Triathlon coach Dan Atkins believes he can help make Australia a dominant force in the sport as the leader of the national performance centre on the Gold Coast.
Leading coach Dan Atkins wants to reclaim Australia’s status as the world’s best triathlon nation by 2020.
Atkins was unveiled on Friday by Triathlon Australia to be the inaugural coach of its new Gold Coast national performance centre.
The 39-year-old has been grooming Australia’s next generation of triathletes as the national talent academy coach in Western Australia for the past 12 months.
Australia hasn’t had a international triathlon series world champion since Emma Moffatt’s 2010 title while Emma Snowsill’s triumph in Beijing in 2008 is the country’s only Olympic gold since the sport was introduced in 2000.
Atkins says a key ambition of his new role is to ensure Australia once again dominates the sport internationally.
“We have slipped a little but we’re looking to, within a four-year to eight-year plan, to get back where we believe we belong and that’s on top,” Atkins told AAP.
“We’ve got everything in our favour. Good talent, good weather on the coast, good resources.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t by 2020, be back where we need to be.”
Two of Australia’s top male juniors, Calvin Quirk and Dan Coleman, are already part of the Gold Coast squad while Atkins will bring the country’s No.1 female junior Jaz Hedgeland across with him from Perth.
“It’s certainly a bit more pressure that comes with it,” Atkins said of his new role.
“My job is already results-driven but for me know it frees me up to do what I believe I do best, and that’s coach.
“A lot of the administrative stuff that I have to spend time on here in WA gets cut out and I get protected from that.”
The Gold Coast centre is one of three national performance centres in Australia, joining the already established Queensland Academy of Sport and Victorian Institute of Sport centres.