Three of Yorkshire’s Olympians have played down the problems in British Swimming despite a public outburst by the sport’s highest-profile star, Rebecca Adlington.
The four-time Olympic medallist has hit out at the lack of leadership within an organisation that emerged from London 2012 as the host nation’s poorest performing major team.
Adlington has urged the governing body to appoint a new head coach as soon as possible, after Dennis Pursley vacated the role – as planned – immediately after the Games. Performance director Michael Scott has also resigned following a review into the under-performance in London.
Adlington blasted: “We’ve been dying for them to appoint a head coach for months. Why is it taking so long?
“Surely, that would make more sense for the head coach to be appointed before the review.
“A lot of us don’t know who we are going to at the moment. Who do we speak to? It’s awful what’s been going on.”
Adlington’s good friend and close rival Joanne Jackson, from Northallerton, retired last month and while she does not feel as passionate about the situation, she agrees that direction is required.
“I think a lot needs changing at British Swimming. That’s been proven over the last few months,” said the Beijing bronze medallist.
“It needs someone to come in who knows a lot about British Swimming and can give coaches and swimmers the kick up the backside that they need.
“It’s not that long to the next world championships (July, 2013), and people need to be working together better. It’s a lonely sport at times and coaches need to work together to create a stronger team.
“Swimmers need greater support from the coaches and they also need to have their confidence built up better, because being negative doesn’t work.
“The big meets are eight days long and if things don’t start right, the message through the camp needs to be a positive one, rather than a negative one. Better support will create better results.”
Adlington also questioned the lack of leadership for the team that heads out to Istanbul next week for the world short-course championships.
Two of City of Sheffield’s London Olympians, Ellie Faulkner, 19, and Becky Turner, 20, will be in that squad, but neither feels the lack of a head coach will affect them too greatly for what is a major meet for the duo.
“It’s not really a concern, for me,” said Sheffield’s Faulkner.
“It’s just a matter of getting out there and doing what you can. You have to be self-motivated, regardless of what’s going on in the background.”
Rotherham’s Turner added: “British Swimming are just having a moment to get restarted for the new cycle and it will be all sorted within a few months.”