Coffs Harbour Olympic pool swim coach defends sole coaching contract

Coffs Harbour Olympic Swimming Pool Head Coach Daniel Bannerman (pictured on right overseeing his swim squad) has defended Council’s exclusive swimming coach contract operating at the pool.


COFFS Harbour War Memorial Olympic Swimming Pool Head Coach Daniel Bannerman has defended the pool’s current coaching arrangements with local swimmers.

A News Of The Area story published on Friday 12 February detailed local swimming coach Sarah-Jane Weir’s frustration that her swimming students were unable to be trained by herself at the FINA approved 50m Olympic pool due to Coffs Harbour City Council’s current arrangement to award only one coach the contract for coaching rights at the pool.

Ms Weir currently trains her swimming students out of a 20m pool.

Her students reside in the Coffs Harbour area, however they are members of the Trinity Lismore Swimming Club and race competitively under this club.

Currently, swim students that wish to train out of the 50m Coffs Harbour Olympic swimming pool must train under the coaches that operate out of the facility.

Mr Bannerman responded to the recent news story by stating that this current coaching arrangement between Council and the swimming pool is undertaken at most Council pools, and all local swimming coaches are aware of this.

“In regards to the contract process, the way Council have done this is no different to the way any other Council comes to this conclusion for a contract process for a coaching position,” Mr Bannerman stressed.

“Council has gone through the right procedure, it was a lengthy procedure, there was a lot of criteria that we had to meet and I want the public to know that it was a normal procedure the same as any other Council-run pool.

“It was an open and transparent process, any coach could quote for the coaching contract, it was open for all coaches to do that.”

Daniel commenced his coaching contract at the Olympic pool with his swim company North Coast Swim Academy on 4 January, and has since employed another four swim coaches to assist with the swimming program running at the pool.

“We have over 200 swimmers attending Mini Squad, Junior Squad, Senior Squad or Adult Squad, so I can’t do that all by myself and that’s why I’ve employed four other coaches as part of the team to work out of that facility,” Daniel said.

“They (the swim students) have to be coached within our coaching program that we provide for the community.

“With the contract that I signed, exclusive coaching rights for that facility have been awarded to North Coast Swim Academy.”

Mr Bannerman said local swim students training out of other aquatic facilities could still use the Olympic pool to train without their coaches present.

“There’s nothing stopping them from coming in on their own time and swimming in their own personal time,” Mr Bannerman said.

Mr Bannerman previously trained his students out of Coffs Harbour Aquatic Centre, working out of one lane prior to taking up his recent coaching contract at Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Swimming Pool.

“This has been my opportunity to start a new fresh great program,” Daniel said.

Mr Bannerman said he was never allowed to train his swimming students at the Olympic Pool while he was training his students out of a different facility.

“When you are a coach or athlete you know how the business runs, you know how the swimming community works and what the lease agreements are with these pools,” Mr Bannerman said.

Mr Bannerman, however, agreed with fellow swim coach Sarah-Jane Weir that there were not enough aquatic facilities in the Coffs Harbour region.

“I understand her frustration, because there’s been many a time over the last six years where I’ve said ‘I just need some more space, I’ve got that many new kids coming through, I need more room, they want to go to a higher level of swimming I can’t provide’,” he said.

“When this coaching contract came out back in September it was my opportunity to further my career in coaching and go for that next step.

“I’m happy that I was the successful applicant and can focus on the next four years.”

Coffs Harbour City Council took over the management of Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool in October 2020, releasing Lane 4 from its lease.



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