Swim Ireland has announced the ‘final piece in the jigsaw of high performance’ after the appointment of Ben Higson as National Senior Team Head Coach and Head Coach of the National Centre (Dublin).
Higson becomes the fourth member of Ireland’s Performance Senior Leadership Team, alongside National Performance Director Jon Rudd, National Performance Services Manager John Watson and National Performance Pathway Manager Andrew Reid.
In the appointments of Rudd and Higson, Swim Ireland have separated the Performance Director and Head Coach roles for the first time, a keystone within the new Swim Ireland Performance Strategy.
Higson will lead the Irish National Team into the major senior international meets of each season, as well as head up the new National Squad system commencing in September of this year.
On a day-to-day basis, he will also lead the National Centre (Dublin), one of two National Centres in Ireland, working alongside recently appointed Assistant Coaches Steven Beckerleg and Bethany Carson.
Lars Humer heads up the National Centre (Limerick), with Emmet Crowley and Cormac Powell in the Assistant Coaching roles.
Higson has numerous senior international medal successes to his credit at Commonwealth, European and World levels. In leading a thriving National Centre in Stirling, Scotland for a number of years, he brings the leadership skills and coaching credentials to the role that will allow him to work with Ireland’s leading athletes on a daily basis to help underline the National Centre in Dublin as one of the best daily performance environments in the world.
A former British Swimming Coaches Association ‘Scottish Coach of the Year’ and a graduate of the highly esteemed UK Sport Elite Coach Programme, Higson is most renowned for his coaching of World, European and Commonwealth medallist Ross Murdoch and has coached numerous athletes to finalist positions at such levels.
Higson will take on the role at the beginning of September and is already looking forward to working with Irish athletes.
“I am delighted to accept the position of National Senior Team Head Coach with Swim Ireland,” he said.
“The opportunity to challenge myself and work collaboratively with the swimming community throughout Ireland is extremely exciting.”
“I strongly believe that we have the team in place to see this nation flourish on the world stage”.
Speaking on today’s announcements, Swim Ireland National Performance Director Jon Rudd commented
“The final piece of our jigsaw is now in place,” added Rudd.
“We now have three full years in which we can focus on how we can deliver for Ireland in Tokyo 2020.”