Former NZ swimming coach Jan Cameron dies suddenly in Queensland (New Zealand)
Former New Zealand swimming coach Jan Cameron has died suddenly in Queensland, aged 70.
Cameron, who Swimming Australia confirmed on Monday night passed in the early hours of Monday morning, was widely seen as the driving force behind the setting up of New Zealand swimming’s first high performance programme.
A silver medallist for Australia in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Cameron shifted to New Zealand in 1991, initially working as head coach for the North Shore Swimming Club, a club with little resources but one to which she attracted many of New Zealand’s top swimmers.
She was appointed national coach in 2001, with Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) changing her role to general manager of performance and pathways in 2008. Essentially, she was in charge of high performance.
“As Swimming Australia’s current para sport mentor coach, Jan was a much-loved member of our swimming family – staff, coaches, officials and athletes alike. Jan’s illustrious career has spanned all areas of swimming including as an athlete, coach and administrator,” Swimming Australia said in a statement.
“Jan will be sorely missed within the industry, by colleagues, coaches, athletes and all in the wider swimming community.
“Swimming Australia will advise an appropriate memorial in due course. Our thoughts are with Jan’s family and friends at this sad time.”
Cameron began her coaching career in 1968 at a small New South Wales club in Port Kembla. Her passion for coaching grew and she expanded her experience working in Canada, USA and New Zealand. She was a strong advocate for achieving more and doing better than your best, in all aspects of life.
Her first Games experience came in 1972 as a Paralympic team coach and she then made a significant contribution to team New Zealand as an Olympic coach at the Sydney Games in 2000. And more success followed as the head coach for New Zealand at the Olympic Games in Athens and Beijing.
Cameron had some great success at SNZ but it finished badly in 2011 with her resignation, about three months after the release of the Ineson Report.
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