Olsen to leave NZ canoe racing ranks

Author -  Karen Simpson

Olsen to leave NZ canoe racing ranks

Rene and girls training.jpg

Canoe Racing New Zealand boss Mark Weatherall has paid tribute to departing national women’s coach Rene Olsen, with the Danish-born coach finishing his contract after next month’s under-23 world championships. 

Olsen’s tenure has coincided with a golden period of female paddling in New Zealand over the past three years.

It culminated with a golden haul at the first two World Cup events of the season recently, with the eight-strong women’s team winning six golds in two weeks.

“Rene has created and implemented a world-class programme in his time here and he’s substantially increased the depth of female paddlers in New Zealand,” Weatherall said. “We’re extremely sad to see him go but wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”

British Canoeing has announced they’ve appointed Olsen to their high performance programme, taking him back home to Europe, although Olsen will leave New Zealand with a heavy heart.

He created history when he took a rookie K4 squad - Jaimee Lovett, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie - to the world championships and then on to fifth at the Rio Olympics and has helped open doors for a number of younger paddlers chasing spots at the Tokyo games.

“I’ve really appreciated the chance to work with some amazing athletes and I’m incredibly proud with what we’ve been able to achieve and the pathways we’ve created,” Olsen said. “The paddlers and the club coaches all bought into the vision from the start and they’ve all been a big part of our success.”

His last outing in a New Zealand blazer will be the under-23 world championships in Romania from July 27-30.

Olsen to leave NZ canoe racing ranks

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