Story Building Down Under Of Chinese Super Pool With Cotterell At Helm

The rumors surrounding an ongoing relationship between Australian Swimming Coach Denis Cotterell and the Chinese contingency continue to swirl. The latest news from down under is that China is planning on building a swimming super center of sorts in Australia, banking on Cotterell taking the reins of the to-be-built pool.

Speaking to Australia’s The Daily Telegraph, Cotterell said recently, “There was some talk at some stage, I haven’t heard anything that they have gone ahead with that. I have had contact, but I just said, ‘Keep it simple, I’ve got other things to consider’.”

The Daily Telegraph also cites a source confirming that the Chinese government had indeed approached Cotterell to lead the Chinese team at the facility. “The Chinese have been looking for a plot of land near Currumbin, Gold Coast, where they like to stay when training in Australia,” the source said.

“Swimming Australia is just ignoring this situation, the way they do with everything. The fact is one of our best coaches is now set to coach the Chinese.”

In December, Cotterell called recent reports claiming a formal contract has been signed between himself and Chinese swimming to the tune of $1 million as ‘rubbish.’ But at the same time he was quoted last year as having said, “I might move to China full-time one day. Why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I consider taking my skills to a place where they are valued. I have given my life to Australian swimming but, at the end of the day, my knowledge and my skills are worth more somewhere else.”

Cotterell, who has guided such stellar athletes in the past as Grant Hackett and Michael Klim, most recently finished up his stint at Miami Swimming Club, which included an elite squad touting such names as Tommy Fraser-Holmes, Dan Smith and Swedish star Michelle Coleman. The group operated under Australia’s High Performance Centre program. However, the Olympic-caliber squad has now dissolved, with remaining members TFH moving to Bond Swimming Club and Smith kicking off the next quadrennial at St. Peters Western.

The storied coach has a long history of having worked with Chinese swimmers in the past, however. Not only has he hosted several different Chinese training groups throughout his time at Miami, Cotterell had a major hand in the success of Sun Yang at the 2012 Olympic Games. Cotterell helped coach the Chinese athlete, who earned gold at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

According to The Telegraph’s source, “They treat him like a king in China — he has been ­entertained by the Chinese government and personally thanked by the Chinese government for his efforts with the Chinese team over the years.

“They have flown him over to China many times, he has picked up a bit of Mandarin and they love that.

“Meanwhile Swimming Australia has shafted one of the greatest swimming coaches we have ever produced. This has astounded the Chinese.”



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4 years ago

Very typical of how the best coaches get treated. I say go Dennis. You have worked a lifetime horning your craft. You are to be honored and compensated accordingly.

Stan Crump
Reply to  Dawgpaddle
4 years ago

I agree. But would think he would try not to burn any bridges. You never know what could happen in the future. And who is to say that this new Chinese facility, if it is true, would be available only to Chinese swimmers. Even the Chinese would probably not want to throw mountains of money at a pool with no way to recoup any costs.

Reply to  Stan Crump
4 years ago

No one is going to begrudge Denis, if he does decide to work with Chinese Swimming. There is no way Swimming Australia can match any financial incentives that Chinese Swimming would be able to offer, for one, if money was a deciding factor. It has recently been reported that Swimming Australia operates on a budget of a small Australian football team, which is not a lot, and might explain the decisions to restructure and reduce the number of high performance centres, which has seen Queensland and New South Wales the two traditional power house states of Swimming Australia lose out.

I agree, Denis would not want to burn any bridges, as you never know, what the future brings. There are… Read more »

Reply to  SPF
4 years ago

It is about time whether they are elite swimmers or elite coaches earn some decent money. Swimming is a very hard sport for all involved; everyone including parents have to wake up at 4.30am weekdays, to get to the pool.Just like athletics, you are known only if you are no:1; nobody cares about the rest.

4 years ago

If they set up a school then local parents will stampede to get their kids in . Discipline , maths , mandarin, neat dress – a parent can dream cant they?

4 years ago

This title is very confusing. I initially thought a building was underneath a Chinese super pool.

4 years ago

Good on ya Dennis go for it

4 years ago

Big $ infrastructure spend in Oz only a good thing. Dennis clearly not paid enough (like most Aussie coaches) , so highest bidder should win. An investment would clearly have some spin off to Aussie swimmers who would at the very least eventually get some use of the facilities I suspect. If it was golf, it would barely make the news…

Aussie crawl
4 years ago

Do you what to have to do Dennis.
Because I would.
“Show me the $$$$$”

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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