Tim Brabants appointed to coaching team

Canoe Racing NZ is delighted to announce the imminent arrival of British canoe sprint legend and former Olympic champion Tim Brabants into its world-class coaching team.

Tim arrives in New Zealand in early January to take up a coaching role in Cambridge, where he will primarily be working with the six-strong Canoe Racing NZ men’s squad.

During an illustrious career, Tim became the first British athlete to win an Olympic canoeing title when striking K1 1000m gold at the 2008 Beijing Games. He also snared Olympic bronze medals in the K1 500m in Beijing and K1 1000m at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and secured world and European titles.

Since retiring from competitive paddling, Tim, a fully qualified doctor, has stayed connected with the sport. From 2016 he served for two years as British Canoeing’s Chief Medical Officer before in early 2018 taking up a role working with elite paddlers as Podium Technical Coach at British Canoeing.

Tim, who is a good friend of New Zealand’s 2004 Olympic K1 1000m silver medallist Ben Fouhy, has a close affinity for New Zealand and its rich kayaking tradition.

“I was very happy to be offered the role in New Zealand, “explains Tim, 42. “New Zealand has a strong kayaking history with the likes of Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald, Alan Thompson and Ben Fouhy. More recently the women’s squad has also achieved brilliant results, which means its people have the right attributes physically and mentally to achieve. You see Kiwis deliver great results in so many sports because of their passion and raw talent.

“It is a really exciting opportunity. It will be fantastic to work alongside other great coaches who are part of the New Zealand system like Nathan Luce, Jasper Bats and Gordon Walker and to be a part of that environment.”

Married with two children, Tim is looking forward to starting his role and is excited at the prospect of helping develop a promising crop of men’s paddlers based out of Lake Karapiro.

He was impressed by the performance of Kiwi duo Max Brown and Kurtis Imrie, who reached the K2 1000m A Final at the 2019 World Cup in Poznan, and added: “Having met Max and Kurtis I immediately got a sense of two mature but young lads who are hungry for success. I’ve also met the other paddlers in the squad, all of whom are super-polite, love their sport and are all very committed. That attitude is what you need as a starting point for delivering high performance.”

Besides fulfilling his coaching role in the UK he also worked once or twice a week as a doctor in the Accident and Emergency Department at a nearby hospital. In time, he also hopes to combine his full-time position at Canoe Racing NZ with the occasionally hospital shift in New Zealand.

Canoe Racing NZ CEO Tom Ashley said of Tim’s imminent arrival: “We are ecstatic that Tim has chosen to join our coaching team. He brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success as an athlete, coach and, remarkably, as a medical doctor. It is a unique privilege for our team to have an opportunity to work with one of the legends of our sport.

“His appointment, along with the recent arrival of Craig Mustard as CRNZ Development Coach, completes the restructure of our Performance programme. Our goal has been to build a group of world-class coaches who will work together for the benefit of our athletes under the leadership of our Technical Director, Gordon Walker. We believe that we have now achieved this goal, and we look forward to watching our team develop over the coming years.”

For more information contact Tom Ashley on 021 848370

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