When Clive first let us know of his intent to stand down as our Hub Coach, it’s fair to say we were filled with a degree of dread!
In his three years in the role, we’ve referred to him as our “Water Whisperer’’ and it’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to share his incredible knowledge and passion for the sport with our coaches and swimmer alike.
So the past two months have been a challenge – we’ve been tasked with finding someone who has the capability to pick up where Clive has left off and take our Swimming Hub to the next level. We needed someone who fundamentally believed in the philosophy behind our Regional Development Pathway, who would work well alongside our senior coaches, provide great development opportunities to our junior coaches, and inspire our swimmers to achieve their swimming goals, no matter what they might be.
And we’re pretty excited to say that just yesterday, we were able to confirm our appointment to that role.
Scotland’s Darren Ward is our new Hub Coach and we’re looking forward to introducing you all to him later in the year.
We’ve been through an extensive skype interview process with Darren and we’re confident he’s the ‘man for the job’’. Here’s a wee insight into just some of Darren’s swimming background –
He holds a MSc Honours in Performance Coaching which he attained at the University of Stirling, as well as a MA Honours in Scottish History from the University of Edinburgh, both in the United Kingdom. He has developed and implemented a long term athlete development pathway in Budapest, working alongside the high profile Shane Tusup and Olympian Katinka Hosszu. He has held the role of Senior Elite Coach for Hamilton Aquatics (Dubai), coached with the Serbian National Team, and carried out a Development and Coaching role for Portobello ASC in Edinburgh.
He’s supported world class athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 Kazan World Championships, and the 2016 European Champs as one of the Serbian team’s Coaches, and has also qualified swimmers for many other international meets – I’ve included a full list below for your interest. We understand that he was a pretty talented swimmer himself too!
• Team Serbia Coach, Olympic Games (Rio, 2016)
• Team Serbia Coach, European Championships (London, 2016)
• Team Serbia Coach, World Championships (Kazan, 2015)
• Coaching swimmer to double European Long Course Championship Gold (Berlin, 2014)
• Coaching swimmer to Bronze Medal at World Short Course Championships (Doha, 2014)
• Placing swimmer on the Serbian Olympic Team (Rio 2016)
• Three qualified swimmers for the European Long Course Championships (London, 2016)
• Placing five swimmers into the World Long Course Championships (Kazan, 2015)
• Placing three swimmers into the European Short Course Championships (Netanya, 2015)
• Placing two swimmers onto Team Europe for Duel in the Pool (Glasgow, 2014)
• Placing three swimmers into the European Long Course Championships (Berlin, 2014)
• Placing five swimmers into World Short Course Championships (Doha 2014)
• Coaching two swimmers onto their respective national Commonwealth Games Squads (Glasgow, 2014)
• Coaching swimmer to Asian Games (Incheon, 2014)
• Scottish District Regional Program Coach 2012
• Scottish National Swim Team Member
• Scottish Junior Swimmer of the Year
• Double British Junior Record Holder
• Multiple Scottish Senior and Junior Record Holder
More recently, Darren has been working alongside Swim Ireland’s Education Department where he has designed and presented Coaching Resources for use by the National body.
Darren will be joined in New Zealand by his New Zealand born wife who’s just waiting for their ‘kilted kiwi’ to be born, before making the trip down under.
This is a really exciting appointment for Swimming Waikato and we’re confident that you’ll really enjoy having Darren involved in swimming in our Region.