University dives into new swimming Performance Hub

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Elite swimmers in the region will now be able to train in Newcastle with the University of Newcastle today officially opening its new NUsport Performance Hub, created in partnership with Swimming NSW and the NSW Institute of Sport.

Two male swimmers in a pool standing and smiling
Bevan Smith and Bryn Bowen are part of the Performance Hub

The performance hub will operate from the University’s recently refurbished swimming pool at NUsport, Callaghan, and athletes will be coached by internationally recognised swimmer, Sander Ganzevles.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alex Zelinsky, AO said the University was proud to launch the new Performance Hub in partnership with Swimming NSW and NSW Institute of Sport.

“Our University is committed to supporting people to achieve their best and we recently upgraded our pool to provide the region with state-of-the art facilities that have enabled us to host this program.

“Previously the closest hub for swimmers in our region was in Sydney, which meant significant travel. The new Performance Hub has given swimmers in our region a pathway to representative swimming and will mean they will be able to continue their training without having to leave our region.

“We already support athletes across a range of sporting fields to study and compete through our Elite Athlete Program. We’re thrilled to now partner with Swimming NSW and NSW Institute of Sport, who are leading institutions, to provide world-class coaching in our world-class facility.

“Offering this training program will help more swimmers and students reach their greatest potential both in and out of the pool.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Hon. Taylor Martin said the new Hub would provide better opportunities for the region.

“The NUsport Performance Hub is a fantastic opportunity to provide a pathway for local, talented athletes to reach the highest levels in their sport while training in their own backyard,” Mr Martin said.

“The performance hub will operate from the University’s recently refurbished swimming pool at NUsport, Callaghan, and athletes will be coached by internationally recognised swimmer, Sander Ganzevles.”

Minister for Sport Alister Henskens said NSW is the greatest contributor to Australia’s success in the pool and the Hub will support athletes to achieve podium performances.

“This partnership cements our collective regional strategy to provide better access to world class facilities and training environments for our future Olympians,” Mr Henskens said.

NSWIS CEO Kevin Thompson said the provision of performance staff was essential to the success of the Hub.

“NSWIS is proud to co-fund with Swimming NSW the employment of a high-performance coach to lead the NUsport Performance Hub program and support the growth of development of local coaches,” Mr Thompson said.

Swimming NSW President Chris Fydler OAM said the new Hub would help to create better opportunities for swimmers across NSW.

“Swimming NSW has recently launched its new Strategic Plan with a key goal to create more first choice performance environments for NSW swimmers across the State and we are delighted to launch our newest Performance Centre at the University of Newcastle.

“Having a highly engaged infrastructure partner in NUsport along with strong support from NSWIS and the local swimming community made the process of selecting a place for our newest program simple and we are excited what the future will hold for the swimmers and coaches of this area.”

Swimmer and student Bryn Bowen is part of the University’s Elite Athlete Education Network (EAEN) and a member of the new Performance Hub.

He said he hoped that the new training hub would help him reach his full potential as a swimmer.

“Sander is a really great guy and an amazing coach. My goal is to be an Olympic swimmer and Sander has swum at an international level, so he understands the type of training and commitment that it takes to make it as a swimmer.

“Having the support of the Elite Athlete Network, which helps me to balance my training and my studies and now the training hub is a more professional environment and it has made it feel like we’re being supported to be the best swimmers and students we can be.”

The Hub currently has five athletes, with more swimmers from the region to be selected into the program over the coming months. Sander has previously held coaching roles with the German and Dutch Swimming Federations and most recently with Cairns Stingrays.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.