We reported in September how Swimming Western Australia, home to 85 swim clubs and over 10,500 members, had announced plans for a third High Performance Training Center (HPTC), aimed at developing athletes for Tokyo 2020. Details of the venture have now been revealed, as the Western Australian Swimming Association, Inc. and Western Australia Institute of Sport and Swimming Australia Limited (SAL) announced the ‘South HPTC’ is slated to open early 2017. The HPTC will primarily be based at Aqua Jetty in Rockingham, but will also be hosted at the Cockburn Aquatic Recreation Center (ARC), which is set to open early next year.
In making the announcement, Swimming WA Chief Executive Officer Darren Beazley said a third HPTC will have far-reaching benefits for the sport of swimming in WA.
“The Association received two very strong applications to host the HPTC, one from east of the CBD and one from the south. The Committee, comprised of representatives from Swimming Australia, WAIS and Swimming WA, had to make a very difficult decision, which indicates the current strength of WA swimming. The bid from the east of the city was very impressive and compelling, but in the end, the group believe that basing the third HPTC in the southern corridor will provide swimmers, coaches and officials with access to a performance programme that is able to identify and develop talented swimmers with the potential to swim for their State and their country over the next four to eight years,” Mr Beazley said.
“Australia’s strength in the pool over so many years is something that we must not take for granted. The goal of this combined investment by WAIS and Swimming WA is to attract the ‘first choice athlete’. In order to keep pace and take the lead in the fiercely competitive area of sport, swimming needs to be bold.
“The new HPTC, adding to the existing HPTCs in the west and the north, is a bold step. The new HPTC will provide coaches with first class education and development opportunities, exceptional training facilities such as at the new Cockburn ARC and Aqua Jetty and swimmers with a training environment that develops them as an athlete and a person and is second to none.”
The new Southern HPTC has been endorsed by Swimming Australia.
“For us, the opportunity presented by the establishment of a third HPTC is fantastic. The pooling of talent, both coach and athlete, as well as the combined resources of the various parties to the agreement are an effective and efficient way of enabling performance swimming outcomes,” said Swimming Australia’s General Manager, Performance Wayne Lomas. “We applaud Swimming WA and WAIS for their commitment to further developing our sport with this model.”
Rockingham Swimming Club President Grant Beste said his Club, which is based at the Aqua Jetty facility, is excited about the new HPTC taking shape in the southern corridor.
“Supported by South Lake Dolphins Swimming Club at the new Cockburn Facility, along with swimming clubs in the southern and Peel region, Rockingham Swimming Club sees the Southern HPTC providing an important pathway for swimmers baaed in the south of the state with an amazing opportunity develop their ability in their chosen sport,” he said.
“The support and direction of Swimming WA to underpin the HPTC in the southern region will open many opportunities to provide the region’s swimmers with a structured performance pathway that hopefully will see swimmers achieve their goals with Australian team selection.”
The Southern HPTC is set to be operational by May 2017, with applications for the Head Coach role set to open in January.
Western Australia was represented by one Paralympic swimmer, as well as three Olympic swimmers in Rio de Janeiro this summer, including the youngest member of the Aussie contingency, Tamsin Cook. Cook earned a silver medal as a member of the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay. The purpose of opening another HPTC is to keep rising stars like Cook from leaving WA for greener pastures in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.