Ex-national coach to lead state swim program

TASMANIAN swimmers have been given a huge boost with the appointment of former national head coach Leigh Nugent as the state's technical director.

Swimming Tasmania was delighted to announce that the Olympic mastermind will be mentoring the state's most talented coaches and swimmers.

 ``Swimming Tasmania is extremely fortunate to have a coach of Leigh's calibre taking on this role for our state,''  community sport administrator Tim Bingham said. 

 Nugent was head coach of the Australian team that claimed a haul of seven gold, five silver and three bronze medals at the Athens Olympics in 2004, second only to the national team at the 1956 Melbourne Games, but stood down 14 months ago following the disappointing showing in London.

He will begin his Tasmanian role before the end of the month.

Under Swimming Australia's sustainable performance pathway and the guidance of new national head coach Jacco Verhaeren, all states have a technical director acting as a coach mentor and assisting to implement the national talent identification program. 

The program is supported by the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and Nugent will play a similar role with the Victorian Institute of Sport.

Tasmania's most talented young swimmers have been invited to attend camps, run in accordance with national testing protocols, in Hobart on May 24-25 and in Launceston next summer.

In October, after the state team's age short-course championships, around 40 swimmers will be identified based on their performances, coach insights and assessments.

The sustainable performance pathway aims to support athletes and coaches who possess the attributes to successfully represent Australia at major events. 

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