The Royal Spanish Swimming Federation (RFEN) has appointed British coach Robert Greenwood as the new head coach of the Madrid National Training Center at CARD-Blume.
After reviewing over 40 applicants, the selection committee landed on Greenwood, the man who was a top-level swimmer himself from 1996 to 2002. He has been involved in high-performance swimming for the past 16 years, including having led Britain’s Paralympic Swimming squad at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
About a year after those Games, Greenwood was involved in bullying accusations, which the 2016 UK Coaching Coach of the Year denied. A 2017 British Swimming investigation found an ‘unnamed senior coach’ had used ‘abusive and derogatory’ language towards athletes, including minors.
With the backing of the British Swim Coaches Association (BSCA), Greenwood stated at the time, “I wish to place on record my severe disappointment with the findings of the report and the methodology.
“I wish to remind you of my record as a swimming coach, which I take considerable pride in, and ask you to take note that the timing of this investigation followed closely upon my decision to resign from British Swimming.
“I do not propose at this stage to address each finding in turn, but wholly reject the allegations of bullying, intimidation and all other criticisms made of me.
“I would wish to add that no swimmer or member of staff ever raised any concerns with me about an alleged ‘climate of fear’. I do not consider I was ever knowingly offensive or insulting.
“I accept that I push swimmers, whether able-bodied or disabled, to their limits which I believe is what is agreed by a whole team, including the athletes. The techniques and training have achieved great results consequently.
Turning to his new role now in Spain, Greenwood says, “It’s a huge honour to be working for RFEN and Seán Kelly, the National performance director, both have a history of delivering performance and it’s going to be a privilege to be part of what is being built.
“The Coaches, Athletes and Staff are some of the best in the world and I’m looking forward to being able to support and learn from them.
We have a clean canvas in Madrid and its our hope to build a world-leading environment where our athletes, coaches and practitioner can maximize self and others. I’m truly looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
Kelly said, ”we are delighted to welcome Rob to Spain our aim will be to create World-class moments in training and competition to maximize the incredible athletes coaches and facilities we have”