Loughborough University
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25 January 2008 PR 08/08

Loughborough appoints first ever High Performance Triathlon Coach

Loughborough University has named Gavin Smith as its first ever High Performance Coach for Triathlon.

Smith, who takes up his new position from a similar role with British Triathlon, will oversee Loughborough’s squad as it prepares for Beijing and beyond and will lead the development of the sport at the University.

Six of Britain’s current world class athletes are based at Loughborough, including world champion Tim Don and world and European U23 champion Will Clarke, and Smith will be looking to add to his stock in the run-up to 2012.

A former international triathlete and national medallist, Smith has coached age group athletes to international honours and has been coaching at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough since 2005. He is delighted to be appointed High Performance Coach and believes his experience with the governing body means he’s well-placed to make a positive impact on the University programme.

“I’m ecstatic, it’s been a long time coming and it was always my goal to work for the University,” he said. “This new role enables me to work closely with the University and British Triathlon and ensure athletes benefit from all services available to them on campus.

“Because I’m familiar with how both organisations work it puts me in a strong position to implement improvements and share best practice.

“My immediate goal is to ensure our athletes are fully prepared for Olympic qualification and the Beijing Games themselves, but I will also be working to bring more quality athletes into the squad as well as provide support to the student club.”

Loughborough University Head of Performance Sport Andy Borrie is pleased to welcome the University’s first full time triathlon coach on board.

“We’re delighted to welcome Gavin to the team,” he said. “We’ve been working closely with British Triathlon for a number of years now and this new appointment underlines our long-term commitment to the sport and the development of its athletes.

“Many of the country’s top triathletes already train at Loughborough and we hope Gavin’s appointment will boost our programme and attract even more elite athletes to the University.”

ENDS

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Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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