Paralympic medallist Stephanie Millward has made the move to the British Para-Swimming National Performance Centre (NPC) in Manchester.
Millward has taken up the last space in the now full NPC and has begun working with Head Coach Rob Greenwood and National Coach Graeme Smith.
The 2014 five-time European Champion now has access to the world class training facilities, coaching and support staff as she begins the road to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“I moved to Manchester because I needed to train somewhere that was motivated in the same way as I am – solely towards the Paralympics,” Millward said. “I wanted all the swimmers and coaches to be thinking about ways they could get better and things that would produce faster swims.
“I think Manchester will offer me all the things I was missing when I trained anywhere else as well as providing the motivation from the coaches and the other team members – One World One Dream was the moto for Beijing 2008 and I feel this is the same in Manchester – One goal the Paralympics in Rio for everyone in the centre.
For Millward the sport science and medicine support on hand at all times was a motivating factor in the move.
“The National Performance Centre in Manchester has everything,” Millward said. “It has wonderful coaches who think only about ways to get you faster, more streamlined and quicker in the water. It also supplies a chef so you don’t need to think about organizing your meals and your daily routine will be discussed with the coaches to allow for rest and recovery time.
“It also has cameras where you can work on perfecting your dive, stroke, turns, finish – everything a swimmer would need. It also has a physio or doctor on hand in case something happens.
“I feel as though I am being looked after really well by the staff members but also have my freedom and my independence – the best of both worlds.”
British Para-Swimming Head Coach Rob Greenwood is excited to welcome Millward to the centre but is quick to explain they have now reached their capacity.
“We are really pleased to welcome Steph to the Centre and we are all looking forward to taking the right steps forward for the Paralympic year,” Greenwood said. “She has great experience of the Games and the sport to share.
“I’d like to thank John Dougall and Aquae Sulis for the hard work they’ve put in to get Steph the success she’s had in recent years and giving us a good foundation to build upon this year.
“We are ahead of where we expected to be in terms of NPC intake and to have filled all of our places shows that they are highly coveted by the athletes. In January 2014 we had two athletes and now we have 13 swimmers of which 12 are on the podium programme.
“It’s a great environment full of like minded individuals working to the shared goal of achieving life time best performances in Rio. It’s good to have a collective aim and we all find ways to make each other better.”
Swimming news courtesy of British Swimming.