Two-time Olympic medalist Ryan Cochrane from Saanich turned to a career in local real estate after retiring in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)

Swimming Canada to close Victoria’s high performance centre after Tokyo 2020 Olympics

‘Very disappointing to see a sports federation pull its support,’ says former HCP-Victoria swimmer

In an effort to streamline the High Performance network across the country, Swimming Canada will close the High Performance Centre (HCP) in Victoria and the Victoria NextGen program after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

In an effort the balance resources, Swimming Canada made the decision to focus on two HCP facilities – one in Toronto and one in Vancouver, explained High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson.

READ ALSO: Swimmers flock to Oak Bay as other pools close for maintenance

“The Victoria centre has had some successful results over the years, now the time is right to best position ourselves for Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028,” said Atkinson.

In September, Swimming Canada announced that Ryan Malette, head coach of HCP-Victoria, would be moving to Ontario to take over as Associate Head Coach at HCP-Ontario. Brad Dingey, lead coach of the Victoria NextGen program, will lead both Victoria programs until they shut down in 2020.

HCP-Victoria has housed many award winning athletes including Pan Am Games medallists Danielle Hanus, Faith Knelson and Jeremy Bagshaw and retired Olympic swimmer, Ryan Cochrane.

READ ALSO: Province dips into Saanich’s Commonwealth pool with Olympic funding

Cochrane, who now works in real estate, was sad to hear that Swimming Canada will no longer be operating in Victoria. He noted that he benefited greatly from being with HCP-Victoria throughout his career.

The facility is one of the best in the country and had “some of the brightest and hardest working coaches and support staff in the world,” said Cochrane, a two-time Olympic medallist. Some of Canada’s top Olympic swimmers from the past 15 years have come out of HCP-Victoria, he noted.

“It’s very disappointing to see a sports federation pull its support from athletes who continue to progress on the international scene,” said Cochrane.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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