Two of the five British coaches who made a first-hand contribution to their nation's medals haul of six Olympic medals in Beijing, Dave McNulty and Sean Kelly, have been selected to head two of British Swimming Intensive Training Centres from next month.
McNulty, coach to 400m freestyle bronze medallist Joanne Jackson, will head the centre at Bath University, while Kelly will lead the programme at Stockport, where he has been based for several years now, producing the likes of Olympic silver medallist Kerri-Anne Payne and bronze medallists Stephen Parry (2004) and Cassie Patten (2008). As head open-water coach, Kelly also had a hand in the preparations of David Davies, silver medal winner in the 10km, along with coaches Dave Haller and latterly Kevin Renshaw.
Britain named five centres - Stockport, Bath, Loughborough, Swansea and Stirling - for ITC status, in line with a blueprint laid down by Bill Sweetenham, the former performance director who left Britain in late 2007. "The centres will offer a one stop shop service point for swimmers and coaches with the aim of providing everything they need in their development from the right amount of 50m pool time to sports science support," says British Swimming.
"I am very proud to be the head coach of the new ITC in Stockport," said Kelly, who is second to none among those who deserve such recognition and responsibility. "With the new staff, support and facilities, we can make the existing World Class programme, supported by Stockport Sports Trust, even better. I am very excited at the prospect of new swimmers being attracted to the ITC which will be at the cutting edge of the sport. We will continue to produce young talent in our successful middle distance and distance programmes and with the soon to be appointed sprint coach we will aim to be one of the best swim teams in the world."
McNulty, former Durham Aquatics coach who spent the past six months at Loughborough University, said: "I'm very excited about this British Swimming opportunity to work as head coach of the Bath ITC. This ITC will provide all of the daily training requirements for high performance athletes in a world class environment. It will help to build on the success of the Beijing Olympics by looking forward to 2012 and beyond. I take up this position in October and I'm looking forward to working with everyone at TeamBath. By working together with TeamBath we will have a system in place that underpins the ITC and offers opportunities for all."
Britain's approach to a home Olympic Games at London 2012 will be led by Dennis Pursely as head coach and Michael Scott as performance director.