Swimming: Temporary coach for Waves Club

Lindsay Dey
Lindsay Dey
A temporary coach will be appointed to look after 55 Waves Club swimmers after next week's Otago championships.

The move was confirmed yesterday by Dunedin City Council coaching board chairman Lindsay Dey.

The most likely candidate is experienced coach Clive Power, who lives in Pleasant Point and has just completed a temporary appointment in Timaru. Osca coach Gennadiy Labara has offered his services through to the New Zealand championships.

''A good solution would be for Gennadiy to take the senior swimmers and Clive Power, or someone else, to work with the juniors,'' Dey said.

''It would give us a temporary solution and give the swimmers professional coaching at a significant level.''

The coaching board had its first meeting on Thursday to deal with the temporary situation before the board is officially put in place on April 1.

The coaching positions have been advertised on the Swimming New Zealand and DCC websites. Coaches were asked to express their interest by 5pm yesterday.

The Otago Daily Times understands Labara, whose contract with Osca and the council ends on March 31, is an applicant.

''The board's concern is to put in place a new regime for professional coaching in Dunedin,'' Dey said.

''It is our requirement to have a professional coaching structure in place by April 1 for up to 220 swimmers.

''It is possible that it could be in place before that. It is a desire by all parties involved to come to an answer as soon as possible. If the applicants are of an international calibre, the time of appointment may have to be extended.

''We want the best result.''

Alan Dickie, a parent of a swimmer in the Waves club, contacted the Otago Daily Times this week after learning the club would no longer have the coaching services of Geoffrey Calder after the Otago championships.

Calder was a temporary replacement for long-serving Waves coach Andy Adair, who took up an appointment in Nelson in October. Waves assistant Rhys Pride-Wall has recently shifted to Gore.

In an email to DCC general manager of operations Tony Avery, Dickie said he was ''a concerned parent and [the council] is still alarmingly slow in sorting out this relatively simple problem.

''You and Steve Prescott [aquatics services manager] assured all Waves parents that our children's swimming needs would not be compromised by the revision of the structure of swimming in the city.

''This is clearly not the case, as our swimmers will have no coach in the lead-up to the New Zealand junior championships in February and the New Zealand age group nationals in March.

''These swimmers need to have consistency and guidance before major competitions. The council appointed the independent panel to review swimming in Dunedin in May last year, at which point I asked that these matters be dealt with urgently.''