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Swimming looks to Rio and beyond with key high performance appointments

Swimming looks to Rio and beyond with key high performance appointments
May 11, 2015

Three key new appointments to Swimming Australia Limited's high performance structure will drive the countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and beyond to the preparation for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

Swimming Australia Limited has given Jacco Verhaeren a major vote of confidence with a decision to expand his existing role as National Head Coach, adding to his responsibilities within the team structure, for its 2016 Rio Olympic campaign.

Current performance manager Wayne Lomas has been elevated to the role of General Manager Performance and will adopt the Team Leader role within the Australian Olympic Committee management structure while;

Dual Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Martin Roberts will work in a Strategic Projects role through the Rio campaign – focusing on the post Rio High Performance Strategic Plan.

Swimming Australia Limited recently conducted a search for a replacement for previous High Performance Manager Michael Scott, who has been appointed Chief Executive of Rowing Australia.

Following an extensive process, Swimming Australia made the decision not to appoint a direct replacement of the Performance Director role at this stage.

Swimming Australia Chief Executive Mark Anderson (pictured below) said that given the timing of the vacancy it was important to get the right solution in the lead up to Rio.

Anderson stated “the fact we are only 15 months out from the Rio Olympics, we were mindful throughout the recruitment process of ensuring that we had the right individual who could immediately insert themselves into our High Performance environment, to ensure a very positive outcome in Rio.

“We have a world class coach in Jacco Verhaeren who has evolved extremely well in the role of National Head Coach and across the Australian swimming high performance system.

“We believe he is the logical choice at this stage of the Olympic preparation to take over the team.

“Jacco has the respect of all of our coaches, athletes and staff. He will now take an increased leadership role within the team environment.

“We were also very mindful of providing a high level of management support for Jacco to ensure he is able to focus on the areas which will fully utilise his skills and have maximum impact for our team.

“We believe we have a person in Wayne Lomas who will provide this active management support and we are confident that the strong staffing team that has been built in and around the team will continue the momentum, environment and culture that has been created within the team.

“We believe the elevation of Wayne’s current role to manage and lead the high performance management team and its operations will provide for a smooth transition.

“Wayne has worked very closely with Michael Scott, the High Performance Committee and across the Swimming system over the past two years.

“He has a thorough understanding of our programs, sport, system and people having worked successfully across the whole development spectrum of our sport over the past 16 years.”

“Wayne brings a wealth of knowledge, background and expertise to this critical role.”

Anderson stressed that the decision not to directly replace Scott was not a reflection on the individuals who applied for the Performance Director’s role.

He concluded “we had a number of very talented individuals under consideration - the decision not to appoint was based on ensuring we had the right fit for the current team environment over the coming 15 months.

“We believe that this solution will ensure that we deliver on our plans for Rio.”

Meanwhile, Roberts, who represented Australia at the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympics and won the 200 metres freestyle at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games will work with Swimming Australia across a number of important strategic projects.

Roberts was employed by the AIS and the Australian Sports Commission from 1997 – 2014 in a number of management roles and is seen as having a very good understanding of the system.

Anderson concluded that Swimming Australia would commence a High Performance recruitment process following the Rio Olympics.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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