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SNZ Appoints Elite Development Coach and National Open Water Programme Manager

Swimming New Zealand is pleased to announce the appointment of Donna Bouzaid as the Elite Development coach and Philip Rush as the National Open Water Programme Manager.

Donna has an extensive background with New Zealand swimming, not only as a coach but as an athlete in her own right. She swam across the Cook Strait in 1985 setting a women’s record of 8 hours 15 minutes for the 25.3kms. She also completed a 38km marathon swim in Auckland in 1994.

As a coach Donna’s highlights have been the Beijing Olympic Games where she had two swimmers on the national team and the 2008 World Junior Championships where her swimmer won three titles.
Bouzaid’s coaching career began twenty-three years ago at Naenae swimming club in Lower Hutt before moving north to Auckland’s North Shore swim club. After eight years of age group success here she moved to the West Auckland Aquatics programme and took the helm as the head coach. She committed a further eight years of coaching to the west Auckland club and was rewarded with Olympians, Commonwealth Games medalists, and World Junior Title holders.

In 2009 Donna was ready for a change and decided to move to New Plymouth to take up the position of Company Director at B.W.F. Aquatics. She is currently in her fourth season in the Taranaki region and she has been credited as being instrumental in guiding Taranaki coaches and clubs with her leadership and management style, as well as providing ongoing knowledge and skills to the region.

Bouzaid has presented and run ACA, Bronze, and Silver level coaching courses for SNZ and NZSCTA, as well as being the co-ordinator of Central Swimming New Zealand coaching from 2011 to present. She was a director on the Swimming New Zealand Board from 2003-2008 and she has extensive experience in the Learn to Swim area, running her own successful programme in New Plymouth. Donna will begin her new role with SNZ in September.

The advent of the Elite Development Coach position has allowed Swimming New Zealand to create a specialist role responsible for the development of open water athletes. This role has been appointed to Phillip Rush who will now be the National Open Water Programme Manager.

Phillip has an extensive background in swimming, especially in the open water. He is considered to be one of the greatest marathon swimmers of all time. He was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1985 and elected to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Board of Directors in 2011.

Rush swam the English Channel ten times in his swimming career  and he is still the current world record holder for the fastest two and three way swims of the English Channel which he completed in 1987. He has coached and guided New Zealand’s swimmers for many years now and his new role will enable him to focus on developing New Zealand’s open water talent.