The British Swimming Coaches & Teachers Association has expressed "grave concerns" over the selection of a foreign coach to the team staff for the Team GB Olympic Swim Team. Gary Vandermeulen, the husband and coach to medal hopeful Alison Sheppard was selected to give Alsion every possible chance in her quest to win a medal in the 50 Freestyle at the Games. Gary and Alison live and train in Canada and the BSCTA are concerned that various British coaches of medal hopefuls have been displaced in favour of Gary.Letter from BSCTA to Selection Committee
I write on behalf of the British Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association to express our Association's grave concerns and dismay at the selection of a foreign coach, Gary Vandermeulen, as one of the British Team Coaches for the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000.
As an Association representing the interests' of British coaches, we feel Gary's selection as an official member of the British team coaching staff should not have been made in preference to a British based coach.
As an Association we appreciate the importance of Gary being present to provide specific support to his swimmer whose world ranking and medal potential is fully recognised. We also appreciate that currently, there is no provision for gaining daily access to, or accreditation for the training venues once the swimmers move into the Olympic Village. For Gary and his swimmer, this problem is exacerbated by the fact that the women's 50 metres freestyle event does not take place until the end of the Olympic Programme. Any presence Gary should have, however, should, be as an "additional" coach with the team and not one where he clearly displaces a British based coach.
Our Association believes that so far as the British swimming coaching fraternity is concerned, the issues at stake here are the following:-
In light of the above, I would ask that this appointment be re-considered and/or that very strenuous representation be made to the BOA to either:
Dave Heathcock - President BSCTA
PP Colin Stripe - Secretary BSCTA