Published: Oct 4, 2012 12:19:53 PM Updated: Oct 31, 2012 12:04:27 PM
Swimming Australia would like to congratulate Paralympic Head Coach Brendan Keogh on an outstanding career in high performance sport and wish him well in his new role as the Aquatics Manager and Head Coach at Genesis Christian College in Brisbane.
Keogh has been the Paralympic Head Coach for the last 10 years and recently returned from his fourth consecutive Paralympic Games, where he led the Australian Swim Team to a best ever performance in London.
Australia returned with 18 gold medals, seven silver and 12 bronze for a total medal haul of 37 medals, with the likes of Jacqueline Freney (8 gold) and Matthew Cowdrey (5 gold) leading the way in Australia's best ever swimming performance since the inception of the Functional Classification system in 1992.
Swimming Australia President David Urquhart said Keogh will leave a lasting legacy in the role and his contribution to high performance Paralympic sport has been immeasurable.
“Brendan leaves the position on a high, and with some very sound structures in place, having helped steer the team to outstanding success in London,” said Urquhart.
“His skills, knowledge and commitment to Paralympic swimming will be missed, but we wish him well in his future endeavours and know that he will continue to play an important role in the development of our sport.”
For Keogh, who first got into Paralympic swimming as a personal coach to Tamara Nowitzki who won silver in the SB7 100m breaststroke at Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, his love for the sport will see him return to pool-deck in a more hands on coaching position.
“Working with Paralympic athletes for more than a decade has truly been the highlight of my career and something that I will forever cherish,” said Keogh.
“To have seen a 12-year-old Matthew Cowdrey progress from junior talent, to our greatest ever Paralympian is just one of the many memories I will take from my time as Head Coach.
“I would like to thank all the athletes, coaches, officials and the Swimming Australia family for their fantastic support over the years. Moving on from this position was a very difficult decision, and I’m just grateful that I’m able to stay involved in a sport that I love. “
Australian Paralympic Committee Chief Executive Jason Hellwig said: “On behalf of the APC, I would like to thank Brendan for his contribution to the Australian Paralympic Swim Team over the past 10 years and wish him all the very best in his future endeavours.
“The Head Coach role for the Paralympic Swim Team is a huge responsibility and crucial to the ongoing success of the wider Australian Paralympic Team, which is why Brendan’s replacement will have some big shoes to fill.”
Swimming Australia will now work with the Australian Paralympic Committee and Australian Institute of Sport to find a suitable replacement for the position of Paralympic Head Coach.