Synchro High Performance Centre launchedSubscribe
British Swimming/UK Sport 18 October 2007
The British Synchronised Swimming World Class Programme, aimed at delivering success at the London 2012 Olympic Games, took a significant step forwards this week with the official launch of the national high performance training centre at the Army base in Aldershot, Hampshire.
Britain’s top synchro swimmers are now sharing the excellent sports facilities at the British Army Garrison for the next 5 years in preparation to perform in front of a home crowd in 2012.
The official launch reflects much planning and involvement amongst a number of key players and has resulted in a unique and excellent partnership between British Swimming, the Army Sports Control Board and Aspire Defence. Financial support has also been provided by UK Sport and the British Olympic Association.
There are 11 of the country’s top athletes aged 17 – 24 now based at the centre, combining full time training with their studies. The large majority of the swimmers have recently relocated to the Aldershot area, transferring their college and university courses to local institutions and becoming part time students in order to become full time athletes.
The British leading duet of Jenna Randall and Olivia Allison, who competed at the 2007 FINA World Championships in Melbourne, have been training at the centre since January this year – with the rest of the 2012 world class training squad only transferring to the army base last month. The swimmers are now training up to six hours a day for six days a week, with the intensity of training and preparation likely to increase further in advance of 2012.
The swimmers will benefit from world class facilities at the Aspire Defence run Army Garrison Sports Centre, where the eight lane 50m pool has undergone a number of modifications recently including an underwater music system and pool side TV monitors. Access to gym facilities at the garrison, together with additional support at the English Institute of Sport base at nearby Bisham Abbey, will ensure that the swimmers receive a comprehensive sports science and sports medicine support programme to support their technical water based training.
British Synchro Performance Director, Biz Price, is delighted with the facilities on offer in Aldershot.
“We are excited to be training in a world class environment at the Aldershot Garrison” she said. “For the first time in British Synchronised Swimming’s history we have athletes training full time at a centralised high performance centre. This will enable us to compete at the highest level and provide the best preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.”
Emyr Roberts, UK Sport’s Performance Consultant responsible for working with British Swimming on all aquatic disciplines, was present at the launch in Aldershot and was genuinely impressed.
“There is no doubt that the venue and environment is conducive to high performance training and together with the excellent leadership from Performance Director Biz Price and the very good support now being provided through EIS staff – I sense there is a real opportunity for British Synchro to make significant progress in the months and years ahead,” he said.