THE director of swimming and programme coaches at Ellesmere Titans have been suspended by the sport's national body following welfare concerns.

Alan Bircher was suspended by Swim England after parents of clubs members highlighted issues within the club leading to Swim England launching an immediate review of the club which backed up parental claims and and has now changed the club's governance structure completely.

A spokesman for the national governing body said the review into welfare concerns at Titans led to recommendations that Bircher would not be included as part Team GB swimming's coaching team.

The spokesman added: "Swim England was extremely concerned to receive notification of welfare issues from parents of swimmers in Ellesmere College Titans Swimming Club and on receipt of these notifications instigated a thorough independent review, which was conducted in partnership with the relevant Statutory Agency and the Local Authority Designated Officer.

"The report identified welfare and governance issues and immediately the review was concluded, Swim England implemented all the recommendations in the report to ensure a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone in the club.

"This involved a complete change of the governance structure of the club and Swim England Officers working alongside members to put in place a revised structure and procedures.  

"An independent welfare officer is supporting the club and as some of the programme coaches are currently suspended, coaching support has been secured for the programme, overseen by an experienced Swim England Talent Coach."

Swim England thanked parents for raising their concerns and added that coaching staff who have been suspended would not return until conditions had been met.

The spokesman added: "Swim England will remain working with the club until such time as we are content our robust safeguarding and welfare procedures and policies are embedded within the governance of the club.  

"The suspended coaching staff will not return to the programme until such time as all conditions set out in the report have been met to the satisfaction of Swim England.

"The welfare and safety of all of Swim England’s members and British Swimming’s athletes is of paramount importance and we continue to prioritise our duty of care to all within our sport."

However, former Titans coach Amanda Wetherell, who ended her association with the club on Wednesday, June 30, has asked The Tizer to state that she was not subject to any Swim England suspension or disciplinary action. 

We are happy to do so.