Veteran British swim coach Sean Kelly will join the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN) as their new National Performance Director for swimming, RFEN announced last week. The accredited Irish coach will take on his new role starting Sept. 1, 2020. Kelly’s role is new to the organization and is a part of a newly “restructured” RFEN, per Spanish sports outlet Marca.
Kelly has a long-standing international resume in terms of swimming and open water. In fact, between 2009 and 2013 he was Head Coach for one of Great Britain’s High-Performance Centers. Kelly has coached three Olympic medalists, five world champions and nine European champions, in addition to thirteen Olympic finalists.
Among Kelly’s alumni are two-time marathon swimming world champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medalist Keri-Anne Payne and Athens 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the men’s 200-meter butterfly, Steve Parry.
Kelly has also earned several awards for his coaching, among which are the 2004, 2007 and 2011 British Swimming Coach Association (BSCA) Coach of the Year awards.
“Working in Spain is a dream come true and an opportunity that comes at a perfect time for me,” Kelly said. “I led a very successful team in the UK and I would like to do the same here. Luis [Villanueva] (Sports Director) and Fernando [Carpena] (President) have come up with a new and exciting structure, which is why I am excited about the future. I hope to bring a vision and a culture of success where everyone’s expectations are raised.”