6 January 2022
By Göran R Buckhorn
The GB Rowing Team has appointed Paul Stannard as its new Men’s Olympic Head Coach, British Rowing announced on its website and social media on 5 January. Stannard will take on his new role immediately.
Stannard has worked with British Rowing for more than 18 years. In 2012, he won the Performance Development Coach at the Sportcoach UK Coaching Awards. Since 2013, he has been in charge of the men’s sculling team and led the men to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and to the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo this past summer. While no British crew won a gold medal on the Sea Forest Waterway, Paul Stannard’s quadruple scull, with Harry Leask, Angus Groom, Tom Barras and Jack Beaumont, took a historic silver medal – the first Olympic medal ever for a British men’s quad. It should be added that Graeme Thomas and John Collins placed fourth in the double sculls, missing the bronze medal with less than three seconds.
“In my interview for my first World Class Start role back in 2003, I stated that my main motivation for the job was to help British athletes win medals on the world stage. The quad’s silver medal in Tokyo was fantastic and I look forward to working with the coaches and support staff to help our talented athletes continue to win medals for Great Britain and themselves in the years to come,” said Paul Stannard.
British Rowing writes on its website that Stannard was “recognised with the Nick Broad Award for Emerging Talent for his work in the World Class Start Programme, which included identifying and developing Helen Glover and Heather Stanning who went on to win Olympic gold medals in both London and Rio and Vicky Thornley who won silver in Rio.”
As Stannard’s work title suggests, he will lead the men’s crews to produce top Olympic class boats “building a world class culture within the programme that sees rowers and staff thrive both on and off the water,” as it states on British Rowing’s website.
“I am absolutely delighted to see Paul step up into the new Head Coach role, he beat a strong field of internal and external candidates. Paul’s leadership of a programme has grown significantly in the past 12 months while he has been Interim Lead Coach for Men’s Sculling,” said Louise Kingsley, the newly appointed Director of Performance for the GB Rowing Team. “I am excited to see him work with the wider squad to deliver world class performances, evolve a contemporary performance culture and stay actively connected to the pathway.”
British Rowing mentions that the federation is still looking to fill the position for the Women’s Olympic Head Coach. An announcement on this appointment will be made as soon as possible.