Francis is well known in swimming circles as the coach of London 2012 Paralympians Mary Fisher, Rebecca Dubber, Daniel Holt and Aine Kelly-Costello.
At a club level his long standing involvement in North Shore Swimming Club has cumulated with Gary recently taking on the role of Senior Squad Coach.
The appointment of Francis rounds off an outstanding coaching team including recently appointed Roly Crichton (Performance Coach and coach to Sophie Pascoe) and Jon Shaw (Head Performance Coach).
PNZ’s High Performance Director, Malcolm Humm says, “As part of the PNZ Para-Swimming strategic plan we committed to having full time Performance Coaches leading in each area of the Athlete Development Pathway. Gary’s appointment will allow development athletes and their coaches to be exposed to quality coaching and planning support.”
With Hadleigh Pierson leading the PNZ Talent Identification Programme, Gary Francis leading the PNZ Para-Swimming Development programme and Head Performance Coach Jon Shaw leading the PNZ Para-Swimming High Performance Programme Humm believes PNZ’s vision of delivering a sustainable World Leading Para-Swimming programme is about to be realized.
Francis himself was equally excited by signing with PNZ saying, “I am thrilled to be joining the team on a full time basis.” He continues, “It is an exciting time to join the programme as the number and quality of athletes coming through talent identification and development continues to grow. I am looking forward to building on this and making NZ Para-Swimming better and stronger in the years ahead.”
Gary’s duties will predominantly involve developing and implementing the PNZ Para-Swimming Emerging Talent and Development Plan, development of a Para-Swimming Development Pathway and providing technical & planning support to Para-Swimming athletes and their coaches. Gary will also continue poolside coaching of a group of Para-Swimmers training in Auckland.
Gary commences in his new role on 27 July.