British Para Swimming is the performance arm of British Swimming for paralympic swimmers in the UK. Currently based at our St James’ building in Manchester city centre, we caught up with Chris Furber, National Performance Director.
Chris joined British Para Swimming back in 2013, previously coaching the British Para-Cycling team.
The British Para-Swimming team are tasked with supporting para-swimmers and delivering medals in the olympic games.
“My proudest moment so far would be leading the team in Rio,” says Chris. With a small but “perfectly formed team”, the swimmers evidenced their talent, coming away with 47 medals, exceeding their medals targets.
Over the past four years, British Para-Swimming have been working hard to establish a particular culture within the sport. “Our culture is called ROAR: responsibility ownership, achievement and respect. It drives what we do, all day, every day. Every decision we make is based around aligning it to that culture and that vision.”
Being based in Manchester city centre allows the team access to a fantastic amount of support. “[Manchester] city council are so supportive and really keen to host world class sporting events and sporting programmes within the city”, says Chris. “It’s just the best place to be in terms of sharing best practice and learning from others within our industry.
When looking for a base, it was important for the British Para-Swimming team to create a collaborative space where people can work, share, talk about the athletes, talk about performance. “We’ve designed this office specifically around that environment,” explains Chris.
“We chose to work with Bruntwood because we liked the way that their business worked and they were really supportive of what we were doing as a business,” says Chris.
British para-swimmers ended 2017 on a high, with 14 World and 22 European records. So what’s next for British Para-Swimming? “At the moment we’ve got our eyes on Tokyo, which is coming up in just under three years time. Everything is focussed on that and trying to deliver our UK sports medal targets and all our athletes are fit, happy and healthy to do their best when we get to Tokyo.”
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