“This is a fantastic opportunity for me to join one of the biggest and most successful teams within Paralympic history and one that I could not resist."
Rob Greenwood has been appointed head coach of the new look British Para-Swimming programme.
Greenwood reached the highest level as a competitive swimmer representing Team GB at the 2000 Olympics. In 2004, he
moved into coaching as head age group coach for the Gallica Performance Squad and, just a year later, began leading the programme as head coach.
Following the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Greenwood moved to the British Gas ITC Stirling and was later appointed interim head coach of the centre. As a coach he has placed athletes on to national teams at every major championships including four of the swimmers that competed at the World Championships in Barcelona this summer.
Greenwood will be based in Manchester, when he undertakes his new role in October, where he will work alongside National Performance Director Chris Furber to further the development and success of the team that returned from the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships with 55 medals.
“I am really excited about taking on the challenge of leading a national team,” Greenwood said. “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to join one of the biggest and most successful teams within Paralympic history and one that I could not resist.
“With everything I have learnt from my time at Stirling and as part of the UK Sport Elite Coaching Apprenticeship Programme I think I have the skill set to work alongside Chris [Furber] to help the team continue to be a success and remain as the country’s biggest Paralympic sport.
“For swimming at the Games there are a huge number of medal opportunities and I am looking forward to the challenge of building on the back of London’s success as we head towards Rio. My focus and attention will be on each day between now and Rio, ensuring our athletes, support staff and coaches are the best prepared that they can be.
“I would like to thank British Swimming and UK Sport for the opportunities that I have been given to develop myself. I also want to thank Scottish Swimming, sportscotland and Stirling University for their support and without them and the athletes at the centre I wouldn’t be able to take this step up to this role.”
Furber is excited about the appointment and believes Greenwood has what it takes to help lead the programme to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and beyond.
“We’re really excited about the appointment,” Furber said. “Rob has shown himself to a world class coach in Stirling and will add a lot to the programme. It’s great that British Para-Swimming can attract a coach of Rob’s pedigree to this position and I look forward to working closely with him.
“This important head coach role will provide the programme with a technical lead while also having a strong presence on the pool deck. He has the perfect combination of skills and knowledge required to continue to move the programme forward.
“Rob will assist in the development of coaches across Britain and will help to shape the strategy through to Rio. And while at international events I’m confident he will lead the British Gas GBR Para-Swimming Team to continued success.”
The programme has undergone significant change since London 2012 and will now be known as British Para-Swimming to bring the sport in line with the Paralympic Games and further demonstrate the elite level of the athletes.
“It’s reflective of the public viewpoint that this is about elite performance,” Furber said. “It aligns us with the Paralympic Games and says this is about the performance level of the sport.
“It is a term that is understood by the person on the street. This is about elite athletes.”