A key figure in Denmarks’ recent run of international success, Australian coach Shannon Rollason will be heading back to Europe, this time to take over as head coach with Edinburgh University.
Rollason began his coaching career in Australia, but more recently 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 will now return to Europe, joining the University of Edinburgh’s Performance Swimming Centre. The full press release from Edinburgh is below:
One of the world’s leading swimming coaches is set to take up a key role at the University of Edinburgh.
Australian Shannon Rollason, who has guided multiple swimmers from across the globe to Olympic and World success, is set to become the University’s Elite Performance Swim Coach with the aim of helping Edinburgh to target medal success at major international, university and national events.
Rollason coached Olympic/ World champions and medallists in his former positions including roles as Head Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport and more recently as Head Coach of the Danish Swimming Federation.
Rollason, who will work alongside the University’s Head of Performance Swimming, Chris Jones and Assistant Head Coach, Mat Trodden, said
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to add value to the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Swimming. Working in a professional environment at Edinburgh with Chris and Mat will be both stimulating and innovative.
“I am very proud and honoured to be working at one of the world’s leading universities and looking forward to helping Edinburgh’s athletes add to the University’s great sporting history.”
Edinburgh students and alumni from around the world have competed at recent Olympic and Commonwealth Games and World and European Championships. Medal success was achieved at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games by Chemistry student Corrie Scott, who secured a bronze in the 50m breaststroke. The University was represented in swimming events at the Rio Olympics by students from Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and Ireland.
The University of Edinburgh’s Performance Swimming Programme was established in 2008 and is one of the leading programmes of its kind in the UK. Many of Edinburgh’s athletes have been supported by the University’s sector-leading Performance Programme. It offers the University’s student athletes a range of assistance to help them succeed on the world sporting stage. Support is given through funding, tailored fitness conditioning, sports medicine care, access to top class competition and training facilities, advice and flexible study options.
The new post is partly funded by Scottish Swimming through the Swim Edinburgh partnership. The University of Edinburgh’s Director of Sport & Exercise Jim Aitken said:
“We are thrilled to have a coach of Shannon’s pedigree join our performance team. This underlines the ambition and quality of our performance sport programme, and the important part that sport plays in the life of the University.“
The University’s Head of Performance Swimming Chris Jones, said:
“We are delighted that Shannon has chosen to join us. We pride ourselves on the support we give our performance athletes to excel in both their sport and studies. His experience will complement our skills set and help take our ambitious, world-class programme to the next level.”