Swimming Program

Corvuss American Academy in association with
BEST Centre

Corvuss Academy Highlights

The BEST Centre was founded in 2009 by two British Olympic swimmers: Matthew O’Connor and James Parrack and has welcomed over 100 Olympic, world and European medallists for their training camps.

As well as hosting teams, the Academy programme focuses on the individual, with particular attention to the development of the person as well as the development of the athlete.  We focus on the dozens of daily improvements in the water and on land that will impact sporting performance as well as helping the athlete to grow into an independently minded, accountable, responsible young adult, equipped for success in their future career in and out of the competition arena.

We firmly believe that it is not what you win in sport that matters, but who you become from your sport.  It is vitally important that scholar athletes understand how to win and how to lose, how to support their team mates and share in success and defeat, and to learn to give more to the world and those around them than they take from them.  Scholar athletes who understand discipline, time management, goal setting and the requirements of elite level sport will be those who succeed in their sport and make positive impact in their relationships and careers after sport.

We build these values into every session of every week of every season, from those just starting to learn the fundamentals of the sport, to those competing for a place on the national team.

Matthew O’Connor & James Parrack

The BEST Centre founders

Matthew set a British record in the 200m backstroke to make the Olympic team in Barcelona in 1992 and competed in the Commonwealth Games in 1990 and 1994, finishing in 4th place.  Matthew was a head coach in England taking swimmers to county, regional and the national level.

James competed in the 1999 Seoul Olympics and won a silver medal at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in the 100m breaststroke.  He competed at the world championships in 1991 and Commonwealth Games 1994, set a British and Commonwealth record in the 50m breaststroke in 1992, finishing the year world ranked number 1 for that event, and is a 10 time national champion.He has been the swimming commentator Eurosport since 1997


The BEST Centre coaching programme treats each athlete as an individual to build the stroke technique, fitness, speed and strength to help them perform. Everything we do is focused on performance goals, because if you get this right, the results will follow.  The key to this is building the foundations of the stroke through technique work. Then we build fitness and speed in the water and strength on land. We help the athlete to take ownership of their swimming performance and future career path. We use video feedback regularly as well as consulting with coaches and sports scientists from around the world to keep up to date with the developments in the sport.


We have a forward pathway into the top American and British universities, and careers counsellors to guide our athletes as they pursue their education and sporting ambitions after graduating with us aged 18. As a premier provider of swimming training and sports education, our message is one of sporting and personal development in pursuit of every level of sporting ambition, from regional success to international titles. Every scholar athlete with the ambition and discipline to succeed is welcome, whatever their sporting level

Our Facilities


  • Olympic-sized swimming pool
  • High-speed video recording equipment to improve performance
  • Coaching studios to display videos and improve our Scholar Athletes form