AUCKLAND, New Zealand, January 30. FORMER swimming great Danyon Loader and national record holder Kelly Bentley have joined the High Performance coaching ranks with Swimming New Zealand.
Loader, the double Olympic gold medallist, and Bentley, a world championship representative, have taken up roles as programme coaches at the two Swimming New Zealand High Performance Centres in Auckland and Wellington respectively.
In his illustrious swimming career, Loader won two gold medals and one silver over two Olympics, three world championship medals and six Commonwealth Games medals including gold at Victoria in 1994. He is the only New Zealander to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and three-time winner of the Sportsman of the Year and the supreme award recipient in 1996 as well as the New Zealand Sportsman of the 1990s.
He will assist Swimming New Zealand head coach David Lyles based at the Millennium Institute in Auckland working with the High Performance squad that includes world championship medallist Lauren Boyle.
Loader is excited at the challenge of his new position.
“I’m looking forward to collaborating with some talented individuals to help bring success to them and to the sport,” said Loader.
“There’s a difference of perspective to someone standing poolside to that of someone who has stood at the start line. What I hope to bring is a difference of perspective.”
Loader has been coaching at various swim clubs around the country for the last seven years and also worked for the New Zealand Olympic Committee as a Games Services Coordinator and an Olympic Ambassador.
As New Zealand’s best ever swimmer, Swimming New Zealand believe Loader will bring an unprecedented skill-set to pool deck.
Bentley will join the coaching team at the Wellington Regional High Performance Centre led by Gary Hurring who guided her swimming career. The squad includes Commonwealth Games silver medallist Gareth Kean.
After retiring from the sport five years ago, Bentley has also worked in various coaching positions including assisting the Head Coach at the Capital Swim Club, before taking on the challenge of Head Coach at CitySwim where she was responsible for term planning, session planning, directing junior coaches and running lessons.
Bentley is still the national record holder in the 200m breaststroke, having held the record for the last eight years and placed 11th in the 200m breaststroke at the 2006 World Short Course Championships.
“My competitive swimming experience at an international level is my greatest attribute towards this position. I learned the dedication, mental stamina and attitude it takes to be a successful swimmer and I still live by the belief that, “if you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right,” said Bentley.
Swimming New Zealand High Performance Director Luis Villanueva is pleased with the new appointments.
“These coaches will be an invaluable asset to both High Performance Centres with both squads increasing in number and becoming more diverse.
“Our head coaches David and Gary often travel with the national teams, so the programme coaches will be the ideal substitutes, providing the squad swimmers with consistent and effective replacement.
“Swimming New Zealand is pleased to appoint two young coaches with lots of experience in swimming and an incredible motivation to grow as coaches by learning from David Lyles and Gary Hurring.”
Both Loader and Bentley have taken up their appointments.
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