OTTAWA, Ontario, Canada, January 6. SWIMMING Canada CEO/National Coach Pierre Lafontaine has announced that Jan Bidrman of Calgary will lead the Canadian Swim Team during the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne Australia. Canada is coming off a strong showing at last summer’s World Championships in Montreal.
“Jan has demonstrated great leadership skills as head coach of the 2005 Worlds Championships Team,” Lafontaine said. “His expertise as an international coach will be beneficial to Canada’s Commonwealth Games Swim Team.
The selection of the head Coach for the Canadian Swim Team was based on FINA world rankings of individual performances at the Commonwealth Games Trials. Mike Brown, coached by Bidrman, placed with the highest ranking. Brown was the silver medalist in the 200 breast at the World Champs.
The Czech-born Jan Bidrman has been one of the most successful Canadian swimming coaches since he joined the National Sports Center in Calgary in 1996. He guided the fortunes of the successful 2005 World Championship Team and served as the personal coach to Brown, triple Olympic medallist Curtis Myden and Joanne Malar. He is headed to Melbourne with Brown, Lauren Van Oosten and Erin Gammel.
Bidrman swam for Czechoslovakia from 1980 to 1985. He was the head coach of the South African swim team at the 1996 Olympics before moving to Canada. When Bidrman came to Canada he continued to coach South African world record holder and Olympic champion Penny Heyns in Calgary. He was Swimming Canada's coach of the year in 1999 and 2000.
Canada is scheduled to compete at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne Australia from March 16 to 21.