Bill Sweetenham was the coaching force behind Australia's success at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. He was voted Australian Coach of the Year three times and has coached 63 swimmers in international competitions to 27 medals in four Olympics and seven World Championships. He spent more than 20 years coaching Australian swimmers to success before accepting the position of head coach of the Hong Kong Sports Institute (1991 to 1994). He then returned to Australia as the national youth coach to prepare up-and-coming swimmers for the 2000 Olympics. To date, he says he's most proud of placing nine swimmers on the 1989 Australian Pan Pacific Team who scored a 100% strike rate for improved heats to final performances and a 100% personal best strike rate.
Sweetenham was named Great Britain's national performance director in November 2000, a position he currently holds. The rebuilding of Great Britain's team didn't take long: They posted their best results since 1975 at the 2001 World Championships in Japan.
In addition to taking national teams to the height of international success, Sweetenham continues to lecture, publish, and conduct clinics all over the world.
John Atkinson returned to his homeland and joined Sweetenham in Great Britain as the national youth coach with British Swimming in November 2000. Born in the United Kingdom, where he swam competitively before starting a coaching career in 1985, Atkinson was a team coach at the national and club level in Australia from 1995 to 2000. While in Australia, he coached at the Elizabeth Aquatic Club; was team coach with the Australian team at the Oceania Championships in 1997; national youth camp coach in 1997; and head coach for the successful Tip Top program in 1998, where he first had the opportunity to work with Sweetenham.
Atkinson has worked with teams from Australia, Japan, India, and the Republic of South Africa national youth team. He currently resides in Lancashire, England, with his wife, Victoria.show more