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British Swimming appoint Paralympic Performance Director

British Swimming has appointed a new National Performance Director to lead its successful Paralympic swimming programme. Chris Furber is tasked with building on the success of Britain’s swimmers at the London 2012 Paralympic Games as he drives the programme forward to Rio 2016.

The current Lead Coach of British Cycling’s Paralympic team, Furber joins British Swimming with an impressive track record having led the GB cyclists to first place on the Paralympics medals table in both Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Commenting on his appointment, Furber said:

“This is an incredibly exciting move for me. I love disability sport and the opportunity to lead the sport of swimming which has 148 opportunities to win Paralympic gold is an incredible one that I could not ignore. I’ve been at British Cycling for 13 years and, while I’m sad to be leaving, I believe the opportunity with British Swimming is ideally suited. I feel the impact I can make will help the team to move up the medal table while building on the good work done by the previous performance director John Atkinson.”

During his time with British Cycling, which began in 2000, Furber has developed an impressive record in elite sport with a return of 42 Paralympic medals - including 25 gold; 106 World Championship medals - including 63 gold; and 33 World Records.

Furber will begin his role on 13 May and one of his key objectives will be to explore a number of different strategies aimed at delivering more gold medals in Rio. 

Commenting on the announcement British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Chris to our successful Paralympic swimming team as the new National Performance Director. Chris has been a critical factor in the success of the Paralympic cycling team, witnessed by all in London last summer, which embraced many of the characteristics of the successful Olympic cycling team. I’m sure Chris will bring with him some interesting and exciting ideas from cycling which will drive the future success of the Paralympic swimming team and build on the foundations laid by successive NPDs.”

Sparkes and British Swimming will now look to appoint a head coach of the highest calibre to provide additional strength and depth to the Paralympic programme. He said:

“I look forward to this exciting period as Chris leads the team to Rio. Together we will now begin the search for a world class head coach to work alongside Chris as we adopt a similar leadership model to the one we’ve put in place across the Olympic swimming programme.”

Simon Timson, Director of Performance at UK Sport, said:

“The role of Performance Director for Disability Swimming is one of the most important jobs in British Olympic and Paralympic sport and, given the high number of medals available, demands the highest calibre of leader. Chris will not only bring a wealth of experience but more importantly a track record of delivering success at the highest level. As we embark on the Rio cycle, it’s extremely encouraging to see, in the afterglow of London 2012, that many of our most talented coaches are recognising that the British high performance system is a great place to be, with exciting opportunities ahead, and choosing to stay with us on the road to Rio 2016 as their careers progress.”

For  more information, please contact Gemma Field, Senior Communications Officer at British Swimming.

Visit the British Swimming website