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[06 JAN 99] SWIMMING NEWS
Coventry Await Olympic Swimming Decision

An initiative aimed at producing Olympic swimming success for Britain is set to have a base in Coventry.

A proposal was yesterday passed by the Coventry City Council’s sport and leisure committee and now awaits a decision by the Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain.

If granted, Coventry will be given funding of around 70,000 to train an elite of 12 youngsters with the aim of producing world class swimmers to compete in international competition.

Coventry had previously been turned down for the grant, but the ASFGB's interest has been rekindled by the success of Cov kid Adam Whitehead, who recently won the 200m breaststroke at the European Short Course Championships.

Top coach Nick Selwood is set to take charge of the programme which he believes is a massive step forward for the sport.

He said:

"We have really talented athletes here and Coventry's existing programme is very successful, but it is despite resources rather than owing to them.

"This money has come from the lottery and every sport has put together a `world class performance policy' and swimming has decided that having regional centres of excellence is the way forward.

"Having this scheme in Coventry would help swimming right through from the elite to grass routes level, and give our swimmers facilities of equal standing to those in competitor countries."

Coventry Cllr Dave Edwards believes that both the city and the country as a whole will benefit enormously from the scheme.

He said:

"It is aimed at building up U.K involvement in Olympic Games and offers a very precise learning programme for people involved.

"It would also be a real joint effort as both of the city's universities have got involved, Warwick are offering the use of their facilities, and Coventry are sharing the expertise of their Sports Science Programme."
   

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CWN / Sport / Swimming / 06 Jan 99

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