Grant Robins To Lead Team England’s Swimmers At 2022 Commonwealth Games

David Cumberlidge in action at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games - Photo Courtesy: Team England
David Cumberlidge: Photo Courtesy: Team England

Grant Robins has been appointed as team leader for Team England at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Robins, who was fifth in the 200 back and eighth over 100m at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand, will repeat the role he undertook at the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

As well as competing at the 1990 Games, Robins was on the coaching team at the 1998 edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and now being team leader for the second time is an honour, 20 years after England last hosted the event in Manchester in 2002.

In a release from Swim England, Robins said:

“As current Head of Talent for Swim England, the opportunity to be Team Leader at a home Games is an incredible privilege.

“Through our aligned pathway there will be swimmers and para-swimmers on our team in Birmingham that have come through the whole swimming journey and to see them thriving there will be amazing.

“The 2022 Games will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase England Swimming to a home crowd.”

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James Wilby: Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Team England swimmers claimed 24 podium places two years ago with nine golds, 10 silvers and five bronze medals.

James Wilby had a standout meet, taking 200 breaststroke gold, 100 silver and 50 bronze as well as swimming the heats as Team England took silver in the 4×1 medley relay.

Robins cast his mind back to the Games in 2018 while also acknowledging the strength and depth of the opposition they will face.

“I loved it two years ago – it was the quickest and longest two weeks of my life.

“When you’re in the moment, it goes in slow motion – with hindsight it went really quick.

“The experience I had in Australia will enable me to be at the forefront of anything that comes out of the woodwork in Birmingham.

“I would certainly try and replicate the organisation, culture and atmosphere as we will need to be on top of our game – it’s not going to be an easy ride as the Australians and Canadians will be coming in force.

“There will be more eyes on us as you would expect but this is an opportunity to work with some pretty good people on home soil and that seemed too good an opportunity to turn down.”

Countdown To A Home Games

With 658 days until the Games begin on Thursday 28 July, 2022, all the Team England sport leads are meeting virtually for the first time on Thursday 8 October.

Construction is under way on a brand new facility in the Sandwell area of Birmingham, a city in the English midlands.

Birmingham 2022

Photo Courtesy: Birmingham 2022

Robins hopes that is one of many things that can galvanise the athletes into producing their best Commonwealth performance yet.

“With it being a home Games, a home crowd, a brand new pool, that is so exciting – the swimmers will relish it.

“We want to have the best Games ever, whether it’s gold medals, the number of  medals won or season’s bests – we want to be successful and with the preparation planned, supported by Sport England, Commonwealth Games England and British Swimming  we will be.

“I’m looking forward to developing the culture with our staff and athletes that will enable us to do that and we’ll look to create the positive environment where success is inevitable.

“I’ll have a great team around me to make sure that we are all on song and have the best environment for our swimmers to perform. If we take care of the little things, the bigger things will take care of themselves.”

How Tokyo 2020 Postponement Is A Positive

So too does Robins believe that the one-year delay to the Olympics can be beneficial after Tokyo 2020 was pushed back to July 2021.

“We’re taking the delay of the Olympic Games as a positive.

“It gives the younger members of the Olympic team and the performance squads another year to prepare.

“Some of the more established swimmers might now be potentially thinking they could carry on for another two years to perform in Birmingham at a home games and those sort of situations don’t come around very often.”

Chef de mission Mark England said:

 “Team Leaders play a pivotal role in the preparation of athletes and support staff in the lead up to and during the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s really encouraging that we have such a high-quality group as we prepare our sports for the Games in Birmingham.

“I’m confident they’ll ensure every athlete has everything they need to showcase their talent and achieve performance success on the home stage for Team England in less than two years’ time.”

 


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