The BEST Centre

Bluewater Elite Sports Training Centre

About The BEST Centre

BEST – Bluewater Elite Sports Training Centre – is the number one outdoor Olympic swim centre in Europe, and has attracted sports teams and individual athletes from across the world for training camps and clinics for the past 10 years. But where did it all start?

The BEST Centre – a sports centre with an Olympic swimming pool as its centrepiece – was developed by two former olympic swimmers James Parrack and Matthew O’Connor, who recognised an opportunity to use their experience, expertise and talent to build a world-renowned training centre.

Co-founders James and Matthew grew up in local swimming clubs and both went on to represent Great Britain at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games respectively. Throughout their swimming careers, both have experienced all levels of training camps all over the world, from youngsters with their local clubs, to seniors with the British team.

With a life-time of first hand experience, Matthew and James set up the company Bluewater Training Camps, where they successfully organised and delivered club training camps and Family Swim Holidays across Europe. After recognising their talent and success, they then built a Centre where they could do all of this and more – and so they began looking for the perfect location to build their sports centre.

The BEST Centre was opened on the 4th of July 2009. After recognising a gap in the market for a sports centre situated within a town environment, yet away from the hustle, bustle and distractions of city life, the small, picturesque coastal town of Colonia Sant Jordi proved the perfect location. With short walks between hotels, beaches, the harbour, shops, restaurants and the pool, and with hiking, biking, kayaking, caving, sailing, fishing, snorkeling and the beautiful island of Cabrera just off the coast, there is plenty to ensure all visitors have an unforgettable experience.

Mission

With their lifetime of first-hand experience, James and Matthew founded the BEST Centre on the premise that they would create the ideal training environment to make your camp as successful as possible, with the core mission to help athletes across the world as they pursue their sporting dreams.

At the BEST Centre we are proud of our small team of sport enthusiasts. Each and every individual employed within the centre is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality service, whether that be through our poolside coaching, our efficient organisation, or our local advice and tips that make your camp unique.

Although originally attracting swimmers, triathletes, synchronised swimmers, and water polo players, because of the surrounding areas, runners and cyclists are now regular clients.

Our new large outdoor multifunctional area, which is attracting yoga and fitness enthusiasts, is a move towards our aim to become a centre renowned not only for excellence in aquatic sports, but for a huge array of land-based sports, allowing us to support all athletes in the pursuit of their sporting dreams.

Facilities

Our state of the art facilities at The BEST Centre make this site the perfect location for your club training camp, attracting individuals and teams from across the world.

More specifically, we have welcomed 1000s of different swimming, water polo, triathlon and synchronised swimming teams from 38 countries worldwide. The combination of our facilities and the peacefulness of Colònia make for the perfect training camp – good enough for the very BEST!

With a lifetime of swimming knowledge and over 15 years of experience operating in this field, we understand the needs of swim teams and are able to provide everything you need to help you train as well as you possibly can. This means you can go to the block with confidence and give the BEST performance you can.

Meet the team

Matthew O’Connor

Matthew O’Connor

Co-founder and director of the BEST Centre

Matthew grew up swimming at the City of Manchester and represented Great Britain at junior and senior level. He competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and the 1990 and 1994 Commonwealth Games alongside James Parrack. He has over eight years in international swimming experience and obtained a degree in International Business Studies from the University of Georgia.

Matthew is founder of the Disney Nadar Es Vida Spanish swimming federation learn to swim programme and also founder of the BEST FEST Open Water swimming festival.

James Parrack

James Parrack

Co-founder and director of the BEST Centre and director of the BEST Centre Academy

James grew up in Cheltenham before moving to Leeds for university and to swim. He made his international debut aged 21 after being selected for the 1988 Olympic Games in the 100m breaststroke.

James won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 1990 Commonwealth Games and was ranked 3rd in the world that year. He also swam in the world championships 1991 and a second Commonwealth Games in 1994. James was world ranked number 1 over the 50m breaststroke in 1992 and set a British and Commonwealth record in that event.

James moved to California for a year in 1993 to swim with the famous Santa Clara Swim Club and finished his career aged 29 as a ten time national champion. That summer he assisted on a successful cross channel swim and set two masters world records.

