With less than a year to go until the 2016 Olympic Games, Swimming New Zealand has confirmed two of its key leaders will remain in position to guide the Kiwi team towards Rio. Interim National Head Coach for the past 6 months, Clive Power, will stay in his current role through the Games, while Katie Sadleir, a former competitive synchronized swimmer, will take on the High Performance Directorship.
Both the head coach and high performance director positions had been vacant since David Lyles and Luis Villanueva left earlier this year. Lyles lost his job in the organization’s restructuring, while Villanueva, the most recent departure, left Swimming New Zealand just his past April after less than 3 years in the role.
Says Swimming NZ Chief Executive Christian Renford of Power’s performance thus far, “We are pleased with the work Clive has done and he is prepared to commit through to Rio. Therefore it makes sense to continue with a stable coaching environment through to Rio. He [Power] has been very well received by the swimmers at the High Performance Centre and in the main, they have performed up to and exceeded goals in the relatively short time that Clive has been in the role.”
A New Zealand news site is reporting that a “top-class international coach” was being pursued to oversee their program”, however, it’s understood that “the likely appointment had to turn down the role due to health concerns.”
Post-Rio, Swimming New Zealand will continue seeking out candidates to formally move into the head coaching role and will also analyze the need for long-term leadership for their high performance program.
Of note, Swimming New Zealand’s top-performers, including Lauren Boyle and Glenn Snyders, do not train at their country’s High Performance Center. Boyle is training under controversial Australian coach Denis Cotterell, while Snyders is a long-time athlete under the tutelage of Trojan Swim Club’s Dave Salo.