The 50m pool facility will include a Performer Development Centre (PDC).
The PDC programme will have three common objectives across Commonwealth/Olympic and Paralympic sports:
- Improve the quality of athletes entering national performance development programmes and the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI);
- Develop coaches who work with talented athletes and players at a regional level; and
- Increase the retention of athletes who have been in performance programmes within (or across) sports.
It is envisioned that athletes will derive a number benefits from the PDC programme:
- Regular training with like-minded, comparably talented and motivated athletes;
- Regular monitoring on quality of technique / relative fitness levels;
- Specific and ongoing application of the LTAD concept and it’s relevance to performance development;
- Exposure to new coaching experiences;
- Access to specific support expertise and inspiration;
- Opportunity to compete/ train at a higher level;
- Opportunity to improve and move on to higher strands of support; and
- Programme identity through issue of PDC athlete kit.
The development of athletes/players to achieve higher levels of performance is also dependent on personal coach development in increasing their knowledge and understanding of higher levels of competition. Coaches on the programme may be eligible for:
- Coach development opportunities outside of their sport e.g. Practitioner Development Programme;
- Continuing support from their Swim Ireland/Swim Ulster coach education programme;
- Exposure to and direct involvement with a variety of coaching techniques and philosophies; and
- Coaching forums to maximise discussion between lead coaches, personal coaches, Swim Ireland, and Swim Ulster coaches.
Sport Northern Ireland will work with North Down Borough Council and delivery partners to:
Develop an integrated and aligned talent development system with governing bodies’ that embraces the PDC programme within the athlete/player pathway;
Agree with Swim Ireland/Swim Ulster entry criteria, selection standards, including a de-selection policy for athletes; and
Support Swim Ulster and partners in identifying athletes who can benefit from the PDC programme.