New structure for Speed Skating Canada’s Sport Department in the lead up to 2010

In order to optimize its preparation for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Speed Skating Canada (SSC) announced today a small restructuration within its Sport Department.

Effective today, Sport Director Brian Rahill will assume the position of High Performance and Olympic Program Director, and will work solely with the high performance programs, for both short and long track speed skating. One of his main responsibilities will be to provide the necessary direction for organization and delivery of all parts of the Olympic preparation plan.

This will relieve the Short Track and Long Track Program Directors, Yves Hamelin and Finn Halvorsen, of some of their planning workload, allowing them to focus more on program management and evaluation of the technical aspects of their respective disciplines. Rahill will take direct responsibility for the planning, management and implementation of the Olympic plans, while the two Program Directors will, among other things, keep their role as leaders of the national training centres as well as the national coaches and integrated support teams and monitoring and evaluating the entire programs performances and needs analysis.

“This new structure comes into play today, 15 months before the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, in order to ensure the best possible support is given to our speed skating athletes and coaches to optimize their success at the 2010 Olympics and beyond,” explained SSC’s Director General Jean R. Dupré. “We have a strong program and have achieved great success over the past few years, but constant change is necessary in order for us to keep improving and stay a leader within Canada’s National Sport Organizations.”

Rahill will also be responsible for strategic planning of both high performance programs including succession planning. He will become the lead liaison with both High Performance Committees. He will continue to be the lead liaison with Sport Canada, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Own the Podium 2010 and the Canadian Sport Centres.

Additionally, he will retain his overarching responsibilities regarding the implementation of SSC’s Long Term Athlete and Participant Development plan.

“I’m very excited at the opportunity to work even closer than before with our two Program Directors in order to prepare as optimally as possible for the 2010 Games. I hope to share and build on the experience acquired in various capacities at 7 Olympic Games and allow them to focus on the preparation of our teams, coaches and performance enhancement teams. Our program has grown exponentially since the creation of the Own the Podium 2010 program and they need to be able to focus on factors that will directly affect performance “ said Rahill.