Triathlon NZ director appointment 'a coup'

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 17:33 22/09/2012
Graeme Maw
Getty Images
HEADING DOWN UNDER: Former British Triathlon high performance boss Graeme Maw has been named Triathlon New Zealand's new high performance director.

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Triathlon New Zealand has lauded the appointment of Graeme Maw as High Performance Director - the man who moulded Britain's current world dominance.

Previously the elite figurehead of the British Triathlon Association and with a short stint at the Welsh Rugby Union, Maw's inaugural appointment in the wake of the 2012 Olympic Games has been described by Triathlon NZ as "something of a coup".

Since the 47-year-old's time at the BTA, British triathlon has boomed. Newly-crowned Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee, and London 2012 bronze medallist brother Jonathan, have become the dominant force on the world men's circuit while Helen Jenkins won last year's world women's title.

Maw spent six years at the BTA, departing in 2006, and influenced the development of all three world-class Britons.

"Five of the six [London 2012] British team came out of development programme we instigated between 2001 and 2006," Maw told Fairfax Media from Somerset, England.

"It's a pretty successful programme, Alistair and Jonny and a number of other talented athletes came through that."

Acknowledging New Zealand's history in triathlon, Maw says he's now looking forward to starting a new "eight-year vision" in December.

"To be on top op the world always has to be the ambition and this role is about looking at a four to eight-year vision," he said.

"It's about sustainable and continued success."

Andrea Hewitt is the only Kiwi regularly achieving such results at the moment and Maw pointed to a potential crossroads in the male ranks, with the long-term plans of veterans Bevan Docherty and Kris Gemmell yet to be determined.

"I'm not sure with Bevan or Kris' plans are, but Andrea is already a proven athlete and there are a number of younger Kiwis with potential," he said.

Triathlon NZ boss Craig Waugh says the new job, formed out of a review into his organisation's structure, is the first significant step in moving the sport forward.

"Graeme stood out in the global search and was our preferred choice," Waugh said.

"We are delighted to have secured his services. His experience and CV are simply outstanding and he brings a wealth of knowledge from a variety of countries and sports and will lead with a clear focus and vision."

Maw was released by Welsh rugby five months into the job in following a review of the WRU structure and then spent a year as director for the UK Centre for Coaching Excellence.

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Most recently he's been the director of sport at Millfield School - the UK's "pre-eminent school for sport".

- Fairfax Media

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