The Canadian federation announced on November 13 the hiring of Gábor Szauder as the new head coach for the senior national team. Szauder was previously the head coach of Slovakia.
Originally from Hungary, Szauder has coached multiple nations throughout his career. After working with the Greek team in the late 90s and well into the 2000s, he became the face of the Hungarian federation and coached the 2012 Olympic duet of Eszter Czékus and Szofi Kiss which finished 21st. He then became the head coach of the Slovakian team, where once again he led the duet to Olympic Games in 2016. The pair, composed of composed of Nada Daabousová and Jana Labáthová, finished 22nd.
The big challenge ahead will be to lead team Canada back to the Olympic Games after it missed its qualification in 2016 for the first time ever, and to move up the world hierarchy to do so. To succeed, he wants to not only focus on helping Canada find its unique signature and choreographic style once more, but to also implement the right structure and balance of sports science, recovery and nutrition for the athletes.
“Canada has a rich history of success,” he said in the federation’s press release. “I believe that with the right support and close cooperation with the best Canadian coaches, we can return Canada to a position where it is competing for medals at the world’s major competitions.”
This is a major move for the Canadians, who have encountered numerous difficulties and coaching changes over the last quad. This hire will hopefully bring the stability the program needs to succeed and reach its goal of being back to the Olympics as a team.
Leslie Sproule was previously the head coach, and arrived in this position only a few weeks before the 2017 FINA World Championships after the abrupt departure of Meng Chen. Szauder will start as a head coach in January, once the squad will be once again back in a centralized system.
This announcement comes a few days before the start of the national team training camp and team selection for the 2019 season.
Article by Christina Marmet.