Partnership plans in Newcastle to be a splash hit with top talent

Newcastle University and Newcastle Swim Team have taken their partnership to a new level to help develop top swimming talent. Their joint programme supports a number of promising young swimmers, including Newcastle’s Emily Large, who was named Emerging Athlete of the Year at the 2017 British Swimming Awards.

Emily, a year 12 student at King’s Priory School in Tynemouth, is one of the swimmers who trains within Newcastle University. She will represent England at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast in April. She said: “Swimming in Newcastle has so many opportunities. The resources provided by Newcastle Swim Team and Newcastle University allow many young adults to progress in swimming in remarkable ways. Attending Newcastle University is a worthwhile investment due to the expertise and depth of knowledge in the sport, both at Newcastle Swim Team and within the strength and conditioning department at the University. Swimming is a great sport which opens up many opportunities down the line. It is one sport which is vital in life and the enjoyment I get out of it is amazing. It teaches you so many skills.”

Led by Ryan Livingstone, Head Performance Coach at Newcastle Swim Team, the programme has two key elements. Performance athletes within the club are able to access high-quality strength and conditioning coaching at Newcastle University. The club also delivers a training programme for the University’s swim squad in preparation for the BUCS Championships. Ryan, who will be one of the England coaches at the Commonwealth Games, said: “This is a key partnership for us. The strength and conditioning delivery is first-class and the benefits derived from this have contributed to the success of our athletes at national and international level. It is also important to provide a quality training programme for the students. The university squad has enjoyed multiple successes in the last three years, most notably Henry Bland who competed at the 2016 Olympic Trials and European University Games while also winning medals at National Championships.

In Newcastle we have all the resources to deliver international success in swimming at a senior level”. He added: “Through Newcastle Swim Team we have a training programme which has demonstrated multiple international achievements. Newcastle University has a superb academic reputation and can provide students with a first-class education and degree. In addition, the scholarship scheme and support service provided for athletes through the University ensures each individual has access to a full performance programme.

I would like to see more athletes from the city being retained post 18 and would also like to attract more swimmers from outside the region into Newcastle to continue their swimming and study.”

Ryan,  a coach for 10 years – has coached at junior level but the Commonwealth Games in Australia before but this is his first taste of helping to run a senior national squad. Speaking about his selection onto the English team he said: “I am very pleased and looking forward to it enormously. It is fantastic opportunity to be part of a major sporting event. I have been involved with England junior teams at European and world level so this is a natural progression. Being Emily’s coach meant I always had a chance of being selected but for it to actually happen is very exciting.”

Ryan believes Team England – who include Olympic champion Adam Peaty in their ranks – could splash out on medals down under. He added: “It is a very strong team with a good mix of experienced swimmers and younger performers. I think Emily will do very well and David Cumberlidge  is a also a fine young prospect who has been doing very well of late. Competition will be tough but the squad can excel. I cannot wait to get out there and be part of things.”

Article Credit – Newcastle Chronicle