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Swimming New Zealand Utilises Former Swimmers’ Experience

Swimming New Zealand has employed the services of two past national swimming representatives to assist in the coaching of the country’s greatest talents.

Olympic gold medallist Danyon Loader and World Championship representative Kelly Bentley have taken up programme coach roles at the two Swimming New Zealand High Performance Centres in Auckland and Wellington.

Loader, one of the country’s most successful Olympians, will assist Auckland based head coach David Lyles who has world championship medallists Lauren Boyle and Matthew Stanley under his charge, as well as Commonwealth Games silver medallist Gareth Kean.

Loader is looking forward to 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 throughout New Zealand for the last seven years. He has also worked for the New Zealand Olympic Committee as a Games Services Coordinator and an Olympic Ambassador. As New Zealand’s best ever swimmer he will no doubt bring an unprecedented set of skills to the pool deck.

The Wellington Regional High Performance Centre is led by head coach Gary Hurring who coached Bentley during her swimming career. After retiring from the sport five years ago Bentley has stayed in touch with swimming working 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. She was the 2005 and 2006 College Wellington Sportsperson of the Year, and she 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 commented,

“These coaches will be an invaluable asset to both HPC’s with both squads increasing in number and become more heterogeneous. David and Gary often travel with the national teams so the programme coaches will be the perfect substitutes, providing the squad swimmers with consistent and effective replacement.

“SNZ is pleased to appoint both Kelly and Danyon, two young coaches with lots of experience in swimming, and an incredible motivation to grow as coaches and seize the opportunity to learn from David Lyles and Gary Hurring.”