Swansea swimming centre's elite status threatened by GB cuts

Swansea's status as a training centre for elite swimmers is under review after the sport's funding was cut.

UK Sport on Tuesday announced a £4m reduction in elite funding after British swimmers won only three medals at the Olympics.

Swansea is one of five British intensive swimming training centres.

"We're looking at how these are being run, probably there will be some reductions there," said Robert James, chief executive of Welsh Swimming.

The board of Welsh Swimming was meeting on Wednesday to discuss the implications of the cut, with James - who is also a member of the British Swimming Board - saying he expected it to be "intense".

Rio 2016 Olympic funding

2012 2016 %

Rowing

£27.29m

£32.6m

19.5%

Sailing

£22.94m

£24.5m

6.8%

Shooting

£2.46m

£3m

21.9%

Swimming

£25.14m

£21.4m

-14.9%

Sync Swim

£3.39m

£4.3m

26.5%

Table Tennis

£1.21m

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-

Taekwondo

£4.83m

£6.9m

42.75%

Triathlon

£5.29m

£5.5m

3.9%

Volleyball

£3.53m

£0.4m

-88.7%

Water Polo

£2.93m

£4.5m

53.6%

Weighlifting

£1.36m

£1.8m

32.3%

Wrestling

£1.44m

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"In Britain the first thing we're going to look at is our intensive training centres, we presently have five in swimming," he told BBC Radio Wales.

"Swansea is one of the ITCs, there's one in Stirling in Scotland, Stockport, Loughborough and Bath."

James agreed there could be reductions in staff or even centres, and added that he could not guarantee Swansea would be safe from cuts.

"No I wouldn't say that. I've got an intense meeting tomorrow [Wednesday] with the Welsh Swimming Board just to go through where we can look at making savings and how we can help British Swimming maintain the centre here in Swansea," said James.

He also gave an assurance he would be fighting Swansea's corner.

"I will be, especially after last weekend when we had the World Short Course championship in Istanbul and Jemma Lowe, who's based in Swansea, came away with two bronze medals," he said.

"I know it's the Short Course Championships, but it is the World Championships and Georgia Davies and Jazz Carlin [both also based in Swansea] also swam very well and were finalists in their events."

Haller wants club swimming protected

Swansea has an enviable reputation as a centre of excellence for disability swimming, with Paralympic multi-gold medallist Ellie Simmonds based there for training.

But that is unlikely to be affected as disability swimming's funding has been increased.

However, James conceded there were difficult discussions to be had with a decision possible as early as March 2013.

"Well, it's not going to be rushed," he said. "We're going through a systematic review and I think probably we will have the final criteria for the review ready for March and we will be making the judgement on the centres and savings probably in our March board meeting."