CBay finally has a swim coach.
Southland's Oscar van Stekelenborg is due to start at the new aquatic complex tomorrow week and his pending arrival has been greeted positively by the local competitive swimming community.
Van Stekelenborg was the development officer for Swimming Southland but has more than 30 years' experience as a coach.
He started his coaching career at the Mosgiel Swimming club in 1981 followed by a stint in Wellington.
For the past two decades has held various coaching positions in Invercargill.
Van Stekelenborg has had a number of successful swimmers.
They include world-ranked breaststroker Richard Adamson, Michelle Burke, Penny Tapper, Stephanie Laughton and Becky Dooley.
They have achieved Commonwealth or national honours under Van Stekelenborg's guidance.
The 57-year-old is delighted to be coming to Timaru.
"You've got a great complex and a very good Learn to Swim school under Jane Sullivan so someone just needs to get in, roll up their sleeves and do the hard work.
"I'm up for that."
Van Stekelenborg said in the main he worked with the younger age groups where he was most comfortable so CBay was the perfect fit for him.
He has also been an assistant New Zealand coach to the Pacific School Games in 2006.
Van Stekelenborg gets his opportunity in South Canterbury after Paralympic coach Roly Crichton failed to turn up in Timaru.
Crichton was to commence coaching duties at CBay at the beginning of October but instead sent the council a one-line email saying he wouldn't be coming.
He has since apologised.
He explained he wanted to stay with his star swimmer Sophie Pascoe in Christchurch.
- The Timaru Herald