Atkinson Takes up Role with Swimming Canada
John Atkinson has resigned from the role of National Performance Director for Disability Swimming to head up the Swimming Canada High Performance programme.
Atkinson has lead 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.
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.”
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.”
The process to find a new Performance Director is already underway while 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, Chairman of the British Paralympic Association, 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.”