Swim Ireland has made a bold move with the appointment of Jon Rudd as its new National Performance Director.
Rudd comes to Ireland with serious experience in international swimming and will lead Swim Ireland’s High Performance Programme in the next Olympic cycle through to Tokyo 2020.
Currently based in Plymouth, England, he is the coach of 2012 Olympic Gold medallist and World Record holder Ruta Meilutyte and 2016 Olympic Finalist Ben Proud.
He has been Head Coach of Plymouth Leander Swimming Club from 1989 and Director of Swimming at Plymouth College since 2006.
Rudd has worked as Head Coach of both the Senior Great Britain and England swimming teams in recent years, also working closely with the Lithuanian National team in the development of Meilutyte.
Twice awarded the British Swimming Coach of the Year Award and the current British Swimming Coaches Association Chairman, Rudd’s credentials are an ideal fit for this role in terms of Ireland’s preparations for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
“I am honoured to take on this role for Swim Ireland as it is an exciting opportunity for both them and I,”said Rudd who will take up the new role in February 2017.
“I am obviously sad to be leaving something that I have created and built over what is almost three decades and it also hurts to be leaving behind such great athletes and a wonderful workforce.”
“My thoughts now though are with my colleagues and athletes in Ireland, where I will now build a world class team around me that can help Ireland find that elusive podium finish at World and Olympic level.”
“I am really excited by the appointment of Jon. He is very driven and determined and will be a strong leader,” added Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane.
“Jon has the relevant skills and experience to be our National Performance Director and has the ambition to help us attain our vision.”
After a review of the performance framework earlier in 2016 Swim Ireland has put in place a restructured programme for 2017 and beyond. The revised framework sets out a vision of a long-term, systemic approach to achieving consistent medal success at Olympic and World level.
The framework is centered on the people within the system – athletes, coaches, support staff and administrators – and focuses on developing a culture of personal excellence that builds their capability to operate successfully at the highest levels of World sport.
Swim Ireland has also identified seven strategic high performance focus areas – athletes & athlete pathways; daily performance environment; camps & competitions; coaching; personal excellence; expertise led; and competitive advantage.
As part of the restructure a new approach to leadership was established to execute the High Performance Strategy. The appointment of Rudd is the first step in this, with recruitment of a Swim Ireland Head Coach also underway currently.
This will be the first time that Swim Ireland will have both a National Performance Director and Head Coach in place at the same time.