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GB offshore training centre goes ahead

Bill Sweetenham’s offshore training centre for up and coming British swimmers is nearing fruition. The centre, first announced publicly by Sweetenham at the British Short Course Championships in Cambridge, will be based at The Southport School (TSS) on the Gold Coast in Australia.

TSS beat of the challenge of two other schools who were looking to host the camp on the strenght of it’s academic standards and sporting faciltiies – the school boasts a 12-lane 50m pool, a 6-lane 25m pool and well equipped gym facilities on the campus.

TSS (10k image)
TSS’ sports complex

The squad will consist of 6 junior boys, who will receive schooling at a sixth form level as well as coaching, and two more senior swimmers who will act as house parents whilst making use of the school’s excellent training facilities. “We want to provide a healthier lifestyle, a higher competition challenge and academic excellence for these swimmers.” Sweetenham said when announcing the initiative, “but most importantly we can offer this without affecting the funding for our home programme”

The centre will be overseen by former Manchester Aquatics and Stockport Metro head coach Dave Calleja, who is currently visiting potential squad members as he seeks to confirm those swimmers making the trip by November 22nd. The Dean of TSS is due in this country the following week for a conference and it is understood will also be meeting with parents of the selected swimmers, ahead of the group’s departure at the start of January 2003.

The Southport School – the base for the centre.