After a £4,000,000 funding cut, British Swimming has again had to further reduce its Intensive Training Center program. After cutting the Stockport ITC altogether in the spring, and reducing funding to the other ITC’s, the BBC is reporting that Swansea and Stirling ITC’s are on the block next.
In February, the Loughborough and Bath ITC’s were given four year renewals on “more cost effective terms,” while Swansea and Stirling were contracted just through the end of 2013. The Intensive Training Centers are funded training opportunities for elite athletes.
“What we’ll see is a different type of investment,” said British Swimming performance director Chris Spice to the BBC. “We are certain that Loughborough and Bath will remain the same.
“What we’ll absolutely be doing is still investing [in Wales and Scotland]. It’s just at what level and it may not be in one centre.”
The Stirling ITC is home to World Championship Team members Jak Scott, Ross Murdoch, and Josh Walsh, while Swansea is home to Jaz Carlin, Georgia Davies, and Jemma Lowe.
Bath and Loughborough still produce by far more international-level athletes than the other centers do or did. British Swimming is going through nearly an entire regime change, and along with it there seems to be a push toward more individual club-level funding (perhaps to encourage deeper development of the sport), similarly to what we’ve seen world wide in the sport in the last few years.