The future of professional swim coaching at Moana Pool is
discussed yesterday by (from left) independent review panel
members John Brimble and Dr David Gerrard, Cr Bill Acklin,
chairman of the Dunedin City Council's community
development committee, which will consider the panel's
recommendations next week, council general manager
operations Tony Avery (back to camera) and council aquatic
services manager Steve Prescott. Photo by Linda Robertson.
An independent panel reviewing professional swim coaching
services at Dunedin's Moana Pool has recommended a "Dunedin
swim coaching board" be established to manage and provide
guidance for swim coaching in the city.
It has also recommended that two swim coaches be retained
under the board, albeit under a more collegial and
collaborative coaching arrangement, and discussions be held
with existing clubs to encourage amalgamations of clubs to
allow better use of pool space and time allocation.
The board would consist of five members appointed on a
voluntary basis, who would also be responsible for providing
swim coaching services, via two professional swim coaching
contracts, to squad-based swimmers in Dunedin and
implementing a raft of other recommendations made by the
Those included ensuring the development of: consistent
professional standards and key performance indicators for
professional swim coaches; an independent process for dispute
resolution; equal coaching contracts; the independence of
coaches from swim club committees; and collaboration and
co-operation between coaches.
It should also ensure that coaching services take advantage
of expertise available at the University of Otago and that
other aquatic disciplines, for example, triathlon and surf
lifesaving, have lane space for coaching at Moana Pool or
The board would hold a $40,000 (from existing budgets) annual
contract with the Dunedin City Council, which owns the pool,
for the provision of swim coaching services, focusing on
competitive swim squads and elite swimmers in the first
The panel found the current professional swim coaches at
Moana Pool provided a high level of service to individual
squad members, which was reflected by performances at
However, one of the current swim coaches, Andy Adair, has
already resigned over the review, saying it was disruptive to
his coaching and ignored eight years of hard work on his
Council staff support the recommendations, in the main, and
councillors will be asked at next week's community
development committee meeting to agree to consult on the
board proposal, and that discussions with swim clubs
regarding amalgamation go ahead.
They will also be asked to note the panel's support for work
already happening this year on investigating extending the
season for the Port Chalmers, Mosgiel and St Clair pools to
increase the availability of quality water space for
competitive swim coaching.
The panel of sports academic and former Olympian Dr David
Gerrard, John Brimble, chief executive of Sport Otago, and
former head New Zealand swim coach Mark Bone was formed
earlier this year to review swim coaching services at Moana
Pool to see what improvements could be made to existing
The two existing coaching contracts were due to expire at the
end of 2012 and in early 2013, and council staff deemed it to
be a good time to review swim coaching services.
The panel called for submissions, receiving them directly
from 30 people, and considered a further 18 written
The panel met Dunedin's swimming community last night to
outline the proposed recommendations.
Neptune Swimming Club president Colin Armstrong was still
"digesting" the report, but believed the recommendations
looked "hopeful" and the panel did a good job.
"They are trying to, I think, do what's good for the swimmers
Waves Swimming Club official Diana Evans said the
recommendations were "a positive move forward for Dunedin
swimming and aquatic sports".
She was "keen to move forward and move forward quite quickly"
and believed "there should be some happy people".
Review of swim coaching services at Moana
The independent review panel of Dr David Gerrard, Mark Bone and
John Brimble found:
• Current professional swim coaches at Moana Pool provide a
high level of service to individual squad members, reflected by
performances at national level, but outcomes limited by factors
including unequal lane time and space between coaches and the
absence of collegiality.
• Dunedin has a disproportionate number of swimming clubs,
with each enjoying similar pool time and space irrespective
of their size or capacity to provide a meaningful pathway to
• Dunedin produces a sufficient number of elite athletes in
water-related disciplines, but they are inadequately served
by coaching and allocated pool time and space.
• Swim Otago appropriately remains independent of the
professional swim coaches at Moana Pool.
• Parents believe there are insufficient professional
standards in swim coaching at Moana Pool, a lack of an
independent process for dispute resolution, inequality in
coaching contracts, no key performance indicators for
coaches, and perceive an absence of co-operation between