Following an internal recruitment process, Paracanoe Head Coach Scott Simon has been appointed as Interim Flat Water Head Coach to lead the World Class Programmes for both Paracanoe and Canoe Sprint.
The appointment comes as the Paracanoe and Canoe Sprint world class programmes move towards a joint programme and one team approach after the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as part of the Paris 2024 strategy.
As part of this process a new strategic leadership position has been established to lead the direction of the programme into a new era.
Scott was appointed as Head Coach for the world leading Paracanoe team in October 2017 having previously worked as a Technical Coach for the Canoe Sprint women’s Olympic development squad in the Rio cycle. Scott has overseen a successful three years for Paracanoe and has developed an exceptional team that are in great shape to move into the Tokyo year with great confidence.
Paul Ratcliffe, Performance Director at British Canoeing, said: “Scott’s strong leadership skills, ability to develop a united team behind a common purpose and his inspirational qualities that allow people to thrive in the performance environment are key components that we know will enable him to drive the programme forward for Tokyo and beyond.
“With Scott’s appointment and Mark Ratcliffe leading the Slalom Programme we have our two Head Coaches in place to lead the teams towards achieving their Tokyo and Paris ambitions.”
With Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe having a common domestic and international competition programme and both being located at the same High Performance Centre, the vision with the new approach is to provide a unique opportunity for sharing knowledge, technical delivery, sports science and medicine support and operational support teams. Most importantly, it will provide the opportunity to develop a joint culture and consistent ways of operating aligned to British Canoeing’s values that leverage the strengths of both programmes.
Scott has been offered the role on an interim basis until December 2021, providing strong leadership and stability across the programmes during the final year of the Tokyo cycle and will lead the transition with the Performance Director towards the new structure for Paris 2024.
On taking the new role, Scott said:
“I am delighted to be able to support athletes and staff to achieve their ambitions through the fusion of best practices from both the Paracanoe and Canoe Sprint programmes to deliver our Tokyo aspirations, whilst simultaneously positioning athletes to attain their Paris and LA goals.
“The gradual transition to a flatwater ethos through the Paris 2024 cycle allows us a tremendous opportunity to maintain and sustain areas in which we are world leading whilst concurrently rebuilding and developing the key areas that will be required to produce future success.
“I'm realistic it is a huge change and challenge, but an equally huge opportunity.”