About The BEST Centre
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.
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.
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
Co-founder and director of the BEST Centre
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.
Co-founder and director of the BEST Centre and director of the BEST Centre Academy
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
Head of Admin & Group Bookings
Academy, Swim & Triathlon Coach
BEST Group Manager
Triathlon & Swim Coach
Gaspar Rodriguez Fontirroig
Director of Bluewater Hotel