Ellie Simmonds to relocate to Loughborough
Ellie Simmonds and her long-standing coach Billy Pye have announced that the 18 year old swimming star will relocate her training base to Loughborough University following the IPC World Championships in August.
The move will provide Simmonds with the opportunity to utilise the world-class facilities available in Loughborough, while allowing her to return to the close proximity of her family home, which is located in the midlands.
Simmonds’ new coach at Loughborough will be Steve Bayley, while Pye, who has guided the Paralympic star since her relocation to Swansea six years ago, will continue to work with her while she is away at competitions and on training camps.
“The last six years with Billy have been absolutely incredible and I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done for me,” said the four-time Paralympic gold medallist.
“I'm hugely lucky to have had him supporting me all these years and I'm extremely grateful for his support in assisting my move to Loughborough.
“Loughborough’s obviously an incredible campus, with an unrivalled sporting heritage that will provide me with an exciting new challenge and an opportunity to push myself even further.
“It’s great that I can remain involved with Billy and I look forward to being able to work with him at camps and competitions.”
Pye echoed Simmonds’ comments and believes his protégé will continue to raise the bar of what has already been a phenomenal career.
He said: “It’s been a privilege coaching Ellie on a daily basis for the last six years and it’s been wonderful to see her grow from a hugely talented youngster to an inspirational young lady.
“I’ll of course continue to liaise with her regularly and she’ll have the best possible support with Steve in Loughborough.”
Steve Bayley, Simmonds’ new Head Coach, said: “The fact that Ellie has chosen Loughborough as her new training base demonstrates how our swimming programme continues to attract some of the biggest names in the sport.
“I know that we will give Ellie a warm welcome when she joins our programme in September. Also for me personally I am relishing the opportunity to work with Ellie and be her new coach for the next stage of her career.”
Simmonds will next travel to Montreal for the IPC World Championships in August, but both Pye and the Walsall swimmer have emphasised it’s a case of business as usual as they look forward to the biggest competition since the London 2012 Paralympics last summer.
“The focus is now very much on the World Championships,” added Simmonds.
“I'm feeling in great shape and training has been fantastic, so I couldn’t be in better condition ahead of Montreal.”