The CEO of Australian Canoeing, Greg Doyle, today announced the national high performance leadership team that will steer Australian Canoeing through another successful Olympic cycle.
“Under the leadership of newly appointed National Performance Director, Shaun Stephens, Australian Canoeing is extremely fortunate to have retained the services of internationally renowned coaches, Mike Druce, David Foureur and Anna Wood” Doyle said.
The trio join Jimmy Owens (National Sprint Head Coach), Myriam Fox and Julien Billet (National Senior Slalom Coaches) and Andrea King (National Paracanoe coach), who were all recently re-appointed.
“We have recruited an experienced and extremely successful high performance leadership team, which will provide our athletes with the best opportunity to reach their potential on the international stage and the sport to meet Australia’s Winning Edge podium targets” Doyle said.
“Recognising the enormous knowledge and experience that both Mike Druce and David Foureur have, they will fill new leadership roles within the organisation in heading up the Performance Pathways area for Canoe Slalom and Canoe Sprint disciplines respectively.”
Stephens said he has the team in place to ensure Australian Canoeing continues the incredible run of success it has enjoyed at an international level.
“The pathways area is an important strategic area for Australian Canoeing over the next four years, and to have two previous Head Coaches transition into that space in the next cycle will ensure Australian Canoeing remains at the forefront of international success in many years to come” Stephens said.
Mike Druce will be working closely with recognised developing athletes and coaches to improve the quality and depth within canoe slalom, as well as ensuring there is a strong development program operating out of the Penrith Whitewater facility that can identify and develop the next Jessica Fox.
Stephens was excited about what Druce can bring to the Pathways program.
“Mike is hugely respected in the Canoe Slalom community and to have his skills and expertise working with our next generation of athletes and coaches is a massive boost to our program,” he said.
Druce will transition from his current role as Canoe Slalom Head Coach to the Pathways role over the next nine months while Australian Canoeing seek to secure additional world class coaching resources to support Myriam and Julien.
David Foureur will be responsible for leading the Sprint pathways program with a specific focus on building the depth and quality of the women’s program as well as maximising development opportunities for athletes to transition between surf and kayak.
“David will build upon the partnership between Australian Canoeing and Surf Lifesaving Australia to capitalise on the competitive advantage we have here in Australia of a fantastic surf lifesaving culture,” Stephens said.
Recognising the outstanding job done in preparing Alyce Burnett and Allysa Bull in Rio, Anna Wood has been appointed as the National Centre of Excellence (NCE) Women’s Coach, operating out of the AIS Canoe facility on the Gold Coast. Anna will be responsible to deliver all of the on-water activities out of the NCE and during domestic and international camps and competitions. Anna will be supported by David Foureur who will lead all off-water and development activities within the women’s program.
“Anna is an extremely passionate and knowledgeable coach, and has done a terrific job in developing Alyce and Allysa into world class paddlers,” Stephens said.
“I’m confident that she will continue to develop more female paddlers to take on the world over the next four years.”
Now Australian Canoeing have secured its leadership team, it will begin recruiting for a number of coaching and administrative support positions in the coming weeks. The first of these is Guy Power, who has accepted the joint role of Paracanoe Assistant Coach and Gold Coast Performance Pathways Coach.
“Guy will relocate from Perth to the Gold Coast, where he was fulfilling a similar role and will be a massive asset to the Paracanoe and Performance Pathways team,” Stephens said.
Doyle said the Australian Canoeing community can feel confident the future of the sport is in good hands.
“It’s an extremely exciting time for Australian Canoeing as our high performance structure /systems are being rolled-out, aligned to our high performance plan aimed at maximising sustained international success,” he said.
“A feature of this plan is the importance of partners in our performance journey to Tokyo and beyond, particularly the National Institute Network.”