Successful British coach David Lyles, who has a number of Olympic and world championship medallists to his credit, is the new Head Coach for Swimming New Zealand.
Lyles, who has been head coach of the much-vaunted Shanghai Swim Team in China, is expected to take up his post later this month, working under Swimming New Zealand's High Performance Director Luis Villanueva.
He had five swimmers on the China team at the London Olympics, winning two medals, along with seven swimmers at the 2011 world championships, while his club has won the Top Team Award for the last five years at the China National Championships.
Lyles first came into prominence in England, coaching in Swindon and Waltham Forest before becoming head coach at the University of Bath for eight years, winning the top club prize for six years and earning selection as coach at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.
Swimming New Zealand CEO Christian Renford said the organisation was delighted to have attracted someone of Lyles' status to the position.
“He brings the highest quality technical skill set for our elite swimmers, and has the record at international level in terms of not only producing finalists and medallists but in developing a world class programme,” Renford said.
“Importantly David is excited about the potential here and to be part of a team that is committed to the overall growth and development of the sport in New Zealand.”
The new coach will begin his duties next month and until that time, former Australian and Great Britain head coach, Bill Sweetenham will continue in his caretaker role, preparing the team for July's world championships alongside Villanueva.
“We will have a world class coaching environment under Louis and David, not just focussing on our current group of High Performance swimmers, but in time developing that base of both swimming and coaching talent,” Renford said.
Over the past seven years Lyles has developed a world class programme in Shanghai, earning him two awards last year including the Magnolia Foreign Workers Award, one of 50 awarded annually to foreign employees from education, business and commerce for their contribution.
Last year he had eight swimmers on the national team, with six of them having won 13 medals collectively at the Olympics, world championships or Asian Games.
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