January 12, 2022

Ben Higson, Swim Ireland’s National Head Coach (Swimming) and Head Coach of the National Centre (Dublin) will depart the company in mid-March to take up a role as Head Swimming Coach for the Western Australia Institute of Sport in Perth.

Higson has held his role with Swim Ireland since September 2017 and has been a major player within the Performance team in helping steer the nation to over 30 international medals in that period, along with their most ever successful Olympic Games (Tokyo 2021) and, most recently, their most rewarding World Championships in Abu Dhabi in December.

Higson leaves Swim Ireland having been an intrinsic part of the Performance team that has established Ireland as an up and coming swimming force on the European and World stage and, in association with his team of coaches and the support of the Sport Ireland Institute, has cultivated the National Centre (Dublin) programme to that of a true world class coaching environment, which houses many of Ireland’s leading athletes

Following his decision, Higson said, “It has been a privilege to work within the Swim Ireland Performance department and the Irish Swimming community over the past four and a half years. I cannot speak highly enough of the athletes, coaches and support staff that I have been fortunate to work for and with. Their commitment and dedication has been second to none. Over the last few years, Irish Swimming has made significant inroads on the world stage, and I am very proud to have contributed to this. I wish the Irish Swimming community nothing but the best and have every faith in the continued growth and success of the sport on the island of Ireland.

National Performance Director Jon Rudd said, “Ben’s contribution and legacy to Irish swimming will be felt for many years to come and he has certainly helped me and other members of the Performance team to establish ourselves more firmly as a swimming nation that is capable of performing at the highest level. On a personal level, I will miss his contributions and ideas in all areas of what we do, both strategically and operationally, and he moves on to this new role with our thanks and our sincere best wishes”

Rudd added, “We have some time now to take stock and review what we can and should do to reformulate the Performance team in preparation for Paris 2024 and beyond. Something of this nature should be seen as an opportunity for a team to reflect on how they can operate for the betterment of the programme and the athletes both in our daily care and as part of our National Programme and we will do this with careful consideration. It remains an exciting time for Irish swimming following our results in 2021 and with three National Centres now available to our premier athletes and a rejuvenated National Programme planned for 2022 and beyond, there is much to look forward to”.