University of Edinburgh Performance Swimming Programme Celebrates 15 Years of Success

The University of Edinburgh Performance Swimming Programme is celebrating 15 years of success as the programme continues to develop world-class student athletes.

On 3rd November 2008 The University of Edinburgh launched its first performance Sport program, swimming. This decision was the catalyst for the development of the now sector leading performance sport offer at Edinburgh, including 11 sports, a scholarship programme benefitting over 600 students and supported by over 30 coaches and support staff.

The program, which started with coach Chris Jones and 15 talented swimmers, has now grown to support over 70 elite swimmers and led by four coaching staff.  The team of Chris Jones, Mat Trodden, Ross Douglas and Danny Kirkham, along with previous coaches Shannon Rollason, John Szaranek, Mark Jaggs, Jen Davis and Andrew Wicks have created a legacy of athlete success, including breaking 100 National Records, and placing athletes on Olympic, Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth Games teams and being named  the top National Scottish Club 10 times in 15 years.  

However, the programme's success has been about much more than medals, and has provided the opportunity to over 300 athletes to chase their sporting ambitions while gaining a world-class degree.

Head of Swimming, Chris Jones reflected on the past 15 years saying, 

I can't quite believe it's been 15 years already, I'm so proud of how the programme has grown and grateful to be part of this journey.

Chris JonesHead of Swimming
Kara Hanlon in pool

Success on the world stage

Internationally, the University of Edinburgh swimmers have made a significant mark on the world stage.  At the Commonwealth Games, an impressive 31 athletes have represented their country, earning six bronze medals and two silvers. European championships have also been host to Edinburgh's athletes securing an array of medals, including six gold relay medals and two bronze individual medals. Athletes from the program have also been selected to represent their countries at both the Paralympic and Olympic Games. A total of 8 athletes from the program have represented 5 different countries, securing 1 silver and 3 bronze medals in the Paralympic Games. 

The success of the Performance Swimming Programme can be attributed to the comprehensive support it provides to athletes. This includes dedicated coaching at world-class facilities, full-time strength and conditioning support, performance lifestyle support including nutrition and psychology, academic assistance, and access to physiotherapy support as well as trips to altitude.  With support from alumnus such as Kevin Reynard the programme has also been able to invest in improving facilities and financially supporting talent swimmers throughout their time at Edinburgh. 

Kara Hanlon Swimming Breaststroke

A bright future

Ross Simpson, Head of Sports & Assistant Director at The University of Edinburgh spoke on the success of the programme,

"We are so proud of the programme and what it has achieved to date, but also excited about the future. Where can you go and get a world class degree, coupled with a world class sporting offer? The team have built something truly special here".

Ross SimpsonHead of Sports & Assistant Director

The University of Edinburgh's Performance Swimming Programme is a testament to the dedication, commitment, and excellence in coaching that have produced world-class athletes over the past 15 years. As it celebrates this milestone, the program continues to set its sights on greater achievements, promising a bright future for the world of competitive swimming.

For more information about the University of Edinburgh's Performance Swimming Programme, visit the Performance Programme Page

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