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BPA thanks Atkinson for contribution to Paralympic success

John Atkinson - Pre-Games Camp

on 01-02-2013 09:00

The BPA sends best wishes to former National Performance Director for Disability Swimming John Atkinson who has been offered a new position to head up the Swimming Canada High Performance programme.

Atkinson has led the British Swimming Disability programme since 2010, taking the team to every level of competition and culminating in a 39-medal haul at the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralymic Association, said

“John has done a fantastic job at British Swimming and I would like to thank him for all his hard work in developing the disability swimming team to the world-class standard that we saw at London 2012. I am sure he will be missed at British Swimming and in the disability sport environment in the UK, but on behalf of everyone at the BPA I send him our best wishes for the next stage in his career.”

"I would like to thank him for all his hard work in developing the disability swimming team to the world-class standard that we saw at London 2012."Tim Hollingsworth

The process to find a new Performance Director is already underway. Chairman of the British Paralympic Association and former National Performance Director Tim Reddish will lead the programme on an interim basis to ensure continuity and development of plans for Rio 2016.

Reddish said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank John for his work with the programme and wish him luck in his new role.

“It’s been great to see the success the team has enjoyed and I will step into the position on an interim basis to continue John’s good work until a replacement has been found.”

On the appointment of Reddish to the position, Hollingsworth said:

“The appointment of Tim Reddish on a temporary basis is a strong decision. Tim has a tremendous amount of knowledge about elite disability sport and swimming in particular, and his will be a safe pair of hands for the sport while the recruitment process is in progress.”

Atkinson, who leaves British Swimming at the end of February to take up the role of National High Performance Director in Ottawa, explained: “I’ve had a successful 12 years across different roles within British Swimming and I will take with me fond memories. However, the opportunity to lead the Olympic programme in Canada was too good a challenge to turn down.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the swimming and disability swimming programmes for their support over that period. I’ve made a lot of friends within British Swimming and I wish everyone the best for the future.”

"I’ve made a lot of friends within British Swimming and I wish everyone the best for the future.”John Atkinson

British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes commented: “We’re sorry to be losing John. He’s made a massive contribution to British Swimming both in his time with the swimming programme and latterly by leading the highly successful team to the Paralympics in London.

“However, we also appreciate that John has a passion for swimming and wants to make his mark as a world leader in swimming. We wish him well in Canada and look forward to seeing him in his new role at the next international competition.”

 

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