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New World Class Programme Canoe Sprint Coaching Team announced

British Canoeing has announced its new Canoe Sprint coaching team for the World Class Performance Programme to lead the campaign for the Paris 2024 Olympic cycle.

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The new structure follows the UK Sport funding announcement in December and aligns to the new Sprint Performance Strategy which was developed in conjunction with the sprint racing community. Following a consultation and internal interview process, new roles were established which will focus on the Olympic events in the revised Paris 2024 competition programme. The team will comprise three Podium Coaches, an Under 23 Head Coach and Academy Coach.

The Podium Coaches will focus on leading the event strategies in Women’s Canoe, Women’s Kayak and Men’s Kayak in the World Class Programme Campaign Groups for Paris. The Under 23 Head Coach is a new and exciting role for this cycle that will be leading on building a strong cohort of U23 athletes through the Paris cycle for our longer term ambitions in Los Angeles 2028. The Academy Coach will be supporting the Head U23 Coach, primarily delivering coaching to Academy level athletes in Nottingham and at camps and competitions.

James Train has been appointed as Podium Coach and will continue to lead on the Women’s Canoe Programme. He will also take a senior coaching role within the team to lead and develop the podium coaches and athletes.

Kristina Medovcikova will lead on the Women’s Kayak events as Podium Coach with three-time Olympian Paul Darby-Dowman appointed to lead on the Men’s Programme based at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham.

Andy Penhallurick will move from his current position, as Podium Potential Technical Coach to become the new U23 Head Coach and Brendon Stead has been appointed into the Academy Coach role. Andy will lead in a pivotal role to develop Sprint Performance Academies aligned to our longer-term strategy of building U23 programmes in Clubs and a broader base of talent.

Brendon will play a crucial role in developing our cohort of athletes for Los Angeles.

Paul Ratcliffe, Performance Director for British Canoeing, said:

“Having the Paris Coaching team in place will now give us the opportunity to set ourselves up and align to the new Sprint Performance Strategy with a focus on the campaign groups for the events in Paris 2024. We have a new long-term vision for the sport to unite and inspire a community from club to podium to deliver unprecedented performances and it will take a team approach for us to make this happen.”

Scott Simon, Flat Water Head Coach, added: “We have put into place a strong core coaching team to align with our long term sprint performance strategy to develop the sport from club to performance level.

“We have taken a realistic phased approach to repositioning our sport to achieve its potential in Paris and LA by investing in our people and driving up standards within our team. I look forward to leading the team as we begin to shape our culture and create an environment where athletes can thrive as we look to Paris and beyond to Los Angeles in 2028.”

The coaches will take up their new roles on 1 March 2021.