The growing success of Borders swimming looks set to continue despite the imminent departure of the man responsible for putting the area’s aquatic achievers on the map.
Alex Jordan returns home to his native Australia at the end of the month following an extremely productive six-year stretch as the Borders development coach.
And before leaving, Jordan, who was responsible for implementing the highly successful Borders Performance Development Programme, highlighted the importance of maintaining current funding levels to allow the sport to continue to grow.
“Finding funding is always a challenge, especially at the moment,” he told The Southern.
“The programme has improved its results year on year, has achieved success at international level and our membership has grown considerably.
“We keep youngsters off the street, give them direction, improve their health, and their academic results tend to improve massively also.”
Rick Kenney, chair of BEST since its inception, told us: “The programme has improved year on year since Alex started coaching our swimmers and providing assistance to local clubs and their coaches, and his innovative coaching methods have moved the standards to new heights.
“Alex leaves the programme in great shape and we are encouraged that our funding partners indicate that they will continue to support the programme and its swimmers in future years to come.”
Since taking up his post in 2008, Jordan has steered the programme – a partnership between Scottish Swimming, Borders Sport and Leisure Trust and five local amateur swimming clubs – which has produced some pretty impressive results, highlighted by the inclusion of Kelso’s Lucy Hope at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
“The programme was set up to cater for swimmers in the Borders so they didn’t have to travel for performance coaching. The fact that Lucy was the first swimmer in more than 60 years, still living and training in the Borders, to make the Commonwealth Games team, justifies its existence,” said Jordan.
More on Alex Jordan’s success story next week.