Western Suburbs appoints new head coach
SWIMMING: Western Suburbs Gladstone Swimming Club has appointed Ryan McLoughlin as head coach for the upcoming season which starts on August 1.
McLoughlin, who is also coach and owner of the Gladstone-based 3D Coaching / Triathlon and one of the town's leading triathletes and ironmen, will bring a wealth of experience to the club.
The appointment coincides with the club's affiliation with Triathlon Queensland and McLoughlin's 3D Coaching / Triathlon business will be based at the club.
He also spent some time at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to help develop his coaching qualifications and has recently spent time with Ian Thorpe's former coach Tracey Menzies.
"It's exciting for the Gladstone region because we have got some real quality juniors as well as a cycling network," McLoughlin said.
"We have got a great hub to bring these sports together.
"It's going to be a great opportunity and it's something that this town has never down before."
McLoughlin said that the course he has done in the AIS was the 'kick-off'.
"There's 12 months of assignments to fulfil the accreditation," McLoughlin said.
"I'm also doing two lots of coaching courses in Ipswich this weekend and they are Learn to Swim and Learn to Swim of Competition Strokes."
The coach said Western Suburbs Gladstone Swimming Club will be multi-purpose and open to the public from July 1.
"We'll be offering Learn to Swim for all age ranges as well," McLoughlin said.
For the more eager athletes who want to get into triathlon or improve further, there is another facility that will be added.
"We will have a computerised bike training room and will be called the Crank House," McLoughlin said.
Club president Alex Staines said the club's focus is to retain youngsters who are at an age where they are most vulnerable to quitting.
"Kids at 13 to 15 years are ones most likely to drop out, but this is a great opportunity for them to get into triathlon," Staines said.
"It allows families to get involved and the kids can be involved in swimming while the parents in triathlon."
Staines added there are long-term plans in place to turn the vacant land adjacent to the club-house into a training pad.
"It can be used for training and transition drills focusing on the technical aspect for triathletes to work on," he said.
"We just need some grants for this multi-purpose pads."