The Regional Performance Centre in Bangor has been operating on a part time basis in Bangor Castle Leisure Centre since September 2012. The programme is led by the Swim Ireland Ulster High Performance Coach, Andrew Reid. Andrew is also the Lead Coach for the Irish National Youth Squad and Ulster Squad, and has been appointed Lead Coach on multiple international teams since 2010. Prior to taking on this role Andrew coached swimmers to the 2004 Sydney Paralympics, 2006 European SC Championships, 2008 European Junior Championships, 2009 European SC Championships and 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The programme will move to the Bangor Aurora Aquatics and Leisure Centre in April 2013. The new facility, built by North Down Borough Council and part funded by Sport NI, will feature Northern Ireland’s first Olympic 50m pool (10 lane x 50m pool, 7 lane 25m diving pool), a brand new high performance land conditioning suite staffed by Sports Institute NI staff and a new camera system used for technical analysis. The programme will provide athletes with a fully integrated daily training environment, which includes up to 24 hours of dedicated pool time per week. A full range of swimming specific sports science support and medical services will be delivered to Performance Centre athletes and will be focused on performance improvement.
The centre will also be the base for the Ulster Squad, Regional Disability Squad and Swim Ulster Talent Development Programs. Additionally there will be sessions and periods when the Performance Centre pool time will be available for other users. There will be a policy put in place to prioritise usage.
The programme aims to give support to athletes to ensure they achieve an ideal lifestyle/performance balance. Swim Ireland and SINI are in discussions with both Universities to offer athlete friendly study options and benefits such as sports courses, flexible study, extended degrees, and sports scholarships.
SINI and Swim Ireland will provide Performance Lifestyle guidance to help Performance Centre athletes manage the demands of training and competition with the other aspects of their lives such as academic study, work, and leisure and family/social commitments. At present the following options are available:
- Schools – Flexibility around start times and PE attendance, Agreed Absence, Slow Tracking
- University of Ulster :
– Talented Athlete Entry Scheme
– Agreed Absence and Independent Study Programme
– Slow tracking
- Queens – Elite Athlete Programme (details TBC) and Queen’s Sport Bursary Awards. Further information can be found here
- Opening of the facility is planned for 23 March 2013
- Ulster Squad Training Camp 25-28 March 2013
- Swim Academy Skills Camp 25-28 March 2013
- Irish National Youth Squad Camp 1-4 April 2013
Until 31 July 2013 access to the programme will be by agreement between the Swim Ireland Ulster High Performance Coach and the athletes Club Coach, and will be free of charge.
From 1 August 2013 athletes will apply to become members of the programme on a part time or full time basis. Training hours will be agreed with the athletes Club Coach and fees will be based on the number of sessions attended per week.
Athletes who meet the following criteria can be considered for membership of the Performance Centre:
- Athletes on the Swim Ireland National Squads Program
- Athletes on the Ulster Regional Squad
All athletes can discuss their career pathway and eligibility for the Performance Centre with the National Performance Director. If you feel the Performance Centre meets your training and lifestyle needs, please contact Andrew Reid, SI Ulster High Performance Coach, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0044 (0)7840 102588.