Brit Nathan lands Athletics Australia High Performance role11 February 2013
ATHLETICS: Athletics Australia has named Simon Nathan, the highly respected former Head of Performance Operations at UK Athletics, to fill the newly created position of High Performance Director.
Nathan last week resigned from UK Athletics, where he was also a member of the UK Athletics Olympic Task Force, to accept the position at Athletics Australia and is expected to start in his new Melbourne-based role in mid-March.
Nathan has been employed by UK Athletics since 2003, and has been involved in the sport of athletics since 1979 as an athlete, a coach and an administrator. He has worked extensively in the high performance field since 2001 and has a strong background in athlete performance management.
Nathan has coached medallists in a range of athletic events at the Commonwealth Games, world junior and European junior levels. He was Head Coach for Northern Ireland at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games and also an England Team Coach at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Nathan has acted as the lead Team Manager for Great Britain and Northern Ireland at all major senior championships since 2008, including the Beijing and London Olympic Games and the Berlin and Daegu-hosted IAAF World Athletics Championships.
Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer Dallas O’Brien said he expected Nathan to be an outstanding asset to the sport in Australia.
O'Brien said: “Athletics Australia undertook an extensive international search to identify individuals with the right skillsets and experience to fill this vital role. We uncovered a deep pool of outstanding applicants and were fortunate to be spoiled for choice. We couldn’t be happier to have secured the services of Simon, as he has an impeccable record in the field of international high performance.
“Our post-London review clearly identified the need to create the new role of High Performance Director, and we believe Simon is tailor made for the position. He will be a fantastic asset to the sport of athletics in Australia and we’re excited to welcome him to our High Performance program.”
Nathan said the opportunity to guide Athletics Australia's High Performance Department was simply too good to pass up.
Nathan said: "I had a great time at the London Olympics which went very well for me personally. I knew that I wanted a big new challenge within the sport and the opportunity to work with Dallas O'Brien and (Athletics Australia Head Coach) Eric Hollingsworth in Australia was perfect. I've always admired the Australian sporting culture and the chance to be able to contribute directly is very exciting.
"One of the many reasons that I am so keen to work in Australian athletics is the wealth of outstanding senior athletes like Sally Pearson, Jared Tallent, Mitchell Watt, Steve Hooker, Dani Samuels. I'm in this for the long run so just as exciting is the strength of the current junior team.
"So my challenge is to ensure that Athletics Australia works with the senior coaches and athletes to continue their improvement and success, to create an environment for the current crop of juniors that allows the best of them to outshine the current seniors in thenear future and to keep new talent coming into the sport and improving. Those that know me will know that I'll do that through being very clear about my plans and being realistic and honest with everyone involved.
"It's all going to be very challenging, but I hope that it's also going to be a lot of fun."
The High Performance Director position will be responsible for strategy, contracts, selection policy and funding as well as managing Athletics Australia’s High Performance Department and managing athletics’ partnerships with the Australian Institute of Sport and the state institute system.