CANBERRA, April 20. AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING INC. president Terry Gathercole today announced the
re-appointment of National head coach Don Talbot for a further 12 months and the resignation of National Youth coach Bill Sweetenham.
Talbot agreed to his new 12-month contract in Perth last week, while Sweetenham informed ASI today he had accepted a four-year contract as the National Performance director of Great Britain Swimming.
An ASI sub-committee, charged with the decision of Australia's coaching appointments, will table its recommendations to the Australian Swimming board
meeting in Sydney next weekend.
It will be Talbot's 12th consecutive year as the Australian National head-coach, through a decade,which has seen the Telstra Dolphins Australian Swimming team become a major force in international swimming.
Talbot, renown internationally as one of the world's best head coaches, has steered the Australian team to major successes at the last two Olympics, three World Championships, three Commonwealth Games and a barnstorming performance to win 12 gold medals at last year's Pan Pacific Championships–just 12 months out from this year's Olympic Games.
Talbot's new contract will see him take the Dolphins to next year's World Championships in Fukuoka.
Talbot, happy and relieved that his immediate future is settled said: "I am more than happy with the re-appointment for 2001 and looking forward to getting on with the job of preparing the team for this year's
"My current contract was up for renewal on December 31 this year so it was important for me to have my immediate future settled as soon as possible
with the Selection Trials and the business of preparing the Olympic team taking up so much time."
Sweetenham, today tendered his resignation as Australia's Youth coach,a position he has held for the past five years. Gathercole said: "We are obviously disappointed to lose Bill's expertise as a former National head coach and the job he has done as National Youth coach over the past five years has been first class."
Sweetenham, also a former Australian Institute of Sport head-coach said his job as National Youth coach was complete but he admitted he was saddened by his
decision to leave Australia.
He said:"The worst thing a coach can do is stay in a position too long and I probably stayed two-years too-long in the AIS job before I went to Hong Kong.
"After five-years as National Youth coach and the outstanding performances at last week's Tip Top National Age Championships I figured my job was done.
"I am excited by the challenge the job in Britain presents but very sad to be leaving Australia. I am a proud Australian and hopefully in four years time I may be in a position to come back.
"My preferred option was to stay in Australia and build a swim school in Brisbane but I have been unable to sell my house so that didn't become an option.
"Australian Swimming has outstanding talent and depth in its swimming ranks and it also has a vast depth of talent in its coaching ranks, better I
believe than the US."
Sweetenham is expected to take up his appointment at the University of Loughborough in November.