New-look leadership setup for British Swimming

17 Dec 2021

British Swimming can confirm our new-look World Class Leadership Team ahead of a packed aquatics calendar in 2022 and with the next Olympic and Paralympic cycle into Paris 2024 now well underway. 

The revamped leadership group comes into place to help oversee an amalgamated British Swimming setup, incorporating the three core disciplines of diving, para-swimming and swimming. The aim is to allow for greater collaboration across departments, with the ultimate target of supporting strong athlete development, culture and medal-winning performances at Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship level. 

Chris Spice - the National Performance Director for swimming since 2013, who oversaw British Swimming's most successful ever Olympic campaign at Tokyo 2020 - takes on the new role of Performance Director of this new World Class Leadership Team, responsible for driving a consistent culture and performance across the three World Class Programmes.

Tim Jones has been named in the Associate Performance Director role, directly supporting Spice across the disciplines. Matt Ashman will lead and strategically manage the development of a world-leading sports science and sports medicine (SSSM) programme as the Associate Director of SSSM, while Tina Ryan continues as the Head of Performance Systems. Adam Clarke is the Associate Director of Performance Strategy & Operations, responsible for leading policy development and logistical management for the World Class programmes across Para-swimming, Olympic diving and Olympic swimming.

Each discipline will continue with a Head Coach, who looks to establish technical leadership and performance standards for their discipline's World Class Programme, as well as identifying and developing future coaches within their discipline. Those positions are taken by Rob Aubry in para-swimming, Alexei Evangulov for diving and Bill Furniss for swimming.

Speaking about the refreshed British Swimming leadership structure, British Swimming CEO Jack Buckner said: "This is an exciting time for British Swimming following a very successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.  This restructure will enable us to build on the success of Tokyo with more integrated operational functions whilst improving our frontline athlete delivery. 

“We are looking forward to Paris across all the disciplines with a dynamic organisation serving a great team of current and future Olympians and Paralympians.”

Performance Director Spice added: "I am incredibly proud to have been appointed to this role that will encompass our three World Class performance programmes. I look forward to getting to know the athletes and staff of the other disciplines as we move forward in this exciting new era.  

Chris Spice 2021
Chris Spice

“We have also assembled a world-leading leadership team to manage the key areas alongside me.  Tim Jones is one of the outstanding leaders in performance sport and his wealth of experience in judged-sports (previously Performance Director with British Gymnastics), para-programmes (with UK Athletics) and his work in pathway programmes makes him the ideal person to assist me in the development of the overall strategy and delivery of the programme. Tina Ryan brings her experience and knowledge of our key stakeholders and IAP process with her to the new leadership team, and Matt Ashman and Adam Clarke also have gained extensive knowledge from other sports to bring to their new roles, which will stretch across the aquatics performance landscape in Britain.   

“We have proposed a new management structure and are working at pace with current staff to ensure we can hit the ground running as soon as possible in the new year.”

Associate Performance Director Jones said: “We embark on this new chapter for British Swimming in great shape, with a trio of high-performance sports truly at the top of their game. I look forward to working across the business to build on this fantastic platform as we all aspire to achieve even greater success.”

After an 18-month build-up of unprecedented disruption heading into Tokyo 2020, British Swimming left this summer’s Olympic Games with a record-breaking haul of eight medals, including four golds and a world record in the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay. There was a record-equalling three medals in the diving pool, with a gold for Tom Daley and Matty Lee in the Men’s 10m Synchro part of that tally.

A month later, the Paralympics brought 26 medals for the British Para-Swimming team – more than any other sport. That included eight golds, the most decorated Paralympics GB athlete in Tokyo in the form of Reece Dunn and double gold for Maisie Summers-Newton.