June 21, 2022

Swim Ireland have made further additions to their Performance coaching team in recent days with the appointment of both Andrew Bree and Aaron Rickhuss to the joint positions of Assistant Coach within National Centre (Ulster).

Commencing with immediate effect, both Bree and Rickhuss will join Centre Head Coach Kevin Anderson in preparing athletes for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, European Championships in Rome and Irish Summer National Championships in Dublin, all taking place in the July/August period. National Centre (Ulster) is the most recent addition to the Swim Ireland Performance system, commencing in September 2021 as a partnership project with Swim Ulster and Sport Northern Ireland – joining the National Centres already established in Dublin and Limerick.

Based at the impressive Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, Bree and Rickhuss bring additional international experience to the coaching team, making it one of the most dynamic and exciting coaching units across the island. Andrew Bree is a two-time Irish Olympian and semi-finalist at the second of his two Games’, making him one of Ireland’s most successful aquatic athletes. His international competitive experience also includes competing at four Commonwealth Games and three World Championships as part of an illustrious swimming career. With an Honorary B.A in Psychology, Bree has coached at Tennessee Aquatics in the USA, and both City of Belfast SC and Bangor SC in Ireland, and he will undoubtedly bring a renowned energy and vitality to the role under Kevin Anderson’s leadership.

Aaron Rickhuss is the current Head Coach of Bangor SC and will retain this role alongside his coaching duties within the National Centre. Rickhuss is a former England youth international athlete and has also had successful coaching stints within both the Plymouth Leander and the Dinnaton swim programmes in England as well as with Enniskillen Lakelanders SC in Ireland. Rated as one of the most exciting young coaches in Ireland at this time, Rickhuss will blend both Centre and Club coaching duties with the support of Bangor SC being crucial in being able to achieve this.

National Performance Director Jon Rudd is delighted with the dual appointments and was to say, “Having discussed with Kevin Anderson the need for further coaching support in the Centre since Davy Johnston announced his retirement from coaching, it was clear that there was little to choose between our two favoured candidates, and so to appoint them both to a joint coaching role was the natural choice for us. We sincerely thank Davy for his work in allowing the Centre to commence so positively prior to Kevin’s appointment and we wish him all the very best for the future. It’s an exciting time to be a competitive swimmer in Northern Ireland and under the guidance of Kevin, Andrew and Aaron, aspiring and ambitious swimmers in Ulster can be assured of a best in class delivery from this coaching team in what is one of Ireland’s most impressive facilities”.