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The start of something extraordinary


Swimming Waikato have announced Darren Ward as the region's new Hub Head Coach, taking over from Clive Power.

Darren Ward, from Scotland, has recently been working alongside Swim Ireland’s Education Department where he has designed and presented Coaching Resources for use by the National body. At the 2016 Rio Olympics Ward was a team coach for the Serbian swim team.

"We needed someone to pick up where Clive has left off and take our Swimming Hub to the next level, and with Darren and we’re confident he’s the ‘man for the job," says Swimming Waikato's Cherie McCleery.

"We were looking for someone who fundamentally believed in the philosophy behind our Regional Development Pathway, who would work well alongside our senior coaches, provide great development opportunities to our junior coaches, and inspire our swimmers to achieve their swimming goals, no matter what they might be".

Power departs after three years in the role. He was referred to as the 'Water Whisperer' and news of his resignations was filled with a degree of dread from the organisation.

McCleery says, "it’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to share his incredible knowledge and passion for the sport with our coaches and swimmer alike, we wish him all the best for the future".

Darren will be joined in New Zealand by his New Zealand born wife who is waiting for their ‘kilted kiwi’ to be born, before making the trip down under.

This is a really exciting appointment for Swimming Waikato and we’re confident that Darren will be a fantastic addition to the coaching talent in New Zealand.

Darren Ward Profile:

Darren holds a MSc Honours in Performance Coaching which he attained at the University of Stirling, as well as a MA Honours in Scottish History from the University of Edinburgh. He has developed and implemented a long term athlete development pathway in Budapest, working alongside the high profile Shane Tusup and Olympian Katinka HosszuHe has held the role of Senior Elite Coach for Hamilton Aquatics (Dubai), coached with the Serbian National Team, and carried out a Development and Coaching role for Portobello ASC in Edinburgh.

He’s supported world class athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 Kazan World Championships, and the 2016 European Champs as one of the Serbian team’s Coaches, and has also qualified swimmers for many other international meets – I’ve included a full list below for your interest.  We understand that he was a pretty talented swimmer himself too!

• Team Serbia Coach, Olympic Games  (Rio, 2016)
• Team Serbia Coach, European Championships  (London, 2016)
• Team Serbia Coach, World Championships  (Kazan, 2015)
• Coaching swimmer to double European Long Course Championship Gold (Berlin, 2014)
• Coaching swimmer to Bronze Medal at World Short Course Championships  (Doha, 2014)
• Placing swimmer on the Serbian Olympic Team (Rio 2016)
• Three qualified swimmers for the European Long Course Championships  (London, 2016)
• Placing five swimmers into the World Long Course Championships  (Kazan, 2015)
• Placing three swimmers into the European Short Course Championships  (Netanya, 2015)
• Placing two swimmers onto Team Europe for Duel in the Pool (Glasgow, 2014)
• Placing three swimmers into the European Long Course Championships  (Berlin, 2014)
• Placing five swimmers into World Short Course Championships  (Doha 2014)
• Coaching two swimmers onto their respective national Commonwealth  Games Squads (Glasgow, 2014)
• Coaching swimmer to Asian Games (Incheon, 2014)
• Scottish District Regional Program Coach 2012
• Scottish National Swim Team Member
• Scottish Junior Swimmer of the Year
• Double British Junior Record Holder
• Multiple Scottish Senior and Junior Record Holder