Olympic rowing coach takes job at Chch girls' school

Gary Hay. Photo: Rowing NZ
Gary Hay. Photo: Rowing NZ
Top international rowing coach Gary Hay will go from the Tokyo Olympics to a Christchurch girls' school next year.

Hay will take over as rowing head coach at Rangi Ruru Girls’ School following the Olympics from July 24 to August 9, where he will be coaching the New Zealand women's team.

Hay was named International Rowing Federation coach of the year last month at the International Rowing Awards in London.

Current Rangi Ruru head of rowing Mark Cotham will continue in the role through to the conclusion of the 2020 Maadi Cup in April.

The school's rowing manager Olivia Ling said Hay's talent and skill as a coach will add to the coaching team. However, she paid tribute to Cotham, who has had some significant achievements in the role.

“In his tenure with the school from when he took the helm in 2012, Mark has successfully built a solid rowing programme, both regarding numbers and performance,” she said.

“The culture that Mark has created at Rangi, through his enthusiasm for the sport and his passion to see the girls succeed, is going to be greatly missed.

“We look forward to that continuing in 2019/2020 with Mark at the helm.”

Cotham said it will be business as usual while the Rangi Ruru girls prepare for the NZ secondary school nationals in April.

“I am thrilled for Rangi that Gary is joining the school. I know he will do great things and enjoy it as much as I do.”

Director of sport Mandy Anderson also acknowledged Cotham’s work.

"Mark’s drive and professionalism have really paid dividends for our rowers,” she said.

"The regattas are a focus but at Rangi we also take a long-term view, and the number of girls who have achieved when they leave school is definitely linked to the talent and dedication of our coaches.”

Seven Rangi Ruru rowers took part in under-18 South Island crew trials this year after stand-out performances at Maadi Cup.

Hay coached at the school from 2004-2009 before taking a high-performance role.

His family lives in Christchurch and his daughters went to Rangi Ruru. He will move back from Cambridge when he takes the helm at Rangi Ruru after the Olympics.

He has been with Rowing New Zealand since 2009, starting out as head coach for the Southern Rowing Performance Centre and then as a high-performance coach at Lake Karapiro.

Hay was named head coach of the New Zealand women’s rowing programme in 2016.







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