New Head Coach for Swimming NZ

By Rahia Timutimu
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • North Island: West Coast
  • North Island: East Coast
  • Wellington
  • South Island

With a new focus towards the 2020 Olympics, Swimming New Zealand has selected Jerry Olszewski as their new Head Coach.

He says big changes are coming to the sport in New Zealand. 

"I've spent 12-, 13-, 14-hour days planning the next four years, setting up a national team that we don't have to go back in three years and try to change again because it's not working," Olszewski says. 

Over the last four years, Swimming New Zealand has undertaken many reviews and changes, something Māori swimmer Moss Burmester is familiar with.

In an interview with TV3's Newshub, Burmester says, “I think it comes down to the lack of leadership. I just think there's a massive communication issue between Swimming New Zealand and the swimmers there and actually going to the swimmers and asking them what do they want.”

Burmester is a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and two-time Olympian swimmer and alleges that NZ Swimming wasn't receptive to his assistance.

"In the past, I tried to be involved, we got ignored and a big wall was put up in front of us," Burmester adds. 

Olszewski is the current Chief Executive of the Arizona Gold Swimming organisation. He has coached at the top club level in the USA for more than 25 years, developing young swimmers to Olympics and national teams.

He replaces Clive Power, who has been acting head coach since high-performance director Luis Villanueva resigned in April last year.