Press Release courtesy of Swimming New Zealand
Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) is delighted to announce the appointment of experienced and respected coach Gary Francis to its High Performance team in the new role of Targeted Athlete and Coach Manager.
Francis will take lead responsibility for fostering and managing positive working relationships with SNZ’s soon to be announced targeted athletes and coaches.
The Targeted Athlete and Coach programme is a new initiative that will form part of the refreshed SNZ High Performance Strategy that will be communicated to the swimming community shortly. The strategy will aim to provide support, guidance and leadership to identified targeted athletes and coaches regardless of where they live and train.
Francis arrives from Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) where as a Para Swimming National Development Coach he led PNZ’s successful national development programme and worked with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) within their High Performance Athlete Development programme.
In a period of exciting change for SNZ, Chief Executive Officer Steve Johns commented:
“It will be great for SNZ to have someone of Gary’s experience and ability join the team and work closely with our targeted athletes and coaches. Gary is highly regarded and respected within the swimming community with experience at all levels of the competitive pathway from grassroots to international pinnacle events.”
An internationally respected High Performance Coach, with a 25-year coaching career firstly with football and then swimming, Francis is a two-time Paralympic Games coach (London 2012, Rio 2016), and has personally coached seven Para swimmers to World and Paralympic competitions and is looking forward to the new challenge.
“I’m very flattered and very excited to be given the chance to take on this role. I am under no illusions that there is a huge amount of work in the months and years ahead, but I feel that the New Zealand swimming community already realises this and together we can work to produce a really successful future for our sport.”
Francis will start in his new role in early February.