World-renowned coach Bill Sweetenham has been snapped up by Swimming New Zealand in a temporary role as high performance coach.
The former Australia head coach and Great Britain performance director will start on February 8 following the resignation of coaches Mark Regan and Scott Talbot, who is now at the New South Wales Institute.
Regan coached short-course world champion Lauren Boyle. He had been based at the Millennium Institute on Auckland's North Shore for three years but became frustrated by his employment situation and resigned.
Sweetenham has a rich pedigree in the sport. He was the first director of coaching for Queensland before going on to serve as head swimming coach at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, head swimming coach at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, national youth coach for Australian Swimming (1995-2000), and national performance director of British Swimming from 2000 to 2007.
In his time as national youth coach, his programmes developed the likes of Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett.
He achieved outstanding international results in Great Britain, including numerous world championship, European and Commonwealth titles, although Olympic success did not come until Beijing 2008.
He has established a successful consultancy and continues to lecture, publish and conduct clinics on a variety of subjects and has produced a series of educational and instructional videos on skills and technique. He is a published author of Championship Swim Training.
"We are absolutely delighted that Bill has taken up the role with us," Swimming NZ acting chief executive Mark O'Connor said. "It is an important time for our swimmers preparing for the upcoming State New Zealand Open championships which double as the trials for the world championships.
"It is important to have a coach who understands the swimmers, the country and what is ahead of them."
Sweetenham has had an involvement with Swimming NZ, producing a review of the high performance structure in 2008. He is contracted until the national championships in mid-March.
Meanwhile, Swimming NZ has advertised worldwide for a new permanent high performance coach. They have already received a significant number of inquiries from several well-qualified and credentialed coaches.