Mandi Smith of Red Deer is one of five coaches named to Swimming Canada’s inaugural Select Coaches Group program aimed at developing the country’s next generation of elite coaches.
‘’We based our selections on coaches who were passionate and 100 per cent dedicated to the coaching profession,’’ said Ken McKinnon, Swimming Canada’s national development coach. “Our goal is to provide up-to-date, modern, evidence-based, successful practices that will challenge our younger coaches and help them coach at a higher level immediately.’’
Swimming Canada issued a call for applications in July, from which 14 coaches from across the country applied. McKinnon and Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson interviewed applicants at last month’s Canadian Swimming Congress. This group was selected to be the first in an annual initiative that aims to enhance the development of a sustainable stream of world-leading high performance coaches.
“One of the strategies Swimming Canada’s High Performance program has in place is to develop coaches,” Atkinson said.
“This program will see that attained.”
The coaches will attend a Mentor Coach Program workshop Dec. 15-17 in Victoria which will feature Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria head coach Randy Bennett, integrated support team director Dr. Allan Wrigley, University of Victoria strength and conditioning expert Eugene Liang and two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane.
Smith has been at the helm at the Red Deer Catalina Swim Club since 2009 and developed a solid age group squad in addition to heading Alberta teams to international events.
The Select Coaches Group program is part of Swimming Canada’s mission to be amongst the world leading swimming nations by 2020.