In his six-year term as Borders swimming development coach, Alex Jordan has built up a reputation for nurturing home grown talent with the ultimate aim of competing at the highest possible level.
On Monday he will return to his native Australia, with his wife Wendy and three-and-a- half-year-old son Finn, to take up his new post based in a private school in Melbourne, but before leaving Jordan took some time out to talk about his time in the Borders.
“I’m very proud of the performance programme we’ve set up from scratch,” he told The Southern.
“One of the best things about leaving what I knew in Australia, and coming to a place where I knew nobody, was that I had to really strongly consider my own coaching philosophies and practices without outside input.
“This really helped me find my best coaching and I’ll be returning to Australia a far better coach than when I left.”
One of Jordan’s highest achievers is undoubtedly Kelso’s Lucy Hope who, after competing strongly at national and European level, was selected to swim for Team Scotland at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Lucy told us: “Alex’s experience and knowledge has helped me improve and mature in many different aspects of my life. Swimming at the Commonwealth Games would not have happened without his help, which I am very grateful for.”
Leaving his post in the Borders has not been an easy decision for the Aussie aquatics guru, but he is confident that the platform he has built will stand firm after he has gone.
“The shape the squad is in currently (regularly in and around the top 10 in Scotland at national age group and senior levels) has made moving on a really difficult decision for me,” he added.
“We have a really exciting bunch of youngsters in the squad who are committed and talented. They absolutely love swimming which is the most important factor in achieving their full potential.
“These traits define the team culture we’ve created and should stand the squad in very good stead going forward.
“If the funding and support continues there’s no reason why my successor cannot achieve even more with the programme.” Jordan also paid tribute to the many colleagues, volunteers and parents who have helped him, and the swimmers, achieve their goals.
“It will be hard to leave. I’ve worked with some great people and it’s a beautiful part of the world. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here,” he said.