The road to the Rio Olympics is taking shape.Af: Nora Thomsen
On top of a successful World Championships, which resulted in six Danish medals and many impressive results, the Danish Swimming Federation now continues their work towards achieving excellent Danish results at the Rio Olympics which is now less than two years away. The Federation’s sporting set-up will be modified in the run up to the Olympics.
It has long been known that the World Championships in Doha would be the last competition for Shannon Rollason, the Head Coach of the national swimming training centre (NTC). After a fantastic World Championships, the Danish swimmers have said goodbye to the 42-year-old swimming coach who, because of family reasons, wished to return to his home country.
Looking for a new Director of Sport
The World Championships in Doha was also the last competition for Mikkel von Seelen, who has been the Danish Swimming Federation’s Director of Sport for the last two years. Mikkel has chosen to accept a very attractive job in the more project-oriented event sector in Jutland.
The role of the Directorof Sport has been to take overall technical and organisational responsibility for the Federation’s competition activities and high performance work, and the Danish Swimming Federation is in the process of recruiting a new Director of Sport. At the forefront of this work is Pia Holmen, Director of the Danish Swimming Federation.
“Since Shannon Rollason announced that he wanted to return home, we have spent a lot of time making a thorough evaluation of the sporting set-up, and in the process we have worked closely with the swimmers who are associated with NTC and Team Denmark on a daily basis. We are very sorry that both Shannon and Mikkel are leaving. This means that we must modify our set-up in the run up to the Olympics in two years,” says the Director and continues:
“Mikkel von Seelen has to be replaced and one very important parameter in the process of finding his replacement is that we find someone who both understands the needs of the very best swimmers and the clubs’ role in our joint strategy, the 2016 Swimming Plan. It is now our highest priority to find a new Director of Sport,” says Pia Holmen.
The coaching team has to ensure continuity
The Danish Swimming Federation, in consultation with NTC swimmers and Team Denmark, has decided that the solution will be that the current NTC Assistant Coach, Stefan Hansen, and the current National Head Coach, Nick Juba, will jointly manage the training at NTC.
“We are very pleased that a decision has now been taken on the future set-up of NTC, and that in connection with this decision, the Federation has listened to the swimmers. By continuing training at NTC with Stefan and Nick we get the continuity that is needed in the run up to the Olympics,” says Jeanette Ottesen, four-time medal winner from Doha.
At Team Denmark, who is an important partner for the Danish Swimming Federation, Director Michael Andersen is pleased with the results from the recent successful World Championships, and he looks at the time in the run up to the Olympics in 2016 with confidence.
”The excellent short course results at the World Championships in Doha show that the Danish swimmers have a high international level when medals are to be awarded. It is our responsibility to ensure that the swimmers continue the goal-orientated process in the run up to the World Championships in 2015 and the 2016 Olympics. I believe that the solution chosen to have Stefan Hansen and Nick Juba poolside at NTC is the right decision, which will ensure the necessary continuity for our very best swimmers up to and during the Olympics in Rio,” says Team Denmark’s Director.
In regard to the National Head Coach Nick Juba directing some of his focus to the NTC, the Danish Swimming Federation will recruitan additional person to the sports department who has a coaching profile.
“We are very aware that the constellation chosen for NTC should not mean less focus on high performance work in the clubs, on the contrary, we would like to reinforce this. Therefore, in addition to a new Director of Sport, we definitely have to find another coaching profile that can strengthen the overall set-up in the Danish Swimming Federation’s sports department,” concludes Director Pia Holmen.
For further information, please contact Pia Holmen, Director of the Danish Swimming Federation, on +45 29 20 61 61.
Michael Andersen, Director of Team Danmark, can be contacted on +45 51 26 60 62.