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Rowing Australia announces Lyall McCarthy as Pathways Head Coach

Rowing Australia today announced Lyall McCarthy as its new Pathways Head Coach. This follows the announcement last week of Ian Wright as the new Men’s Head Coach and John Keogh as the new Women’s Head Coach. McCarthy will work directly with Deputy Performance Director, Jaime Fernandez, who is leading the Pathways program nationally.

McCarthy, who coached Kim Brennan to Olympic gold in the Women’s Single Sculls at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, has represented Australia 18 times as a coach on the Senior Team in his 20 years working at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Rowing Australia. McCarthy is currently based in Canberra, with his role as a Senior Coach at Rowing Australia, and will take up his new role on 17 October. McCarthy’s new role, which is an integral part of CampaignNumberOne, will see the highly successful rowing coach focus his attention on Australia’s talent pathway and growing Australia future elite coaches and rowers to learn how to row and train to win.

McCarthy began coaching in Victoria under the guidance of his former coach, Geoffrey Hunter, before taking charge of his first national crews in 1995. The following year he joined the AIS to work under the guidance of Reinhold Batschi and his been a constant member of the national coaching system since then.

He has coached multiple Australian crews to World Rowing Championships titles, including the Men’s Lightweight Eight, and had crews that have medalled in every Open Women’s boat category. In his time coaching, his crews have won 18 World Championships and/or Olympic medals and he has coached Australian crews at six Olympic Games, with four crews winning medals – the 2004 Women’s Quadruple Sculls (bronze), the 2012 Women’s Double Sculls and Women’s Single Sculls (silver and bronze respectively) and of course the 2016 Women’s Single Sculls (gold).

McCarthy sees the role as an opportunity to work with the best coaches across the country to develop Australia’s underage rowers into champions. The new role will see him work across all of Australia’s Pathway teams providing technical on-water leadership, as well as direction of the underage programing, while he will also provide assistance to the National Talent Pathway Program.

“I am excited to be taking on this new role with Rowing Australia. I love helping athletes achieve their goals and dreams and feel that at this end of my career that I can give back to the sport that has given me so much. I have some ideas and can’t wait to get started on building a great team of coaches to develop the world’s best underage teams and talent pathway.

“I want to focus my energy, skills and knowledge on our bespoke pathway program and support the growth and development of our young talent,” said McCarthy, who represented Australia and is McVilly-Pearce rower number 295.

Deputy Performance Director, Jaime Fernandez commented: “We are delighted to have secured an Olympic gold medal winning coach, in Lyall McCarthy, to lead this area of the organisation. Having someone of Lyall’s calibre in the pathways role only further demonstrates the weight of importance we put on our bespoke talent pathway system, and our underage teams, as part of CampaignNumberOne.

“To have a coach with the depth and breadth of experience that Lyall has will no longer be limited to the senior team but will now be shared to nurture our future generation of rowers.”

Rowing Australia launched CampaignNumberOne prior to the Rio Olympic Games, putting the sport ahead of the game from a planning perspective leading into Tokyo.  The new High Performance Plan includes the centralisation of its High Performance programs as well as the development of a bespoke state based pathways program that develops a pipeline of talent into the High Performance Centres.