City is a great place to work, says coach Rudd
TOP UK swimming coach Jon Rudd has again pledged his future to Plymouth after admitting he has been doing a lot of soul-searching over his future since one of his starlets won an Olympic gold medal.
Ruta Meilutyte sensationally won the women's 100m breastroke gold in London at the age of only 15.
On the way to the finals, she smashed the European record for the distance.
Rudd has already insisted once he wants to stay with city club Plymouth Leander.
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But he still had plenty to think on a brief break about what to do about his future after making that commitment.
Leander have a reciprocal deal with Plymouth College, who provide an education for the world-class swimmers who train with Leander.
Rudd's and Lithuanian Meiluytyte's stunning success resulted in the focus of the world being turned on Leander and Plymouth College, which is also home to the city's Olympic diving star and London bronze medallist Tom Daley.
The Leander head coach, who is also director of swimming at Plymouth College, took a break where he mulled over his future.
Rudd won't say whether any offers were made to him to move elsewhere.
But Rudd, who went live on television after Meilutyte's victory to explain to millions how she did it, insisted he was still happy in Plymouth.
The Leander boss said: "I'm still very happy with where I am.
"There isn't a lot better than what we are doing here (at Leander and the college).
"Providing the support is in place for us to achieve what we are hoping to achieve and continue with what we're doing, it's a great place to work.
"I achieved a lifetime ambition by one of my swimmers winning an Olympic gold medal.
"You can count the number of coaches that happens to on the fingers of one hand.
"The thing is, it came earlier than I expected, so I've got to set new goals and targets.
"I've done a lot of soul-searching over the possibility of creating a better environment for the likelihood of it (Meilutyte's gold) happening again.
"As long as people are willing to work with me and all the boxes are ticked, then this place is going to be something special.
"It's not about us (the coaches), it's about providing a better environment for more kids – and more Rutas – to come along and leaving it less to chance that it happens."
Rudd acknowledged that Meilutyte's success had resulted in a high level of inquiries about top-line athletes coming to Plymouth.
One definitely on the way is Turkish swimmer Hazal Sarikaya, 17, a breast-stroke specialist who represented her country in the European championships.