Leigh Nugent Is Appointed Australia’s Head Coach

SYDNEY, January 23. AUSTRALIAN Swimming Inc. today appointed former Nunawading head coach and National Youth Coach Leigh Nugent as its new National Head Coach for 2004.

An Australian Swimming review of the High Performance structure made a
recommendation to the ASI Board of Directors who today voted unanimously
for Nugent to take over the reins.

Nugent will now be charged with the responsibility of preparing the
Australian Team for the Athens Olympic Games and the 2004 FINA World
Short Course Championships in Indianapolis.

It will mean that the part-time head-coach positions held by Brian
Sutton (men's) and Scott Volkers (women's) will be dissolved.

Nugent is one of the most highly respected coaches in Australian
Swimming and has been in charge of the National Youth program for the
past two years and for the past two months has been the Australian
Swimming High Performance Director.

After 20 years of coaching, Nugent took up the roll of Australian
National Youth Coach in 2001 and he has laid the foundations for the
rise of the Fisher and Paykel Flippers Australian Age team and has been
involved as head coach in events including Youth Olympics, East Asian
Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and Oceania Championships.

He is a former head coach of Australia's largest swimming club,
Nunawading, is a life member of the Nunawading Swimming club and long
serving member on the board of the Australian Swimming Coaching and
Teaching Association (ASCTA).

Australian Swimming executive director Glenn Tasker said today the
changes to the coaching structure were made in the best interests of the
immediate future of Australian Swimming and the Telstra Dolphins
Australian team.

Mr Tasker said: "Australian Swimming wants to first of all thank our two
head coaches Brian Sutton (men) and Scott Volkers (women) for their
efforts in their part-time roles over the past 12 months.

"But Australian Swimming believes the best way forward is with a
National Head Coach and we welcome Leigh Nugent into that role and we
are confident he is the man to take the Australian Team into this Olympic campaign. This decision is all about giving Australian Swimming and the Telstra Dolphins Australian Team clear direction as we prepare for Athens."

"You only get one crack at the Olympics and Australian Swimming is
convinced the appointment of Leigh Nugent as National Head Coach is the
best way forward."

The Australian team for the 2004 Olympic Games will be named on April 3
following the Telstra Australian Olympic Trials (March 27-April 3).

–Ian Hanson

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