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Australian named as NZ men's rowing coach

Published: 10:50AM Thursday February 28, 2013 Source: ONE Sport

  • A New Zealand team oar in the water (Source: Photosport )
    A New Zealand team oar in the water - Source: Photosport

Rowing New Zealand has unveiled Noel Donaldson as the new men's sweep lead coach.

The announcement comes just days before the trials to select the New Zealand Rowing team to compete in the Sydney World Cup. Donaldson will arrive in New Zealand in time for the trials to start work for Rowing New Zealand.

Donaldson, 57, has a strong coaching background where he formerly worked in Australia as the Elite Development Manager for the emerging talent age groups of U21 and U23. He hopes to add more value to Rowing New Zealand in the next Olympic cycle and to ensure New Zealand continues to be one of the world's leading rowing nations.

Donaldson's history includes coaching Australia's Oarsome Foursome (Men's Coxless Four) crew who won back to back golds in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996 and the Men's Coxless Pair who won bronze in Sydney 2000. At Athens 2004, as head coach, he guided the Australian squad to one gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

Donaldson has also been the High Performance Director from 2004 to 2008 for Rowing Australia and until recently has been Head Coach of Rowing Australia.

Rowing New Zealand's High Performance Manager Alan Cotter is delighted with the appointment and says recruiting a coach of high calibre was a priority in having a successful men's sweep high performance programme looking forward to Rio and beyond.

Cotter says "Noel is going to be a huge asset for Rowing New Zealand. He has a wealth of rowing experience in various coaching roles, including being part of multiple medal winning teams at World Championships and Olympic Games."

"We were looking for someone who had achieved results as a head coach in sweep oar boats, had worked successfully in a high performance programme, had the ability to develop, lead and maintain a strong team culture - and Noel has all of these attributes.'' Cotter says.

Cotter said there was strong national and international interest in the role.

The new Rowing New Zealand coaching structure includes lead coaches in the following areas: Men's Sculling Lead Coach - Calvin Ferguson, Men's Sweep Lead Coach - Noel Donaldson and Women's Lead Coach - Richard Tonks.