Citing family reasons, Elite Performance Swim Coach at the University of Edinburgh, Shannon Rollason, announced he will be leaving the program. In the Edinburgh role since January 2017, Rollason has decided to return to his native Australia after just over a year on the job.
Rollason began his coaching career in Australia, but took over as head coach at Denmark’s National Training Centre back in 2013 with intent to lead the program through the Rio Olympics. Just about a year and a half in, though, Rollason left his post and returned to Australia. But he had already earned enough respect among his talented training group that some swimmers followed him all the way to Australia to maximize their pre-Olympic training. Eventually, Rollason returned to Denmark to guide the team through Rio, where Pernille Blume won the nation’s first Olympic gold medal in swimming since the 1940s. The women’s 4×100 medley relay also took home bronze.
Rollason then took on the role at Edinburgh in January 2017. “The past year at the University of Edinburgh has been a great one for me both professionally and personally. The swim program is outstanding, with fantastic people, vision and support. Its holistic values create an environment where swimmers can achieve both in the pool and with their academic endeavours, and all set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s really great. I wish Chris, Mat and all the swimmers the very best for the future,” Rollason said of his time at the University.
“The University, the Performance Swim Team Coaches and Athletes and Scottish Swimming would like to thank Shannon for his fantastic work over the past year and wish him all the success in the future. We are also indebted to Scottish Swimming for their support in enabling us to attract a coach of Shannon’s world class pedigree,” read the University of Edinburgh’s statement.
Chris Jones, Head of Performance Swimming, University of Edinburgh, stated, “We are naturally sorry to see Shannon return to Australia but he has had an extremely positive impact here with us in Edinburgh. Swimmers and coaching staff alike have gained greatly from his experience and winning ways at world level, and we’ve savoured every moment of his time with us. We will be keeping in touch with Shannon and look forward to continuing our relationship with him. I wish Shannon and his family all the best with their re-start back in Australia.”
Up-and-coming athletes currently affiliated with Edinburgh include David Cumberlidge, Tain Bruce, Balum Tait, and Kathryn Greenslade, the latter of which was called up for last year’s European Short Course Championships.
You can read the entire statement from the University of Edinburgh here.