James is the swimming commentator for Eurosport, and presented Eurosport News from 2002 to 2008. He is formerly the swimming correspondent for The Independent and columnist and feature writer for Swimming Times magazine.

Meet the team

Vanessa Philips

Vanessa Philips

Head of Admin & Group Bookings

Vanessa who works with us in the office, has always had a sporty background. From a very young age she was competing at tennis locally on the island, and won her first official competition held in Colonia Sant Jordi at the age of 12. From that age onwards she competed at Dressage and Show jumping, becoming Balearic Champion at Dressage at the age of 18 years old and competing at several National competitions held within the Balearic Islands.
Dani Villaverde

Dani Villaverde

Academy, Swim & Triathlon Coach

Dani, born in mainland Spain, is very passionate about sports and has been involved in competitive swimming from a very young age. Dani studied Sport Science at university, followed by a postgraduate degree in High Performance. Throughout his time as a student, he swam for the University team and got involved in numerous different sports, including becoming a basketball coach. Dani moved to the UK in 2011 to begin his swim coaching career with Warrender in Edinburgh before moving to coach Teddington in London. Since moving to the UK, he took up triathlon and has since completed three Ironman’s. Outside of coaching, Dani loves to stay fit and enjoys swimming, running and cycling across the island.
Ally Wright

Ally Wright

Business Development

Thirteen years after his first Family Swim Holiday as a ten year old, this is now the main programme that Ally coordinates. As a junior, Ally represented the Scottish Junior Open Water Team. In his senior years, he placed fourth at the 2017 British Swimming Championships in the 50m Butterfly, becoming the third fastest 50m Butterfly swimmer in Scottish history. Ally completed his swimming career at Loughborough University, representing the University at the British University Championships on numerous occasions whilst obtaining a first class degree in International Business.
Sally Burrell

Sally Burrell

Business Development

Sally began swimming competitively at her local club in Northern Ireland at a young age. Having taken part in our very first Family Swim Holidays in Palma at the age of ten, she returned annually to benefit from Matthew and James’ coaching expertise. As a youngster, Sally consistently topped regional medal tables and also became National age-group Champion before going to the University of Bath where she obtained a first class degree in Sport and Social Sciences, whilst continuing to swim with the recreational squad.
Marga Cerda

Marga Cerda

BEST Group Manager

Marga joined BEST with 10 years experience as a bank manager, and a real love for sport. Marga started playing handball at the age of 8 with her school team, before moving on to play with the Polytechnic club at age 14. From the age of 16 she was selected for the Balearic National Team, training in Ibiza every fortnight and competing in Zaragoza, Toulusse and Valencia. Marga then went to the University of Palma to study Direction and Administration of Business.
Pamela Giejo

Pamela Giejo

Triathlon & Swim Coach

Pam, Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, joined BEST in 2016 with a wealth of experience and success in triathlon. Pam discovered triathlon at the age of 18, and soon began representing her country around the world. In 2005, after falling in love with Italy (she says it has the ‘best food in the world!‘) she based herself there, living as both an elite athlete and later as a coach before moving to Mallorca. Throughout her athletic career, Pam was both American and Iberoamerican Champion, and took part at the Panamerican Games in Rio 2007 where she won the Italian Team Championship title. Having always wanted to live near the sea, Pam is now enjoying life in Mallorca where she loves sharing her experience with everyone at BEST.
Gaspar Rodriguez Fontirroig

Gaspar Rodriguez Fontirroig

Director of Bluewater Hotel

Gaspar, a local from Colonia Sant Jordi, is a keen sportsman. Gaspar began playing football for the local club at 5 years old and played until he was 30. During this time, he also competed in Tennis and karate, taking part in two Balearic Championships. At 35 years old he began doing triathlons, and now competes in Olympic distance races. Gaspar has taken part in our Mallorca Olympic Triathlon every single year since its beginning in 2010.

Have a Question?

If you have any questions about the BEST Centre or any of our programs, camps or events, please do not hesitate to contact us – we will be very happy to help!

Contact Us

Tel: 0034 971 65 65 60
Tel: 0044 161 408 2982

info@bestcentresports.com

Bluewater Elite Swim Training Centre SL
CIF: B57567448. Pza. Juan Carlos I, nr. 3 - 2° - 1, Palma de Mallorca, 07011.

 

© 2020 BEST Swim Centre. All rights reserved.

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