University of Calgary, Calgary Swim Club team up with innovative program to support dreams of Olympic swimmers

The following is a press release courtesy of the University of Calgary:

CALGARY – The University of Calgary’s Faculty of Kinesiology has teamed up with the University of Calgary Swim Club to offer an innovative program designed to push swimmers to new heights on the international stage.

The University of Calgary International Training Program will direct performance programming toward those targeted swimmers with international goals working toward the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Launched in response to Swimming Canada’s reorganization, which eliminated the National Swim Centre in Alberta, the ITP will be led by Dinos head coach and the UCSC’s Director of Swimming, Mike Blondal and complement the existing varsity and club programs. The Canadian Sport Institute – Calgary is also a partner in the delivery model.

Swimmers selected for the ITP will receive access to world-class sport science and athlete monitoring, delivered by renowned physiologist Scott Maw and utilizing the collective expertise available through the Canadian Sport Institute and the University of Calgary. There will be funding available for athletes who meet the requirements and commitment levels, and who want to chase their international dreams in the pool.

“We’re excited to launch this initiative, which will keep Calgary and the University of Calgary as a destination for top swimmers,” said Blondal. “Together with the Canadian Sport Institute, our combined experience in managing the previous national centre will allow the continued pursuit of high performance swimming, targeting top-eight performances at the Olympic Games.”

To augment the coaching ranks, the University of Calgary swimming program is pleased to announce the addition of two full-time coaches in Mads Hansen and Jan Bidrman, joining the team that includes Blondal and Carl Simonson.

Hansen, who comes to Calgary from the University of Regina, will be Senior Assistant Coach and work closely with Blondal and the senior swimmers. He recently completed his master’s degree in kinesiology at Regina, specializing in swimming biomechanics, and has been involved in performance swimming in both Canada and his native Denmark for the past 13 years.

Bidrman is no stranger to the campus, having been head coach of the National Swim Centre based in Calgary. He has coached several Olympians, including gold medalist Penny Heyns and bronze medalist Curtis Myden, and will now provide that experience working at the age group level. Here, he will coach the 12-and-under program with a look into future swimmer development.

Swimming is the most decorated sport at the University of Calgary, with 15 CIS men’s championships and three national women’s titles dating back to 1982. Dinos swimmers have brought home eight Olympic medals, highlighted by Mark Tewksbury’s gold in the 100-metre backstroke at Barcelona in 1992.

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8 years ago

Sounds like a great solution and a nice experiment as an alternate model to the National Training Centre approach. Wish them the best of luck on this.

Reply to  Patrick W. Brundage
8 years ago

But what’s the difference between this and the National Training Centre, aside from the name? Is it just a matter of funding?

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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