Swimming New Zealand has hired Bill Sweetenham in a temporary role as high performance coach in the wake of the departures of Mark Regan and Scott Talbot, who is now at the New South Wales Institute.
Sweetenham's steer coincides with the arrival of Luis Villanueva, of Spain, as performance director in New Zealand. Sweetenham served as consultant guru to Spain when Villanueva had the top job in his home country.
An Australian who turned Britain's fortunes around with record results in the pool between 200 and 2007, including the first world long-course titles ever won by British women, has a string of success to his credit, including his work as State Director of Coaching for Queensland, head coach at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and National Youth Coach for Australia, his programmes helping to bring the likes of Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and their coaches through from promise to delivery.
"We are absolutely delighted that Bill has taken up the role with us," said Swimming New Zealand acting CEO, Mark O'Connor. "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. Bill is one of the most credentialed swimming coaches in the history of the sport and we are pleased he is stepping in to help us out."
Sweetenham is no stranger to New Zealand, having helped the nation with its a review of a high performance structure in 2008. He will work in New Zealand until Mid-March while the nation that gave us Danyon Loader looks for a permanent high performance coach to lead the way to Rio 2016.