confirmed as the sixth venue for Swim England National Performance Centre. 

“We have always had a close working relationship with both Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield focusing on flexibility of learning with an integrated swimming programme. 

“This has delivered tremendous results over a number of years with three Olympians plus many Great Britain swimmers coming through the programme.

“Now, with the support of Swim England, this will allow us to enhance the programme further.”

Andrew Cox, Director of Sport and Physical Activity at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sheffield has been confirmed as a Swim England National Performance Centre. 

“Sheffield has a fantastic history of developing swimmers and divers and also offering a fantastic place to study.

“We hope to welcome a number of athletes to the University of Sheffield through this scheme and play a vital part in their academic and professional development.”