As a dual Olympian, International School of Beijing (ISB) swimming coach Conrad Francis competed at the elite level in the pool. Now, he is preparing to dive into a new challenge after being awarded a scholarship from the elite National Institute of Fitness and Sports International Sports Academy (NIFISA) in Japan.
Coach Francis, who represented Sri Lanka at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, will attend the institution's fifth seminar next month in Kanoya, Japan. The weeklong program will cover sport science, physiology, nutrition, and new technology.
The former butterfly and breaststroke specialist is one of just 10 scholarship recipients worldwide for the program.
Coach Francis was thrilled when he found out he had been accepted after a series of interviews with academy leaders, saying the seminar would help him take ISB swimming to greater heights.
"Sport is a field of unlimited science and technique, including biomechanics and training methodology. This course will give me the latest knowledge of sport science and improve my coaching ability," he said.
Coach Francis is no stranger to balancing sport with study, having earned his bachelor's degree in sports development, management, and recreation in Melbourne on the side of his career as an elite international swimmer.
Although he will be heading to Japan on his own, Coach Francis said he was grateful for the support shown by ISB's Activities Director Simon Parker and Aquatics Director Nic Wilson.
"Both have been fantastic. When I told them about this opportunity, there were no hesitations and they backed my application 100 percent. I'm very grateful to be part of such a supportive team where professional development is highly valued," he said.